sport

Tomljanovic test for Watson

Heather Watson, Britain’s highest ranked women's tennis player, faces a tough but winnable opening match at Wimbledon next week, after being drawn against Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic.

The world No 70 from Guernsey is currently enjoying a lucrative week at Eastbourne and will fancy her chances against a player ranked 18 places above her in the ranking.

And should Watson progress to the second round, she could face the No 9 seeded German Angelique Kerber.

Another Briton, wild card Samantha Murray, has been handed a tough assignment in the shape of former champion Maria Sharapova.

The 26-year-old Murray, the world No 242, will probably be asked to display her talents on one of the two main show courts in her clash with the five-time Grand Slam champion who won the French Open earlier this month.

And Murray, from Stockport, admitted: "When I first heard the draw I was a bit shocked but I just see it as a great opportunity to play someone of her calibre.

"I've never played anybody in Sharapova's league before. The highest ranked opponent I've ever had has been around the 50 mark.

"I'm under no illusion that this is the biggest match of my life but this is the kind of thing you dream of.

"I've played at Wimbledon before so hopefully the experience will help me.

"Last year it took me a little while to get used to everything but this year I know how everything works so I'm a lot more relaxed which is key.

"Regardless as to who I'm playing in the first round, I've wanted to play here since a little kid and to be able to play on a show court is the icing on the cake."

Defending

Top seed Serena Williams opens against fellow American Anna Tatishvili, the world No 114.

Williams and Sharapova, who are likely to be the top two market leaders with the bookies, are in the same section of the draw and could meet at the quarter-final stage.

In the bottom half, the top four seeds are Li Na (2), Agnieszka Radwanska (4), Petra Kvitova (6) and Victoria Azarenka (8).

And with defending champion Marion Bartoli now retired, the honour of opening on Centre Court next Tuesday goes to last year's runner-up Sabine Lisicki whose opponent is Israeli Julia Glushko - ranked No 82.

As for other Britons in the draw, Johanna Konta takes on China's world No 60 Shuai Peng, while wild card entrant Tara Moore faces former Wimbledon runner-up Vera Zvonareva.