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Wimbledon Draw 2019 • Nadal Lands in Federer’s Half, Nadal-Kyrgios Possible In Round Two

By Ricky Dimon


The Wimbledon draw ceremony was held on Friday morning at the All-England Lawn and Tennis Club, where Rafael Nadal was already the big story due to his “controversial” No. 3 seeding.


Players and media alike turned it into a controversy by apparently forgetting that Wimbledon has used a mathematical formula to seed the top 32 players in world, such that they are rewarded more for ranking points accrued on grass. Tournament organizers didn’t just give Roger Federer the No. 2 seed–even though he is ranked No. 3 behind Nadal–because he is “good on grass.” It’s just math.


Whatever thee case, Nadal is an even bigger story now that the draw has been made.


Not only did the 18-time Grand Slam champion land in Federer’s half, but he could also run into familiar foe Nick Kyrgios in the second round. Kyrgios, who first has to beat an in-form fellow Aussie Jordan Thompson, famously upset the Spaniard at Wimbledon in 2014 and most recently in Acapulco a few months ago. The overall head-to-head series stands at 3-3. Nadal’s opener will come against Yuichi Sugita, who destroyed Lukas Rosol–also the proud owner of an upset over Nadal at this slam–in the final round of qualies.

Rafael Nadal of Spain takes a break during a training session at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, on Thursday, June 27, 2019.  EPA-EFE/PETER KLAUNZER EDITORIAL USE ONLY; NO SALES, NO ARCHIVES

Federer, who is ranked No. 3 but secured the second seed by virtue of Wimbledon’s grass-court formula, has an easier path at the bottom of the draw. The 37-year-old Swiss and 20-time major winner should coast through his first matches before possibly meeting Lucas Pouille in round three and either Borna Coric or Jan-Lennard Struff in the last 16. Kei Nishikori would be Federer’s quarterfinal opponent if the seeds hold, but 2018 semifinalist John Isner and a red-hot Mattero Berrettini are also looming large.


No quarter is more wide open than that of Kevin Anderson. The South African finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic last summer at the AELTC, but he has been plagued by an elbow injury in 2019. With Alexander Zverev–who has never advanced to a single slam semi–also in this quarter, a spot in the last four appears to be completely up for grabs. Other contenders include Karen Khachanov, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic, and Queen’s Club conqueror Feliciano Lopez.


Whoever emerges can expect to face Djokovic in the SFs. That’s not to say the top-ranked Serb has a cakewalk through the top section. His first-rounder is against Philipp Kohlschreiber (upset Djokovic this spring in Indian Wells), while Felix Auger-Aliassime is a possible fourth-round adversary and Stefanos Tsitsipas (1-1 in the head-to-head series with Djokovic) can hope to get another shot at the world No. 1 in the QFs.


Other first-round matchups to watch are:

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Bernard Tomic
Fabio Fognini vs. Frances Tiafoe
Dominic Thiem vs. Sam Querrey
Marin Cilic vs. Adrian Mannarino
Auger-Aliassime vs. Vasek Pospisil
Taylor Fritz vs. Tomas Berdych
Wawrinka vs. Ruben Bemelmans
Anderson vs. Pierre-Hugues Herbert
Struff vs. Marcos Baghdatis


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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