On the eve of the tournament, Wimbledon has lost one of its top seeds in the men's draw. David Ferrer has had to withdraw from playing in this year’s championship. The number 8 seed is unable to take his place in the starting line-up after a wrist injury has forced him to pull out. His absence may improve the fortunes of the remaining players.

The Spaniard lost in the second round last year but reached the quarter finals in both 2012 and 2013. He has been replaced in the draw by lucky loser Luca Vanni, from Italy.

Boost for the Brits?

The news of Ferrer’s withdrawal will prove to be a fillip for Britain’s James Ward, who was due to meet him in the first round. Despite having most success in the French Open where he was runner-up in 2013, the 33-year old Spaniard will always prove a tough competitor and he would have been an odds-on favourite to beat Ward. The Briton will now fancy his chances against the Italian qualifier.

Had matches gone to form, Ferrer would have been scheduled to meet Rafael Nadal in the fourth round with the winner of that match potentially facing Andy Murray in the quarter-finals. With Nadal yet to reach top form since his return from injury, Murray will know that he now won’t have to face one of his most dangerous opponents.

Tough route to the final

Murray knows however that he needs to focus on each game as it comes and not take anything for granted.

Despite Ferrer’s absence, he still faces a daunting trip to the final. Should he get past world number 58, Mikhail Kukushkin and manages to successfully navigate the first week, the big games will come thick and fast.

In the fourth round he could face Jo Wilfred Tsonga, followed by Nadal in the quarters. Seven-time champion and second seed, Roger Federer, could be his semi-final opponent and should he overcome that challenge, Novak Djokovic may be his final opponent.

In order for Murray to retain the title he last won in 2013, he would therefore have to beat the world number one for the first time in nine attempts. If he is to prevail at the All England Club, he will have to beat the world’s best players. He will have to do it the hard way, but no-one says that being a Wimbledon champion is easy.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more