- Associated Press - Friday, June 17, 2011

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND (AP) - The longest match rematch is coming to Wimbledon next week after John Isner and Nicolas Mahut were drawn Friday to face each other in the first round.

Last year, the pair played the longest match in tennis history at the All England Club, with Isner winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68 in a first-round match that stretched over three days. An audible gasp followed Friday’s announcement, but laughter soon ensued.

Isner vs mahut drawing each other in the first round after last year is the most amazing thing I’ve seen in tennis! Centre court anyone?!” fourth-seeded Andy Murray said on Twitter.

The matchup was the talk of the social networking site as soon as it was announced.

Isner & Mahut! First round! Again! Gimme a break!” Bob Bryan tweeted.

Former U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe borrowed his brother John’s famous catch phrase as he posted: “you cannot be serious!!!”

Last year’s match was played on Court 18, and a new plaque commemorates the epic contest, which lasted 11 hours, 5 minutes.

This year’s match is scheduled to take place _ or begin at least _ on Tuesday. Twice last year, the match was held over because of darkness. With rain in the forecast for the opening week of Wimbledon this year, there is a chance they could be delayed again.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal was drawn in the opposite half from six-time champion Roger Federer, meaning they could meet in the Wimbledon final for a fourth time.

The top-seeded Nadal will start against Michael Russell of the United States in the opening match on Centre Court on Monday.

Nadal could come up against big-serving Milos Raonic in the third round and 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in the last 16. If the seedings hold up, Nadal’s quarterfinal could be a rematch of last year’s final against Tomas Berdych.

Federer has second-seeded Novak Djokovic as his projected semifinal opponent. The third-seeded Swiss will face Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan in the first round, and could meet up with 2002 finalist David Nalbandian in the third round.

Djokovic will meet Jeremy Chardy of France in the first round.

Of the top four, Murray has possibly the most difficult route to the final. Before a possible semifinal against Nadal, he could face Marin Cilic in the third round, Richard Gasquet in the last 16 and three-time finalist Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals.

Murray will meet Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain in the first round.

In the women’s draw, seventh-seeded Serena Williams and big sister Venus Williams are in opposite halves, setting up the possibility for a fifth sibling final at the All England Club.

The sisters have won nine of the past 11 Wimbledon finals. Serena, who has won four, is 3-1 against five-time champion Venus in the final match.

Serena has played only two matches since winning the title last year after complications with a foot injury led to blood clots on her lungs. She returned in Eastbourne this week, losing a three-set match to Vera Zvonareva.

Zvonareva could meet Venus, who has been seeded 22nd, in the fourth round at Wimbledon. Venus will open against Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan, and Serena will take on Aravane Rezai of France. Zvonareva is to play Alison Riske of the United States.

As the defending champion, Serena’s first-round match will open play on Centre Court on Tuesday.

Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, the No. 1-ranked player looking for her first Grand Slam title, meets Arantxa Parra Santonja of Spain in the first round. If she gets that far, she could meet Serena in the semifinals.

French Open champion Li Na has a potentially tough second-round match. If she gets past Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia in the first round, she could face Sabine Lisicki, who won the Birmingham title on grass last week and was awarded a wild card at Wimbledon after a long injury layoff.

Maria Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon champion, will be up against Anna Chakvetadze of Russia in the opening round.