As he has six previous times, Roger Federer will open Wimbledon on Monday as the defending champion, stepping onto Centre Court for the first match of what he hopes will be another two-week stay at the All England Club.
It's an honor reserved for the men's titleholder. That scheduling perk is also where any hint of preferential treatment for Federer comes to a halt. Because of the way the draw came out, Federer could have to defeat Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray before even getting to the final.
"I'm ready for the challenge," Federer said. "I like tough draws. I don't shy away from them."
Federer's quest for a record eighth Wimbledon title begins against Victor Hanescu of Romania.
Murray also plays Monday, wrapping up the day's action on Centre Court against Germany's Benjamin Becker. Nadal, who comes in with a stretch of nine straight appearances in tournament finals since returning from his knee injury, faces Belgium's Steve Darcis on Court 1.
Sitting back watching it all will ...