Djokovic, Williams eye history as Wimbledon pairings are set

If Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are matched up at Wimbledon face each other at Wimbledon, it will be in the championship. The top-seeded Djokovic and sixth-seeded Federer are on opposite sides of the bracket.

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June 25, 2021 - 2:04 PM

Roger Federer hits a return during a second-round match against Lukas Lacko of Slovakia at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London in 2019. Guo Qiuda/Xinhua/Zuma Press/TNS

Defending champion Novak Djokovic and eight-time titlist Roger Federer were placed on opposite halves of the Wimbledon bracket in Friday’s draw, meaning they only could meet in the final — which would be a rematch of their epic 2019 title showdown.

The reigning women’s champion, No. 3-ranked Simona Halep, pulled out of the field just before the draw began, citing a torn left calf that also forced her to sit out the French Open. That means two of the top three players in the WTA rankings are missing from the field; No. 2 Naomi Osaka withdrew last week.

“I can honestly say that I’m really down and upset about having to take this decision. This period has been difficult but to miss the last two Majors has made it even more challenging mentally and physically,” Halep wrote in a posting on social media. “We will see what the future holds but I’m hoping it will make me a stronger person and athlete.”

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