LONDON As he has six previous times, Roger Federer will begin Wimbledon on Monday as the defending champion. When he steps onto Centre Court he hopes it will be the start of another two-week stay at the All England Club.
It's an honor reserved for the men's titleholder. That scheduling perk is also where any hint of preferential treatment for Federer comes to a halt. Because of the way the draw came out, Federer could have to defeat Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray before even getting to the final.
Federer said Sunday he's "ready for the challenge" and he doesn't shy away from "tough draws."
His quest for a record eighth Wimbledon title begins against 47th-ranked Victor Hanescu of Romania.