Wimbledon win would put Federer at No. 1

June 24, 2012 at 5:17 AM
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LONDON, June 22 (UPI) -- Roger Federer has a chance to regain the world No. 1 ranking with a record-tying seventh title at Wimbledon, where the draws were announced Friday.

The 2012 Wimbledon Championships begin Monday and conclude July 8 with the men's singles final.

Federer has six Wimbledon championships, one fewer than William Renshaw, who won seven times in the 1880s, and Pete Sampras, who won his from 1993-2000. Federer also has 285 weeks as the No. 1 player in the world, one week short of Sampras' record.

Federer can tie both of those records by winning at Wimbledon this year. Current world No. 1 Novak Djokovic can shut Federer out of that hope by advancing to a fifth consecutive Grand Slam final.

The men's singles pairings again place Djokovic and Federer in the same half of the draw, so Federer is in control of his own route to the top of the rankings.

Djokovic won at Wimbledon last year and opens his title defense against Juan Carlos Ferrero. Djokovic's quarterfinal opponent, if the tournament goes to form, would be sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych. Federer's highest seeded possible opponent in the quarters would be No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic. Albert Ramos is the first-round opponent for Federer.

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal, who defeated Djokovic in the French Open final earlier this month, tops of the other half of the draw. Nadal's first-round opponent will be Thomas Bellucci with fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga a possible quarterfinals match.

Andy Murray, the No. 4 seed, has a tough route to get to a potential semifinal versus Nadal. Murray, from Scotland, is Britain's best hope for a homegrown champion. He opens play against Nikolay Davydenko and also could see world No. 6 David Ferrer before Nadal.

Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray have claimed 22 of 24 semifinal spots over the last six major tournaments and both finals berths in the last seven. Either Djokovic or Nadal has won each Grand Slam event since the 2010 Australian Open (Federer).

Djokovic defeated Nadal 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 in the 2011 Wimbledon final.

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