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Rediff.com  » Sports » Champion Federer draws familiar foe Falla

Champion Federer draws familiar foe Falla

June 18, 2010 17:19 IST

Roger FedererDefending champion Roger Federer was paired with familiar foe Alejandro Falla when the draw for next week's Wimbledon championships was made at the All England Club on Friday.

Women's holder Serena Williams will face Portugal's Michelle Larcher di Brito.

The unfortunate Falla will be up against the 16-times Grand Slam champion for the third time in consecutive tournaments, having lost to him in the second round of the French Open and at last week's grasscourt warm-up in Halle.

Federer, bidding to equal Pete Sampras's modern era record of seven Wimbledon titles, is top seed despite losing the world number one ranking to Rafael Nadal. His first tough test could be a third round clash with Spain's Tommy Robredo.

The Swiss is in the same half as Novak Djokovic and 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt of Australia who beat Federer in the Halle final last Sunday.

Nadal, who won the title on his last visit in 2008, returns with a first round against Japanese wildcard Kei Nishikori but potential danger lurks in round three in the form of Latvia's Ernests Gulbis.

Third seed Djokovic faces a tricky first round against Belgium's Olivier Rochus while fourth seed Andy Murray, one of just two British men in the main draw, begins against experienced Jan Hajek.

Andy Roddick, beaten by Federer in last year's epic final, faces fellow American Rajeev Ram.

Three-times champion Serena Williams will be wary of Portugal's Larcher di Brito, who has caused a stir at the All England Club before because of the ear-splitting noise she makes when hitting the ball.

Serena is seeded to meet older sister Venus again in the final although she has a tough looking draw with a prospective second round against either Anna Chakvetadze or powerful German Andrea Petkovic.

Venus, who celebrated her 30th birthday on Thursday, begins her quest for a sixth Wimbledon title against Rosana de los Rios. Fourth seed Jelena Jankovic faces a nervy start against British teenager Laura Robson while third seed Caroline Wozniacki plays Tathiana Garbin.

US Open champion Kim Clijsters, back at Wimbledon for the first time since 2006 after coming out of retirement last year, has been drawn against Maria Elena Camerin.

Fellow-Belgian Justine Henin, also back after a retirement U-turn, faces Anastasia Sevastova of Latvia.

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