Federer, Nadal could meet in Wimbledon quarterfinals

June 21, 2013 at 9:31 AM
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LONDON, June 21 (UPI) -- Defending Wimbledon champion Roger Federer and French Open winner Rafael Nadal could face off in the quarterfinals of this year's Wimbledon Championships.

Leaving Nadal, who is having a phenomenal year with nine tournament appearances resulting in seven titles and two runner-up finishes, seeded fifth set up the possibility of the Spaniard having to meet all of the other Big Four players in men's tennis this year if he is to win a third Wimbledon title.

Of course, as the draw developed, the same fate fell to the third-seeded Federer. If the tournament plays to form he would see Nadal in the quarters while second-seeded Andy Murray is the highest seed in their half of the draw.

It also means world No. 1 Novak Djokovic goes against, at most, one of the other marquee players in men's tennis. He could play fourth-seeded David Ferrer in the semifinals. No. 7-seeded Tomas Berdych is in Djokovic's quarter of the draw and eighth-seeded Juan Martin del Porto is in Ferrer's.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, at No. 6 the other player in the top two tiers of the seedings, is a potential quarterfinalist against Murray.

The dominance of Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Nadal in major tournaments shows the difficult path for Federer and Nadal. Since the 2005 French Open, those four players have combined for 31 of the 32 major tournament championships. Del Potro winning the 2009 U.S. Open was the only blip.

Further, the top quartet has taken both finals spots 20 times in those 32 tournaments. That includes the last 10 Grand Slam events through the 2013 French Open, which Nadal won. Over that span, all four of those players advanced to the semifinals four times and three of them were in the semis another four times.

Federer claimed his record 17th major tournament title and seventh Wimbledon championship last year in beating Murray in the final. Nadal has 12 Grand Slam wins, including Wimbledon in 2008 and '10. Djokovic has six, with the 2011 Wimbledon title among them. Murray has one major tournament win, taking the 2012 U.S. Open. He was the runner-up at Wimbledon last year and the Australian Open this year.

The 127th Wimbledon Championships begin Monday and are scheduled to end July 7 with the men's singles final.

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