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Roger Federer beat Marin Cilic in last year's Wimbledon final. Will the Swiss capture his ninth crown at The Championships in 2018?

Federer, Cilic In Same Half At Wimbledon; Nadal In Loaded Section

Dimitrov vs. Wawrinka in first round; Federer could meet Halle conqueror in fourth round

Defending champion Roger Federer has been drawn in the same half of The Championships draw as Marin Cilic, the player he beat in last year’s Wimbledon final. Three-time former champion Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, the 2013 and 2016 titlist, are in the bottom of the 128-man Wimbledon draw with World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro.

The draw ceremony, held at the All England Club on Friday morning, has also thrown out intriguing first-round matches. Early popcorn matches include, 2014 and 2015 quarter-finalist Stan Wawrinka against sixth seed and 2014 semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov and an all-French clash between Gael Monfils and two-time former semi-finalist Richard Gasquet. Borna Coric will face Daniil Medvedev in the opening round, while in-form London-based Jeremy Chardy plays No. 26 seed Denis Shapovalov.

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If Nadal, who plays Dudi Sela in the first round, is to complete the Roland Garros-Wimbledon title double for the third time (2008, 2010), the Spanish icon may need to work his way past Murray or 2013 semi-finalist Del Potro in the quarter-finals, followed by potentially one of fourth seed Alexander Zverev, No. 12 seed Djokovic or No. 15 seed Nick Kyrgios in the semi-finals. Nadal lost to Gilles Muller – who is in Federer’s top quarter of the draw – in last year’s fourth round.

Potential Popcorn Matches
Third Round: Andy Murray vs. Juan Martin del Potro
Third Round: Marin Cilic vs. Milos Raonic
Third Round: Grigor Dimitrov vs. John Isner
Third Round: Alexander Zverev vs. Nick Kyrgios
Fourth Round: Roger Federer vs. Borna Coric

Federer, the top seed, who will be looking to add to his 20 Grand Slam championship crowns, competes at the All England Club for the 20th year. With a 92-11 record at the grass-court major, the Swiss superstar will open his campaign for a ninth trophy against Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic. He may have a chance to avenge his Gerry Weber Open final loss to Coric in the fourth round. Should he reach the quarter-finals, Federer could then face eighth seed Kevin Anderson or last year’s semi-finalist and No. 11 seed Sam Querrey.

Djokovic, the 2011 and 2014-15 winner (58-10 record at Wimbledon), who finished runner-up to Marin Cilic at last week’s Fever-Tree Championships – representing his first ATP World Tour final for 12 months – will face American Tennys Sandgren in the first round and could meet No. 21 seed Kyle Edmund in the third round. Seventh seed Dominic Thiem, who opens against Marcos Baghdatis and in the same quarter, is a potential fourth-round opponent. The Serbian may then meet fourth seed Alexander Zverev, who advanced to the Last 16 in 2017, in the quarter-finals.

Murray, who started his comeback from hip surgery at The Queen’s Club last week, plays Benoit Paire in the first round. The 2013 and 2016 champion, with a 57-10 record at SW19, features in the same section as Del Potro and Nadal. But Murray will need to beat Chardy or Shapovalov in the second round prior to playing Del Potro, who begins his campaign against Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk.

Third seed Cilic, in the top half, is in the same quarter of the draw as Milos Raonic, the 2016 runner-up, ninth seed John Isner, Wawrinka and Dimitrov. Cilic, who is 27-11 lifetime at Wimbledon, opens his bid against Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan, while No. 13 Raonic plays British wild card Liam Broady.

Zverev, who reached his first major championship quarter-final at Roland Garros recently, starts against Australia's James Duckworth. Kyrgios, the No. 15 seed, challenges Denis Istomin, with a potential third-round clash against No. 24 seed Kei Nishikori, who begins against qualifier Christian Harrison.

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