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Federer and Venus get tricky Wimbledon draws
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 21 - 06 - 2008

Roger Federer will begin his quest for a sixth consecutive singles title at Wimbledon with a first-round match against experienced Slovak Dominik Hrbaty.
The Swiss, winner of his last 59 grasscourt matches, cannot come up against his French Open nemesis Rafael Nadal until the final although the sight of world number three Novak Djokovic in his half will be a worry for the 26-year-old.
Defending women's champion Venus Williams was paired with British wildcard Naomi Cavaday in Friday's draw at the All England Club, but the American faces a tough task should she make it through the first week.
The seventh seed, bidding for a fifth title at Wimbledon, is in the bottom half of the draw and could face a quarterfinal against second seed Jelena Jankovic and a prospective semifinal with world number three Maria Sharapova.
New world number one and women's top seed Ana Ivanovic will open her campaign against Rossana De Los Rios of Paraguay.
Federer has been handed a relatively tough draw with a potential second round against big-serving Swede Robin Soderling while Gael Monfils, who he beat in four sets in the French semifinals, lurking as a potential third-round opponent.
Lleyton Hewitt, the last man to win Wimbledon before Federer took over, and Chile's Fernando Gonzalez are also in Federer's quarter. Australian Hewitt faces Dutch youngster Robin Haase in the first round.
Nadal, who won his first grasscourt title at Queen's Club last week, plays world 123 Andreas Beck in the first round but things could get tougher in the second where he could face rising Latvian teenager Ernests Gulbis. Australian Open champion Djokovic plays Michael Berrer of Germany.
Twice runner-up Andy Roddick meets Argentine Eduardo Schwank while British number one Andy Murray plays French veteran Fabrice Santoro.
In the women's singles Jankovic plays Ukraine's Olga Savchuk while Sharapova, champion in 2004, takes on French qualifier Stephanie Foretz.
Sixth seed Serena Williams, who is in the top half of the draw, has a tricky start against Estonia's French Open quarterfinalist Kaia Kanepi. The Wimbledon fortnight begins on Monday.
Karlovic advances to final
In England, defending champion Ivo Karlovic beat Gael Monfils of France 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) on Friday to advance to the final of the Nottingham Open.
The fourth-seeded Karlovic will face No. 3 Fernando Verdasco of Spain, who beat Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-3, 6-1 at the grass-court Wimbledon warmup tournament.
Ferrer advances
In the Netherlands, top seed David Ferrer reached his first career final on grass in Den Bosch on Friday by defeating Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro 7-6, 6-1.
World number five Ferrer goes into Saturday's final against France's Marc Gicquel without dropping a set all week. Gicquel, 31, defeated seventh seed Guillermo Canas of Argentinia 3-6, 6-0, 6-4.
In the women's event, Russia's Dinara Safina once again got the better of compatriot and top seed Elena Dementieva with an easy 6-3, 6-2 victory. Safina now faces world number 85 Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand who disposed of Ukraine's Alona Bondarenko 6-2, 6-4.
Petrova in final
Nadia Petrova defeated Australia's Samantha Stosur 6-3, 6-3 Friday to reach the final of the Eastbourne International Women's Open. The Russian will next face Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat Marion Bartoli 7-5, 6

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