LONDON: Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are on course for a Wimbledon final showdown after being confirmed as the top two seeds for the grass-court Grand Slam.
World number one Djokovic and second ranked Murray will be seeded in those positions, All England Club officials announced on Wednesday, meaning they can’t meet until the final as they will be placed at opposite ends of Friday’s draw.
Djokovic is bidding to win Wimbledon for the fourth time and third year in a row as the Serb chases a rare calendar Grand Slam.
Murray is aiming to win his third Grand Slam title and his first since he beat Djokovic in the 2013 Wimbledon final to become the first British male singles champion at the All England Club for 77 years.
The Scot has lost 13 of his last 15 matches against Djokovic, including this year’s Australian and French Open finals, but he has won their last two meetings on grass and is in fine form after lifting the Queen’s Club title for a record fifth time last week.
If the world’s top two make the Wimbledon title match it would be a record-equalling eighth Grand Slam final between them.
Djokovic has defeated Roger Federer in the last two Wimbledon finals and the Swiss legend will be seeded third in his bid for a record eighth Wimbledon title.
Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam winner, hasn’t won a major title since lifting the Wimbledon trophy in 2012 and has endured an injury-plagued year that saw him miss the French Open.
Federer’s compatriot Stan Wawrinka is seeded fourth and Japan’s Kei Nishikori is the fifth seed.
World number 10 Richard Gasquet has been moved up to the seventh seeding after reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals last year, while 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic is lifted from a world ranking of 13 to a seeding of ninth.
Defending champion Serena Williams will be top seed in the women’s draw as the American looks to equal Steffi Graf’s Open era record by sealing a 22nd Grand Slam triumph.
Serena, who has won Wimbledon six times, has failed at the last hurdle in her last two major tournaments, enduring surprise defeats at the Australian and French Open finals this year.
The world number one’s conqueror at Roland Garros, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, is seeded second with Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, the 2012 Wimbledon runner-up, named as the third seed.
Johanna Konta is the first British female to be seeded at Wimbledon since Jo Durie in 1984.
The 25-year-old’s ranking has shot up from 146th to 18th and she was named as the 17th seed following her shock run to the Australian Open semi-finals in January.
Seedings at Wimbledon, which starts on Monday, are determined using a combination of a player’s ranking points and their results in grass-court matches.