2012 Wimbledon Championships Preview: Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova Head Into Wimbledon As No. 1 Seeds

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23: Rafael Nadal of Spain participates in a practice session on the outside courts during previews to The Championships at Wimbledon on June 23, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

The 2012 Wimbledon Tournament begins on Monday, and both the Ladies' and Gentlemen's draws have some great matchups. Representing the area in the tournament is Allentown, PA resident Varvara Lepchenko.

Monday brings us the opening of the 2012 Wimbledon Tennis Championships, and it looks to be an exciting year. As always, the tennis world's heavyweights will be bringing their top game, and there remains a good chance for some upsets. There are interesting first round matchups in both the Gentlemen's and Ladies draws, with potential for some interesting contests to develop.

Novak Djokovic is the No. 1 seed in the Gentlemen's draw, followed by Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray. Djokovic also has the toughest path to the finals. He faces former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero in the opening round, and if he makes it past him he's likely to see up-and-coming American Ryan Harrison in the second. A potential third round matchup is Tomas Berdych, who is a strong grass player.

No. 30 seed Andy Roddick received a favorable draw, landing in Andy Murray's bracket. Roddick is looking for one more Grand Slam title, but it remains to be seen if he has it in him. Avoiding Djokovic, Nadal and Federer in the early going will favor the tennis veteran. Roddick faces Jamie Baker in the opening round.

Maria Sharapova tops the seeding in the Ladies' draw. She's coming off her victory at the 2012 French Open, her fourth Grand Slam title. It was four years between her third win and her fourth, and she's looking to put a much shorter gap between numbers four and five. She faces Anastasia Rodionova in Round 1.

Elsewhere in the Ladies' draw both Kim Clijsters and Venus Williams are unranked. Clijsters is a former world No. 1, has won three of the seven Grand Slams she has entered, and says this will be her final Wimbledon Tournament. Her opening round matchup is No. 18 seed Jelena Jankovic. Williams faces Elena Vesnina in the opening round, and a victory there is likely to put her in a Round 2 matchup with No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, creating the potential for a big upset. The area's local representative in the tournament is Allentown, PA resident Varvara Lepchenko, who meets Australia's Patricia Mayr-Achleitner in the first round.

For more on the 2012 Wimbledon Tennis Championship Tournament, stick with SB Nation Philly. For all things tennis, head over to SB Nation's dedicated tennis hub.

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