Wimbledon 2018: Andy Murray to play Benoit Paire in first round


London: Two-time champion Andy Murray has decided to play in the upcoming Wimbledon 2018 starting next week and will start his campaign against Frenchman Benoit Paire.

The 2013 and 2016 could subsequently meet 2016 boys’ champion Denis Shapovalov, No.5 seed Juan Martin del Potro and No.10 David Goffin.

Following his recent early exits from Queen’s Championships and Eastbourne tournament, the Brit had said he wasn’t fully sure if he would play at the All England Club.

Murray (31), who has played only three matches in the past year, made no prior announcement but his name featured in Friday’s draw.

British number one Kyle Edmund opens against Australia’s Alex Bolt.

In the women’s singles, Johanna Konta – who reached the semi-finals in 2017 – plays Natalia Vikhlyantseva.

Seven-time champion Serena Williams, who has been seeded 25th following her return from maternity leave, plays Arantxa Rus while 2017 Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza will face Britain’s Naomi Broady.

Fresh from his history-making 11th victory at the French Open, No.2 seed Rafael Nadal meets Dudi Sela in the first round, before possible encounters with Mikhail Kukushkin, Marco Cecchinato, Diego Schwartzman – the only man to take a set from Nadal in Paris – before a potentially mouth-watering quarter-final with Juan Martin del Potro.

Murray beat Paire in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon last year – his most recent Grand Slam appearance.

Paire, ranked 48th in the world, came within a point of beating Federer at the Halle Open last week.

If Murray does play and beats Paire, he would play either Canadian 26th seed Denis Shapovalov or another Frenchman, Jeremy Chardy, in the second round.

He could play Argentine fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro in the third round, while world number one Nadal is also in the same half of the draw.


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