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2012 Wimbledon Championships: Tournament Preview Shows Tough Path For Djokovic

The 2012 Wimbledon Championships begin Monday, with Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic as the No. 1 seeds of the Ladies' and Gentlemen's draws. New Jersey's own Christina McHale is representing the area in the tournament.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  A general view of the outside courts during previews to The Championships at Wimbledon on June 23, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23: A general view of the outside courts during previews to The Championships at Wimbledon on June 23, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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The 2012 Wimbledon Tennis Championships begin on Monday, June 25, and it looks to be a great year. Some big time players are at the top of their game, while other former heavyweights are trying to make a last attempt at a big win. Both the Ladies' and Gentlemen's draws feature interesting matchups in the early rounds and could easily see some classic pairings develop.

On the Ladies' side, Maria Sharapova is the No. 1 seed and will face Anastasia Rodionova in Round 1. Sharapova is coming off her French Open victory, her fourth Grand Slam title. It was four years between her third and fourth Grand Slam titles, and she's looking for a much shorter wait between number four and number five.

Kim Clijsters is unseeded in the tournament, but the veteran could easily be a bracket buster. The former world No. 1 has won three of the last seven Grand Slams she's entered and says this will be her last Wimbledon. She faces No. 18 seeded Jelena Jankovic in the opening round. Venus Williams is another unranked player who could cause a major upset. If she can make it past Elena Vesnina in the opening round she's likely to see No. 3 seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in Round 2.

New Jersey native Christina McHale is representing the area at Wimbledon, and the No. 28 seed will face Johanna Konta in the first round. This is McHale's second Wimbledon Championship; she entered the 2011 tournament in the Ladies' Singles and Doubles events, losing in the second round of singles and third round of doubles.

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer are the top seeds in the Gentleman's draw, and all three are expected to play deep into the tournament. Of the three, Djokovic has the most challenging route. In the first round he faces Juan Carlos Ferrero, a former wold No. 1 and two time Wimbledon quarter finalist. A likely second round matchup is young and hungry American Ryan Harrison, and if he makes it past those two he is likely to face Tomas Berdych, who is always a threat on the grass.

Also on the Gentleman's side, the window may be closing for No. 30 seed Andy Roddick to win one more Grand Slam title. This year at Wimbledon may be his best shot, as his draw put the him in No. 4 seed Andy Murray's bracket, avoiding Djokovic, Nadal and Federer. Roddick faces unranked Jamie Baker in Round 1.

A link to a complete tournament bracket can be found at the official Wimbledon site.

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