Roger Federer was handed a golden chance to replicate his Wimbledon triumph after Thursday’s draw for the Olympic tennis event put most of the biggest dangers in the other half.

World No 1 Federer, chasing a first singles gold medal, will take on Alejandro Falla of Colombia in round one when the event begins at Wimbledon on Saturday.

Frenchman Julien Benneteau, who led Federer by two sets to love in the third round at Wimbledon last month, is a potential second round opponent for the Swiss.

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, No. 3 Andy Murray, No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and No. 7 Tomas Berdych were all placed in the other half of the draw.

Fourth seed David Ferrer of Spain is the highest-ranked player in Federer’s half of the draw.

Britain’s Murray, who was beaten by Federer in the final at Wimbledon earlier this month, was handed a tough first round match against another Swiss, Stanislas Wawrinka.

Wawrinka is due to carry the flag for his country in the opening ceremony on Friday night and could face a quick turnaround.

In the women’s event, Wimbledon champion Serena Williams, seeded fourth but the favourite to win her first singles gold, will take on former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia.

The American was drawn in the top half and if the seedings go to plan, would face world No.1 Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals.

Second seed Agnieszka Radwanska, No.3 Sharapova and No.6 Petra Kvitova are all in the bottom half.

Former Olympic champion Venus Williams begins against Sara Errani, the Italian, who reached this year’s French Open final.


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