The bad news for Murray is that his route to the final is strewn with major challenges – he could have to get past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer before a potential meeting with Djokovic in the final.
And Murray might have hoped for an easier first round opponent than Kukushkin, 27, who is ranked 58 in the world. On his good days, he is very good, and he pushed Gael Monfils hard in Halle last week. The pair have met twice before, Murray winning both matches.??
Djokovic could hardly have had a worse first round draw. He will play the experienced and in-form German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who was within two points of beating Federer in Halle last week and who is one of the finest grass court players around.
Former champion Leyton Hewitt ??? playing his final Wimbledon ??? could be Djokovic???s second round opponent. But Djokovic can otherwise have few complaints about his draw – Federer, Murray and Nadal are all in the other half, whilst French Open champion Stan Wawrinka, the fourth seed, is not nearly as dangerous on grass as he is on clay.??
Nadal, who is having a tough 2015, will face the Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, the world No 41. Federer faces Bosnia’s world No 81 Damir Dzumhur.
If the seedings work, the last 16 would see Djokovic face Kevin Anderson of South Africa, US Open champion Marin Cilic against Kei Nishikori, French Open champion Stan Wawrinka facing big-hitting Belgian David Goffin and Grigor Dimitrov taking on Milos Raonic.
In the bottom half, seven-time champion and second seed Federer could face Feliciano Lopez, Tomas Berdych would meet Gilles Simon, 2013 winner Murray could play Tsonga with two-time champion Nadal up against compatriot David Ferrer.
British hopeful James Ward will fancy his chances of an upset ??? he takes on eighth seed Ferrer who was beaten in the first round at Nottingham this week and has never made a big impact on grass. Fellow Brit Liam Brody will play the combustible Australian Marinko Matosovic.
On the women’s side, Britain’s Johanna Konta has been given a plum draw ??? probably on Centre Court ?????against former champion Maria Sharapova. British No 1 Heather Watson also has a tough first round match with the up-and-coming Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, the 32nd seed.
But wildcard Laura Robson will fancy her chances against Russian Evgeniya Rodina, the world No 101, as will Naomi Broady who plays Colombia’s Mariana Duque-Marino, the world No 99.
World No 1 Serena Williams will take on the world No 113 Margarita Gasparyan of Russia, and could meet sister Venus in the last 16.
Williams, who is bidding to hold all four majors at the same time for the second time in her career ?????’the Serena Slam’ ??? has been drawn to face Sharapova in the semi-final.
That’s bad news for the Russian, who has won just two of her 19 matches against the American, the last of them in the 2004 Wimbledon final.
Second seed and defending champion Petra Kvitova, who faces Kiki Bertens first up, would potentially meet Simona Halep in the semi-finals.