Sat, 30 Sep 2023

London [UK], June 25 (ANI): Iga Swiatek, the world No.1, last year's runner-up Karolina Pliskova, and seven-time champion Serena Williams are all in the top half of the draw for the Wimbledon women's singles.

Swiatek, the freshly crowned French Open champion, will look to extend her 35-match winning streak when she takes on qualifier Jana Fett after Friday's draw at the All England Club.

The 21-year-old Pole could face former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, American No.8 seed Jessica Pegula or 2017 winner Garbine Muguruza in the quarter-finals.

Lying in wait for Swiatek as potential semi-final opponents are Pliskova, Williams, No.4 seed Paula Badosa, and two-time champion Petra Kvitova.

Also in the loaded top half is No.16 seed Simona Halep, who faces a daunting task in her first match at Wimbledon since clinching the title in 2019. The Romanian faces crafty Czech and two-time quarter-finalist Karolina Muchova.

Williams, who hasn't played a singles match since last year's Wimbledon, received a wild card into the main draw and opens her quest for a record 24th Grand Slam title against French world No.113 Harmony Tan.

The 40-year-old could face Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo, the No.32 seed, in the second round and possibly Pliskova, the No.6 seed, in the third round.

American teenager Coco Gauff, who reached the Roland-Garros final, is a potential fourth-round opponent for Williams and begins her campaign against Elena-Gabriela Ruse of Romania.

The bottom half of the draw features recent Berlin champion and No.3 seed Ons Jabeur, home favourite and No.10 seed Emma Raducanu, Greek No.5 seed Maria Sakkari, and in-form pair Belinda Bencic and Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Raducanu is projected to meet the Australian Open runner-up and No.9 seed Danielle Collins in the fourth round, with Jabeur or former champion Angelique Kerber looming ahead as potential quarter-final opponents.

Sakkari faces Australian qualifier Zoe Hives in the first round and could face Estonian No.2 seed Anett Kontaveit in the quarter-finals. There are some exciting possible match-ups in the third round: Muguruza possibly facing Andreescu, Badosa projected to take on Kvitova, Amanda Anisimova standing in Gauff's path and Bencic slated to meet Haddad Maia.

A decision on who will open Centre Court play on Tuesday, in the absence of last year's champion Ashleigh Barty has been deferred. (ANI)

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