TENNIS

Serena looms for Pliskova, Gauff; Swiatek opens against Fett

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

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

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Wimbledon 2022: Seed Report | Full draw | 411

The No. 3 seed Ons Jabeur, 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 table, while Swiatek and Serena are in the top half.

First quarter: Swiatek seeks to extend his streak; Cumulative Muguruza Draw

Three weeks ago, Iga Swiatek equaled Venus Williams’ 35-game winning streak, the longest on the Hologic WTA Tour this century, when she won her second Roland Garros title. The Pole hasn’t played since then, and if she beat Croatian qualifier Fett in her first match, she would single-handedly hold the record of this century.

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

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

If Muguruza passes this test, she could face No. 17 seed Elena Rybakina or 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu in the third round.

First round matches to follow: 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 return 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. On her doubles return this week at Eastbourne, Serena teamed with Ons Jabeur to beat Sorribes Tormo and Marie Bouzkova in the first round, saving match point along the way.

In round three, Serena could face No. 6 seed Pliskova, although the Czech will have to navigate two tough rounds first: she starts against compatriot Tereza Martincova and could face wild card Katie Boulter, who has her. beaten at Eastbourne this week, in the second round.

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

4 seed Paula Badosa leads the second quarter in terms of seeding and opens against qualifier Louisa Chirico, but two dangerous former champions lurk in the Spaniard’s eighth. 25-seeded Petra Kvitova, a winner here in 2011 and 2014, is Badosa’s projected third-round opponent, and 2019 titlist Simona Halep could wait in the fourth round.

Before that, Kvitova and Halep will have to survive dangerous all-out power. Kvitova could face Birmingham quarter-finalist Dayana Yastremska in the second round, and Halep is set to face No. 21 seed Camila Giorgi in the third round. Halep could also face former Wimbledon semi-finalist 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 against Magdalena Frech; Karolina Muchova against. [16] Simona Halep; [11] Coco Gauff versus Elena-Gabriela Ruse; Wang Xinyu against. [20] Amanda Anisimova; Tereza Martincova vs. [6] Karolina Pliskova

Third Quarter: Jabeur, Kerber in collision; Raducanu will face Van Uytvanck

For the second major in a row, Jabeur joined Swiatek on a winning streak to start his campaign. The Tunisian won her third title, and her second on grass, in Berlin two weeks ago, and opened against Swedish qualifier Mirjam Bjorklund. Jabeur is set to face Kaia Kanepi in the third round; The Estonian has earned a reputation as an unseeded Grand Slam upset performer, but is ranked herself (in 31st place) for the first time in a major tournament since Roland Garros 2014.

A popcorn knockout round against No. 15 seed Kerber will force the German to take 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

Berlin 2022

7 seed Danielle Collins is Jabeur’s projected quarter-final opponent, but the Australian Open runner-up – who has yet to play a match on grass this year – will have to maybe sail with turf 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 landed in Collins’ sixteenth. The US Open champion hasn’t played since retiring with an abdominal injury in the first round of Nottingham three weeks ago, and faces one of the toughest unranked players in the draw in the first round to Alison Van Uytvanck.

The Belgian is 12-2 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 quarter-finals of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, where she took Aryna Sabalenka to a third-set tiebreaker. Van Uytvanck also has a solid 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 lead the fourth quarter of the table in terms of rankings, but there is also an opportunity for players who have shown serious form on the grass this month. Kontaveit hasn’t played since falling to Ajla Tomljanovic in the first round of Roland Garros, and revealed she’s 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 injuries and inconsistencies; but she is getting back into shape on her beloved turf and is still alive in the Eastbourne semi-finals as defending champions this week.

Kontaveit will open against Bernarda Pera and could face a dangerous third-round projected opponent in the No. 29 seed Anhelina Kalinina, who has just upset Sakkari at Eastbourne.

A third-round barn burner could decide Kontaveit’s fourth-round foe. 23 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia is on a 12-game winning streak on grass, having won her first two WTA titles in Nottingham and Birmingham before continuing her form to reach the semi-finals at Eastbourne. The Brazilian is set to face No.14 seed Belinda Bencic in the third round, although the ankle injury the Swiss player suffered in the Berlin final less than a week ago will be a question mark for her.

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

Click here to view the full Wimbledon 2022 draw.

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