18 Jun 2011

Nadal and Federer face potential Wimbledon final showdown

7:12 am on 18 June 2011

The tennis world number one Rafael Nadal will open the defence of his Wimbledon title against American Michael Russell and has been drawn in the other half of the draw to Roger Federer, raising the possibility of another final between the great rivals.

The six-times champion Federer, the third seed, starts his campaign against Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin, and has been drawn in the same half as world number two Novak Djokovic whose

41-match winning streak was broken by the Swiss maestro this month.

The Serb could face Federer in the last four, weeks after the former world number one beat him in the French Open semi-finals to inflict his first defeat of the year.

Had Djokovic won that match, he would have ousted Nadal from the number one spot but instead the Spaniard arrives at the All England Club with his top ranking in tact as he seeks a third Wimbledon crown.

Djokovic takes on France's Jeremy Chardy in the first round, while Nadal's potential semi-final opponent Andy Murray opens his campaign against Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver.

Home favourite Murray, the fourth seed, warmed up for the tournament with victory at the Queen's Club grasscourt event, heightening public expectations of a first British men's grand slam champion since 1936.

The first-round limelight could be stolen by American John Isner and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, who have been drawn against each other a year after their epic 11-hour battle in the same round, the longest ever tennis match.