Serena looms for Pliskova, Gauff;  Swiatek opens Vs.  Fat

Serena looms for Pliskova, Gauff; Swiatek opens Vs. Fat

The 2022 Wimbledon draw is out, and pits seven-time champion Serena Williams against Harmony Tan in the first round, with a potential third-round clash against 2021 finalist Karolina Pliskova looming.

Elsewhere, No.1 seed Iga Swiatek will have the chance to make history when she opens against qualifier Jana Fett, while 2017 champion Garbiñe Muguruza has landed in a stacked section also containing former major winners Bianca Andreescu and Sloane Stephens.

Wimbledon 2022: Seed report | Full draw | 411

No.3 seed Ons Jabeur, the champion in Berlin two weeks ago, could meet 2018 champion Angelique Kerber in the fourth round. Both players are in the bottom half of the draw, while Swiatek and Serena are in the top half.

First quarter: Swiatek seeks to extend streak; Muguruza’s stacked draw

Three weeks ago, Iga Swiatek equaled Venus Williams’s 35-match winning streak, the longest on the Hologic WTA Tour this century, when she captured her second Roland Garros title. The Pole has not played since then, and should she defeat Croatian qualifier Fett in her first match, will hold this century’s record alone.

Swiatek, whose best performance at Wimbledon to date was a fourth-round run last year, will continue her bid for the Channel Slam against either Danka Kovinic or wildcard Sonay Kartal. No.27 seed Yulia Putintseva is her projected third-round opponent, and her precursor as Roland Garros champion, No.13 seed Barbora Krejcikova, could await in the last 16.

No.8 seed Jessica Pegula and No.9 seed Muguruza lead the second sixteenth of the draw. Muguruza opens against Greet Minnen, before taking on the winner of a popcorn first-round between 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens and fast-rising teenager Zheng Qinwen, who was the only player to take a set off Swiatek in Paris. Zheng defeated Stephens in Charleston back in April, but is still looking for her first professional win on grass.

Should Muguruza pass that test, she could face either No.17 seed Elena Rybakina or 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu in the third round.

First-round matches to watch: Alizé Cornet vs. [27] Yulia Putintseva; Zheng Qinwen vs. Sloane Stephens; Donna Vekic vs. [8] Jessica Pegula

Second quarter: Serena looms for Pliskova, Gauff

Making her singles comeback as a wildcard after exactly a year away, the first seed Serena Williams could meet is No.32 Sara Sorribes Tormo in the first round. In her doubles return this week in Eastbourne, Serena teamed up with Ons Jabeur to beat Sorribes Tormo and Marie Bouzkova in the first round, saving a match point en route.

In the third round, Serena could face No.6 seed Pliskova, though the Czech will have to navigate two tricky rounds first: she starts against compatriot Tereza Martincova and could face wildcard Katie Boulter, who defeated her in Eastbourne this week, in the second round.

The projected fourth-round opponent for Serena or Pliskova is No.11 seed Coco Gauff, fresh off her first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros and a semifinal run in Berlin. Gauff could face fellow young American Amanda Anisimova, the No.20 seed, in the third round.

No.4 seed Paula Badosa heads the second quarter in terms of ranking and opens against qualifier Louisa Chirico, but two dangerous former champions lurk in the Spaniard’s eighth. No.25 seed Petra Kvitova, winner here in 2011 and 2014 is Badosa’s projected third-round opponent, and 2019 titlist Simona Halep could await in the fourth round.

Before that, Kvitova and Halep will need to survive some dangerous all-out power. Kvitova could face Birmingham quarterfinalist Dayana Yastremska in the second round, and Halep is projected to face No.21 seed Camila Giorgi in the third round. Halep could also face former Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens, who is playing the last singles tournament of her career, in the second round.

