Murray defends Wimbledon seeding

Congleton Guardian: Andy Murray, pictured, will begin his Wimbledon title defence against David Goffin Andy Murray, pictured, will begin his Wimbledon title defence against David Goffin

Andy Murray has defended Wimbledon's unique seeding system that will allow him to avoid top seed Novak Djokovic until the semi-finals.

Murray will start the defence of his Wimbledon title by facing 23-year-old Belgian David Goffin in the first round.

The double grand slam winner is Wimbledon's number-three seed despite being ranked fifth in the world.

That two-place advantage, owing to Wimbledon's grass record-weighted seedings, means he cannot face tournament favourite Djokovic until the last four - and second seed Rafael Nadal until the final.

"To be honest I think the way they do it is correct with the seedings," said Murray.

"Some people might say that because my seeding's obviously moved up but there are so few tournaments on grass now, that there are so few points up for grabs on the surface that it is in a way a specialist surface.

"Not many guys, some guys like (Tommy) Robredo for example will only play one tournament a year on grass.

"So I think it is relevant the way the players perform on it, in terms of the seedings and how deep guys can go in the event.

"So I like the way they do the seedings, it makes this period, for the guys that do well, it helps.

"Some people like it, some don't - but being seeded third is definitely better than being seeded fifth."

Murray has received a relatively kind draw, with a quarter-final against seventh seed David Ferrer or Queen's Club champion and 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov in the offing.

Djokovic will play world number 55 Andrey Golubev, the 26-year-old Kazakhstani a relatively tricky first-round proposition.

Seven-time champion Roger Federer will take on Paolo Lorenzi, the 32-year-old Italian ranked 81 in the world.

Brit James Ward will face 17th seed Mikhail Youzhny in a tough first-round pairing, the 31-year-old Russian ranked 16th in the world.

Dan Evans will play 23-year-old Russian Andrey Kuznetsov, currently rated world number 114, in a far more comfortable draw.

Kyle Edmund will come up against Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer, the world number 96.

Dan Smethurst drew ninth seed John Isner, the big-serving American ranked number 11 in the world, while Dan Cox will face France's world number 43 Jeremy Chardy.

In the ladies' draw, British hope Samantha Murray will take on reigning French Open champion and fifth seed Maria Sharapova, perhaps the most daunting match-up of the round.

Heather Watson faces a tough draw against Croatian world number 52 Ajla Tomljanovic, while Johanna Konta is up against China's Shuai Peng.

Wild card British entrant Tara Moore has drawn Russian Vera Zvonareva.

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