The draw for the 2008 Stella Artois Championships at Queens club has been made and Andy Murray has been given a tough draw for his first grass court tournament in almost 2 years.
As one of the top 8 seeds he gets an automatic bye into round 2, after that he faces likely challenges from French Veteran Sebastien Grosjean in round 2, 12th seed Seppi in round three. After that the draw turns ugly for Murray, as a likely path to victory he would need to overcome Andy Roddick in the Quarters, Rafael Nadal in the semis and Novak Djokovic in the Final.
Andy Roddick is a four time Queens Club Champion and 2 time Wimbledon finalist, though who can forget that Andy Murray beat Roddick on their only meeting on Grass, in 2006 Wimbledon, the last Grass tournament Murray played. Murray leads the head to head 4-2, so should feel confident if they meet.
Rafael Nadal, the world number and virtually unbeatable on Clay, has proven he his a force on grass as well, this week Bjorn Borg tipped Nadal to win Wimbledon after reaching the Wimbledon final last year only to lose narrowly to Grass court Supremo Roger Federer. Andy Murray has never beaten Nadal on their 3 previous matches, but have never met on grass.
World number 3, Djokovic is easily the player of the year so far, winning the first of the grand slams in Melbourne, as yet he has proven he can transfer his hard court and clay court skills to the green stuff. Andy Murray is good friends with Djokovic off court, but the Scot has yet to record a victory over the Serb who has won their previous 4 meetings. In fact Murray has been convincingly beaten on the last three matches, only winning 10 games across those three matches.
Other players to look out for include former champ Leyton Hewitt and the two big serving Ivo Karlvic and Mario Ancic. Ancic has been out with serious ilness over the last year, so dont be fooled with his low ranking, many have tipped him to make a big impact at Wimbledon this year.
The full draw is
|(WC)Jonas Bjorkman||Vs||Igor Kunitsyn||/||\|
|Alejandro Falla||Vs||Kei Nishikori||\||—–||/||\|
|Olivier Patience||Vs||(16)Sam Querrey||/|
|(10)Fernando Gonzalez||Vs||(Q)Richard Bloomfield||\||—–||—–||/||\|
|Marat Safin||Vs||(Q)James Ward||/||\|
|(WC)Alex Bogdanovic||Vs||(Q)Joseph Sirianni||\||—–||/|
|Robby Ginepri||Vs||Vince Spadea||/||\|
|Chris Guccione||Vs||Yen-Hsun Lu||\||—–||/||\|
|Edouard Roger-Vasselin||Vs||(15)Mardy Fish||/|
|(12)Andreas Seppi||Vs||Arnaud Clement||\||—–||—–||/|
|Kristof Vliegen||Vs||Ernests Gulbis||/||\|
|Sebastien Grosjean||Vs||(Q)Rik de Voest||\||—–||/|
|Frank Dancevic||Vs||Simone Bolleli||/||\|
|Nicolas Lapentti||Vs||Mario Ancic||\||—–||/||\|
|Hyung-Taik Lee||Vs||(9)Fernando Verdasco||/|
|(14)Feliciano Lopez||Vs||Nicolas Mahut||\||—–||—–||/||\|
|Kevin Anderson||Vs||John Isner||/||\|
|Dudi Sela||Vs||Viktor Troicki||\||—–||/|
|Marin Cilic||Vs||Jurgen Melzer||/||\|
|(WC)Dan Evans||Vs||(WC)Xavier Malisse||\||—–||/||\|
|(WC)Josh Goodall||Vs||(11)Lleyton Hewitt||/|
|(13)Janko Tipsarevic||Vs||Ivan Navarro||\||—–||—–||/|
|Bobby Reynolds||Vs||Ivo Minar||/||\|
|Flavio Cipolla||Vs||Roko Karanusic||\||—–||/|