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Novak, Murray face-off is likely

London: Defending champion Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, the man he beat in 2013 to capture Britain’s first Wimbledon title in 77 years, on Friday landed in the same half of this year’s draw, leaving Roger Federer the biggest winner.

Murray, who has been seeded three, could face top-seeded Djokovic in the last four while seven-time champion Federer, the fourth seed, is scheduled to renew his rivalry with world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. But Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, has been seeded second this year after losing in the first round in 2013 and getting knocked out in the second round 12 months earlier.

The 28-year-old Spaniard has already expressed fears over whether or not his famously brittle knees will stand up to two weeks of grasscourt tennis. His mood will not have been helped by the draw which lined him up for a possible second-round clash against Lukas Rosol who knocked him out in 2012.

Nadal starts against Slovakia’s Martin Klizan with big-serving Ivo Karlovic a potential third round foe. Murray, now coached by former Wimbledon women’s champion Amelie Mauresmo, will start his title defence against David Goffin.

Murray could face a quarter final against seventh seed Spaniard David Ferrer, who has been battling injury, or Queen’s Club champion and 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov. Top seed Djokovic, the 2011 champion, will meet Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan.

Somdev Dev Varman has been pitted against 15th seed Jerzy Janowicz in the opening round of the men’s singles. Somdev, India’s lone challenge in the singles, is in the same half of the draw as Roger Federer. In doubles, fifth seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek will open against Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Rajeev Ram. Sania Mirza and Cara Black have been seeded fourth and will face Martina Hingis and Vera Zvonareva. (Agencies)