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Kyrgios facing an uphill battle at Wimbledon

Tennis

Nick Kyrgios will have to do it the hard way if he's to progress to the second week of Wimbledon after missing an all-important top 16 seeding for the grasscourt grand slam starting on Monday.

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Australia’s top title hope has been seeded 20th in line with his world ranking, meaning he’ll be vulnerable at Friday’s draw in London.

A quarter-finalist on debut in 2014, Kyrgios has been bundled out in the fourth round the past two years.

But without top 16 protection, he could strike a higher-ranked opponent as early as the third round this year.

He will, though, avoid running into one of the game’s heavyweights including top-seeded titleholder Andy Murray or fellow multiple champions Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal until the round of 16.

Kyrgios hasn’t played since aggravating a hip injury in a tumble at the Queen’s Club last week.

The 21-year-old is due to make his return at The Boodles exhibition event later this week.

World No.1 Murray has top billing, with Djokovic and Federer both elevated above their rankings to second and third seeding respectively under the All England Club’s use of a formula taking into grasscourt form.

Nadal is the fourth seed in his quest to complete the third French Open-Wimbledon title double of his career.

Kyrgios is Australia’s only seed in the men’s draw after Bernard Tomic relinquished his status with a poor start to 2017.

Daria Gavrilova, Australia’s highest-ranked woman, has also been seeded 20th.

World No.1 Angelique Kerber is the women’s top seed ahead of Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova, all in order of their world rankings.

Defending champion Serena Williams’ absence through pregnancy, as well as that of injured former champion Maria Sharapova in her comeback from a doping ban, has thrown the women’s draw wide open.

-AAP

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