Wimbledon: Andy Murray to play Gimeno-Traver in opener

Wimbledon Championships

Venue:
All England Club, London
Date:
20 June-3 July
Coverage:
Live on BBC One, Two, 3D, HD, Red Button, online (UK only), Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra; live text commentary on BBC Sport website (#bbctennis); watch again on iPlayer
Andy Murray

Britain's Andy Murray has been drawn against world number 56 Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the first round of Wimbledon.

Murray could face defending champion Rafael Nadal, who opens against Michael Russell, in the semi-finals.

in a repeat of last year's record-breaking 11-hour match.

In the women's draw, top seed Caroline Wozniacki plays Arantxa Parra Santonja and reigning champion Serena Williams faces Aravane Rezai.

Serena and Venus Williams, winners between them of nine of the last 11 Wimbledon titles, have been drawn in opposite halves, setting up the possibility of a fifth final between the siblings.

Murray should have few problems with Gimeno-Traver, having beaten him in straight sets on hard court in Valencia two years ago, as well as on clay in a Futures tournament in 2005.

Murray goes into the tournament short of match practice after his exhibition match against Serbia's Viktor Troicki was hit by the rain on Friday.

Murray was leading 4-1 when play was suspended at the Boodles Challenge at Stoke Park.

Gimeno-Traver, 25, lists clay as his favourite surface and has won only one match in two previous appearances at the All England Club.

Nadal will open play on Centre Court on Monday, with Murray also set to be on the schedule on day one, while on Tuesday, six-time champion Roger Federer will play Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan, and second seed Novak Djokovic will face France's Jeremy Chardy.

The draw raises the possibility of Nadal and Federer meeting in the Wimbledon final for the fourth time, although both Murray and Djokovic will be desperate to play on the second Sunday for the first time.

British number two James Ward, a semi-finalist at Queen's Club last week, faces a tough opener against France's 19th seed Michael Llodra, while fellow wild cards Dan Cox and Dan Evans take on Sergiy Stakhovsky and 20th seed Florian Mayer respectively.

"I'm feeling really confident at the moment with the way I've been playing over the last few weeks on grass," said Ward. "Llodra will be by no means an easy match. He's got a really good grass -court game, with a big serve and he serves and volleys a lot.

"He won Eastbourne last year so it will be tough but I'm really looking forward to it. The support I've had over the last fortnight has been amazing and hopefully myself and all the other British players will enjoy exactly the same at Wimbledon because it makes the world of difference."

Leon Smith, head of men's tennis at the LTA, said: "It's a tough draw for the three British wild cards but this will be a great opportunity for them to experience competition at the highest level."

Among the women, British number one Elena Baltacha has been drawn against a qualifier, while Heather Watson meets France's Mathilde Johansson.

There is an all-British clash between Anne Keothavong and Naomi Broady, Laura Robson plays German Angelique Kerber, Katie O'Brien plays Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm, and Emily Webley-Smith plays Czech Klara Zakopalova.

"You kind of have to be ready for anything," said Baltacha. "I never, ever underestimate qualifiers because I've qualified for Slams myself, and you really have to tough it out to do that.

"I'm coming into Wimbledon playing well and in really good form. My preparation has been perfect so we just have see what happens from here."

Nigel Sears, the LTA's head of women's tennis, said: "There are definitely some opportunities for the British girls, but as always we have to respect their opponents who all have good rankings.

"We'll take each match as it comes and ensure we spend the next few days preparing as best we can."

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