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Federer Faces Tough Start at Wimbledon

Updated:
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) _ Three-time defending champion Roger Federer faces a grass-court rematch against Richard Gasquet in the first round Monday at Wimbledon.

And four-time Wimbledon semifinalist Tim Henman looms as a potential second-round opponent.

Federer edged Gasquet in the second round last week at Halle, Germany, 7-6 (7), 6-7 (7), 6-4, then went on to win the tournament for the fourth year in a row. If he beats Gasquet again, Federer would break the record of 41 consecutive grass-court victories he shares with Bjorn Borg.

The draw held Friday at the All England Club pitted Henman against Robin Soderling in the opening round. Henman is unseeded for the first time in 10 years because his ranking has fallen to 62nd.

No. 2-seeded Rafael Nadal faces a potential third-round match against No. 25 Andre Agassi, playing at Wimbledon for the first time in three years. Agassi, who has played only one match since mid-March because of a back injury, drew as a first-round opponent Boris Pashanski, ranked 69th and making his Wimbledon debut.

Defending women's champion Venus Williams, seeded sixth, will open against fellow American Bethanie Mattek. No. 12-seeded Martina Hingis, who won the tournament at 16 in 1997, will play her first match at Wimbledon since 2001 when she faces Olga Savchuk.

Andy Roddick, runner-up to Federer the past two years, faces a tough path to another final. Potential obstacles include big-serving Scotsman Andy Murray in the third round, two-time semifinalist Sebastien Grosjean in the fourth round and 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt in the quarterfinals.

One bit of good news for Roddick: He won't have to worry about Federer until the final. Seeded third, Roddick opens against Janko Tipsarevic.

Robby Ginepri, seeded 17th, faces Mardy Fish in an all-American first-round match. Two-time Grand Slam champion Marat Safin plays Greg Rusedski, appearing at Wimbledon for the 14th time.

On the women's side, No. 2 Kim Clijsters drew a tough first-round opponent in Vera Zvonareva, who won her first title in 16 months last week on grass at Birmingham, England. Top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo opens against qualifier Ivana Abramovic.

Nadia Petrova, who had been seeded fifth, withdrew because of a groin injury. She was replaced in the draw by Julia Vakulenko, a loser in qualifying.
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