First-round matches to watch: Ana Bogdan vs. Dayana Yastremska; [21] Camila Giorgi vs. Magdalena Frech; Karolina Muchova vs. [16] Simona Halep; [11] Coco Gauff vs. Elena-Gabriela Ruse; Wang Xinyu [20] Amanda Anisimova; Tereza Martincova [6] Karolina Pliskova

Third quarter: Jabeur, Kerber on collision course; Raducanu to face Van Uytvanck

For the second major in a row, Jabeur has joined Swiatek on a winning streak to start her campaign. The Tunisian captured her third title, and second on grass, in Berlin two weeks ago, and opens against Swedish qualifier Mirjam Bjorklund. Jabeur is projected to face Kaia Kanepi in the third round; the Estonian has garnered a reputation as an unseeded upset artist at Grand Slams, but is seeded herself (at No.31) for the first time at a major since Roland Garros 2014.

A popcorn Round of 16 against No.15 seed Kerber will require the German to pass the tests of former World No.10 Kristina Mladenovic in the first round, and potentially No.24 seed Elise Mertens in the third round.

Champion’s Reel: How Ons Jabeur won Berlin 2022

2022 Berlin

No.7 seed Danielle Collins is Jabeur’s projected quarterfinal opponent, but the Australian Open runner-up – who has not played a match on grass yet this year – may need to navigate grass-court expert Alison Riske, the No.28 seed, in the third round.

Emma Raducanu returns to the site of her fourth-round breakthrough last year as the No.10 seed, and has landed in Collins’ sixteenth. The US Open champion has not played since retiring due to an abdominal injury in the first round of Nottingham three weeks ago, and faces one of the toughest unseeded players in the draw in the first round in Alison Van Uytvanck.

The Belgian owns a 12-2 record on grass this year, having won both the Surbiton ITF W100 three weeks ago and the Gaiba WTA 125 last week. In between, she reached the ‘s-Hertogenbosch quarterfinals, where she took Aryna Sabalenka to a third-set tiebreak. Van Uytvanck also has strong history at Wimbledon, where she dethroned defending champion Muguruza in 2018 en route to the fourth round.

First-round matches to watch: Katerina Siniakova vs. [Q] Maja Chwalinska; Alison Van Uytvanck vs. [10] Emma Raducanu; Camila Osorio vs. [24] Elise Mertens; [31] Kaia Kanepi vs. Diane Parry

Fourth quarter: Opportunity for in-form Ostapenko, Haddad Maia, Bencic

No.2 seed Anett Kontaveit and No.5 seed Maria Sakkari head the fourth quarter of the draw in terms of ranking, but there’s also opportunity for players who have shown sme serious grass-court form this month. Kontaveit has not played since falling to Ajla Tomljanovic in the first round of Roland Garros, and has revealed that she is still suffering from the after-effects of Covid-19; while since reaching the Indian Wells final in March, Sakkari has compiled a modest 9-8 record.

However, No.12 seed Jelena Ostapenko is Sakkari’s projected fourth-round opponent. The mercurial Latvian delivered a phenomenal run of form in the Middle East in February before being slowed by injury and inconsistency; but she is rounding back into form on her beloved grass, and is still alive in the Eastbourne semifinals as defending champion this week.

Kontaveit will open against Bernarda Pera, and could face a dangerous projected third-round opponent in No.29 seed Anhelina Kalinina, fresh off upsetting Sakkari in Eastbourne.

A third-round barnburner could decide Kontaveit’s fourth-round foe. No.23 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia is on a 12-match grass-court winning streak, having captured her first two WTA titles in Nottingham and Birmingham before continuing her form to reach the Eastbourne semifinals. The Brazilian is projected to face No.14 seed Belinda Bencic in the third round, although the ankle injury that the Swiss player sustained in the Berlin final less than a week ago will be a question mark for her.

First-round matches to watch: Oceane Dodin vs. [12] Jelena Ostapenko; [14] Belinda Bencic vs. Wang Qiang; Kaja Juvan vs. [23] Beatriz Haddad Maia

Click here to view the full 2022 Wimbledon draw.


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