Djokovic faces Wimbledon wildcard opener

Defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic will play British wildcard James Ward in the first round of the Wimbledon championships on Monday as he continues his bid for a calendar-year grand slam.

Serena Williams, looking to retain her women’s title and match Steffi Graf’s professional era record of 22 major singles crowns, opens up against a qualifier.

Djokovic, seeded No.1, is drawn for a semi-final match-up with third seed Roger Federer, the seven-time champion he beat in the past two finals at the All England Club.

The 29-year-old, the first man to win the year’s first two grand slams since Jim Courier in 1992, could face a tricky path though with big-serving Canadian No.6 seed Milos Raonic looming in the quarter-finals.

Federer, who missed the French Open through injury after contesting 65 consecutive majors, plays Argentina’s Guido Pella in the first round.

Second seed Andy Murray faces an all-British first round against wildcard Liam Broady.

Fourth seed Stan Wawrinka, Murray’s prospective semi-final opponent, begins against American teenager Taylor Fritz.

Djokovic is bidding to become the first man to sweep all four majors in the same season since Australian great Rod Laver in 1969.

In the women’s draw, American veteran Williams, stuck on 21 grand slam singles titles since beating Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in last year’s final, could face Italian Roberta Vinci in the last eight.

Vinci ended Williams’ dream of winning the calendar-year slam at last year’s US Open.

Second seed Muguruza, fresh from winning the French Open, faces Italy’s Camila Giorgi in round one.

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