World number one Novak Djokovic to play British wildcard James Ward in Wimbledon first round

The Serbian world number one could face a semi-final with third seed and seven-time champion Roger Federer, who he beat to win the title last year

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 June, 2016, 5:48pm
UPDATED : Friday, 24 June, 2016, 6:38pm

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

The 29-year-old top-seeded Serb could face a semi-final with third seed and seven-time champion Roger Federer, who he beat in the last two finals at the All England Club.

Djokovic , the first man to win the year’s first two grand slams since Jim Courier in 1992, is bidding to become the first man to sweep all four majors in the same season since Australian great Rod Laver in 1969.

He could face a tricky path though with big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, seeded six, looming in the quarter-finals.

Federer, who missed the French Open through injury, plays Guido Pella in the first round, while 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.

Meanwhile, 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.

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 her dream of winning the calendar year slam at last year’s U.S. Open.

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