WIMBLEDON – The draw at Wimbledon is a painstaking process, marrying the modern technology of a giant screen to the somewhat tedious, one-by-one drawing of each player as announced by tournament referee Andrew Jarrett.
And with Genie Bouchard down near the bottom of the women's draw, as the No. 12 seed, it took awhile.
But in the end, she escaped with a qualifier as her first-round opponent, a 6-foot-1, 25-year-old Chinese player named Ying-Ying Duan. It will be the first meeting between the two.
As for Milos Raonic, seeded No. 7, he gets the same first-round matchup as he did at the Australian Open a year ago in Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain. That was the only time the two met; Raonic took care of him in four sets.
As for Vasek Pospisil, who comes into Wimbledon with a few question marks surround his back, the unseeded Canadian escaped every worst-case scenario. He could have played anyone – including Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer or even Raonic; instead, he drew lefty French qualifier Vincent Millot.
Millot is a 29-year-old ranked outside the top 200, who did well just to qualify. Pospisil has played him twice at the minor-level, both in Canada, and defeated him in straight sets both times.
Raonic's section of the draw contains a lot of tough players; his first projected seeded opponent would be No. 26 Nick Kyrgios. Raonic defeated Kyrgios a year ago at Wimbledon, under far different circumstances. The young Aussie was fresh off an upset of Rafael Nadal. But there are no big, dangerous servers other than himself; his projected fourth-round opponent would be No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, a player who has not been in great form. He's in French Open champion Stan Wawrinka's quarter of the draw.
For Bouchard, it might be dangerous to look past the first round, given her recent struggles. But let's do it anyway.
If form holds, she would meet Germany's Tatjana Maria in the second round and No. 12 seed Madison Keys in the third round. After that, possibly No. 8 Ekaterina Makarova or No. 25 Alizé Cornet, whom she defeated last year here after Cornet upset Serena Williams.
No. 2 seed Petra Kvitova, who memorably defeated Bouchard in last year's final, could loom as a potential round-of-16 opponent.
Pospisil, the defending men's doubles champion with Jack Sock, is in a pretty good section. His second-round opponent could be No. 30 seed Fabio Fognini, whose grass-court preparation has amounted to ... well, he hasn't played a tournament match since the French Open. After that could come No. 8 seed David Ferrer, whose grass-court prep was ... one match earlier this week, in which he lost to Marcos Baghdatis. Rafael Nadal, who jarringly is seeded No. 10, is a potential round-of-16 matchup.
But first things first; Raonic will play Monday, Pospisil and Bouchard on Tuesday.