Kyrgios facing potential encounter with Murray at Wimbledon

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Posted

July 01, 2017 10:36:53

Nick Kyrgios faces a possible fourth-round clash with world number one and defending champion Andy Murray at Wimbledon after being handed a challenging draw.

Murray awaits in the second week for Kyrgios but he will face who he describes as a “tough” opponent, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, in the first round.

Herbert is ranked 69 in the world but the 20th-seeded Kyrgios, who wrapped up his Wimbledon preparation with a win Viktor Troicki at an exhibition tournament in Buckinghamshire, is not treating the Frenchman lightly.

“I’ve seen him play a lot,” Kyrgios said.

“He’s very capable, loves this surface, he serves well and comes forward very well so I know it’s going to be a tough match.

“I don’t want to think about that now. I want to think about training and recovery for the next couple of days and we’ll see how it goes.”

If Kyrgios takes care of Herbert, the 22-year-old could play two more talented Frenchmen — Benoit Paire and 16th seed Lucas Pouille — before possibly needing to take down Murray in the last 16.

Murray, who will begin the defence of his Wimbledon title against Kazakh lucky loser Alexander Bublik, beat Kyrgios in straight sets last year but both players are carrying hip complaints into the 2017 edition.

Kyrgios’ countrymen drew seeds for their first-round encounters but no-one fared worse than John Millman.

The Queenslander must take down 10-time French Open champion fourth seed Rafael Nadal to extend his stay beyond one match.

Bernard Tomic takes on 27th seed Mischa Zverev, fresh from beating the German this week at Eastbourne.

Jordan Thompson, who shocked the tennis world last week with his victory over Murray at the Queen’s Club, opens against 25th seed Albert Ramos Vinolas.

Thanasi Kokkinakis has a tough match against 29th seed and Juan Martin del Potro, while qualifier Andrew Whittington’s first-round opponent is to be determined.

Gavrilova’s seeding allows for favourable draw

Australia’s two women’s direct entrants received contrasting draws.

Twentieth seed Daria Gavrilova, enjoying seeded protection for the first time at Wimbledon, faces a qualifier and has a great opportunity to venture to the second week, where her first major test is likely to come from number 16 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

But Ashleigh Barty’s grass-court form will be put to the test immediately in an opener against fourth seed Elina Svitolina.

Women’s world number one Angelique Kerber opens up against American qualifier Irina Falconi and is seeded to face Karolina Pliskova in the semi-finals.

While last year’s runner-up Kerber is slated to face big-serving Pliskova in the last four, the other semi-final could be a repeat of the French Open final between surprise winner Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia and Romania’s Simona Halep.

The most exciting aspect of the men’s draw is the possibility of Roger Federer and Nadal in another dream final.

Chasing a record eighth title, Federer is in the same half of the draw as Novak Djokovic, with Nadal projected to meet Murray — or potentially Kyrgios — in another blockbuster semi-final.

AAP/Reuters

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