Wimbledon draw serves up all-British opener as Andy Murray to take on wild card Ryan Peniston

Andy Murray practices on Centre Court at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon
Andy Murray practices on Centre Court. Credit: PA

The Wimbledon draw has served up an all-British opener with two-time winner Andy Murray to face wild card Ryan Peniston in the first round of the Championships.

The former British no 1 and three-time Grand Slam winner, who almost retired in 2019 with a hip injury, dodged a seed in the first round and will be heavily favoured to beat Peniston, who is ranked 267.

The last - and only other time - Murray played a fellow Brit at the All England Club, he went on to claim his second title at SW19.

But whoever makes it through to the second round will face either fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas or former US Open champion Dominic Thiem.

Elsewhere, British debutant 20-year-old Arthur Fery will play Russian third seed, Daniil Medvedev, while George Loffhagen, 22, meets sixth seed Holger Rune.

British number one Cameron Norrie will open against Czech qualifier Tomas Machac as he as he hopes to emulate - or better - last year’s run to the semi-finals.

Novak Djokovic greets Andy Murray on Centre Court on Thursday. Credit: PA

He is seeded to meet talented young American Sebastian Korda, who he lost to at Queen’s Club last week, in the third round, while he is in the same section as Murray and Tsitsipas.

As the top two seeds, heavy favourites Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz cannot meet until the final.

Djokovic, who is bidding to equal two major records with his eighth Wimbledon title and 24th grand slam trophy, opens against Argentina’s Pedro Cachin and should be happy with his draw.

Nick Kyrgios is scheduled in Djokovic's quarter of the draw a year on from their meeting in the 2022's men's final, but there are major question marks over his fitness, with the Australian having only played one match this year following knee surgery.

Alcaraz, who is yet to go beyond the fourth round but showed his quick progression on grass by winning at Queen’s, will face veteran Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in his opening match.

Dan Evans, who is seeded 27th, faces France’s Quentin Halys first up while British wild cards Liam Broady and Jan Choinski meet Constant Lestienne and Dusan Lajovic, respectively.

Venus Williams practices on the grass courts at the All England Club. Credit: Pa

The women’s draw saw a host of strong grass-court performers, including defending champion Elena Rybakina, last year’s runner-up Ons Jabeur and second seed Aryna Sabalenka, placed in the bottom half.

British number one Katie Boulter, 26, has been drawn against Australian Daria Saville, who is coming back from knee surgery, but could play Rybakina in the third round if she makes it through.

Top seed Iga Swiatek will play China’s Zhu Lin on Monday and faces a race to be fit after pulling out of her scheduled semi-final in Bad Homburg on Friday through illness.

Two standout draws saw two high-profile wild cards, 43-year-old Venus Williams and former world number three Elina Svitolina, paired together, while seventh seed Coco Gauff will play former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, who had to come through qualifying.

British no 1 Katie Boulter out practising on Friday. Credit: PA

Svitolina reached the quarter-finals of the French Open in her first grand slam tournament following the birth of daughter Skai in October.

Of the other British players, three drew seeds – Heather Watson, who reached the fourth round last year, plays former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, Katie Swan meets 14th seed Belinda Bencic and Sonay Kartal takes on 25th seed Madison Keys.

Harriet Dart and Jodie Burrage fared better – the former drawing France’s Diane Parry and the latter American Caty McNally.

Play begins at the All England Club on Monday.

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