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Wimbledon 2021: Andy Murray draws Nikoloz Basilashvili in first round

The two-time champion faces the Georgian who is ranked 28th in the world in the opening round; fellow British wildcard Jack Draper will make his Wimbledon debut against the defending champion Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray in action against Benoit Paire during day two of the cinch Championships at The Queen's Club, London. Picture date: Tuesday June 15, 2021.
Image: Andy Murray made his return to a grass court at the recent cinch Championships at the Queen's Club

Andy Murray will start his 2021 Wimbledon Championships against the 24th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili, while Jack Draper will make his SW19 debut against the defending champion, Novak Djokovic.

Murray, the two-time champion, who recently made his return to a grass court at the Queen's Club, avoided any of the top seeds for his first singles match at Wimbledon since 2017, however, Draper did not enjoy the same luck.

The promising British teenager will encounter Djokovic, who is going for a third consecutive Grand Slam title when he takes to Centre Court next week.

The British No 1 Dan Evans, who is seeded 22nd, faces a challenging opener against the experienced grass-court campaigner Feliciano Lopez.

Sixth seed Roger Federer, who has been drawn in the opposite half to Djokovic, opens against another experienced grass-court player in France's Adrian Mannarino.

Cameron Norrie, who has been seeded for the first time at a Grand Slam after his stunning start to 2021, takes on Frenchman Lucas Pouille.

First meeting for Murray and Basilashvili

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Andy Murray says he will approach this year's Wimbledon as though it is his last, although he plans to play more tournaments as long as his body can cope

Murray's first singles match at Wimbledon since 2017 will be stepping into the unknown slightly, as he hjas never faced Basilashvili before.

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His 29-year-old Georgian opponent is not an easy one, as Basilashvili has won two titles in 2021 and reached the semi-finals of the grass-court event in Halle last week.

If Murray is successful, then he would meet a qualifier in the second round; either world 154 Oscar Otte or Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech, who is ranked 119 in the world.

Still striving to get back to where he was before his hip operation and multiple injuries, this could be Murray's last Wimbledon Championships - but he told Sky Sports that he hopes it is not.

"To me it's not so much about me worrying about it being my last one, it's just something that I think about.

"I've had so many injuries and so many setbacks you just don't really know what's round the corner. I want to approach each tournament and each match that I play like it's my last one so that I can get the most out of it."

Jack Draper had reached the quarter-finals in just his second ATP Tour level tournament (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
Image: Jack Draper reached the quarter-finals at the Queen's Club in just his second ATP Tour level tournament

For Draper, who reached the junior final at the All England Club three years ago, the challenge of taking on Djokovic is an outstanding one.

At the recent cinch Championships, the teenager showed he has the game to enjoy himself on grass, and he used it to become the youngest Brit to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP Tour tournament since Murray back in 2006.

However, the 19-year-old will be coming up against a focused Djokovic, who is not shying away from wanting to win a 20th Grand Slam title and draw level with both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the all-time rankings.

"I don't have an issue to say that I'm going for the title in Wimbledon," Djokovic said, while still in Paris at the recent French Open.

"I've had a great success in the past couple of Wimbledon seasons that were played. I won in 2018 and 2019 there. Hopefully I can keep that run going.

"Everything is possible… I've achieved some things that a lot of people thought it would be not possible for me to achieve."

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