Serena Williams to make her Wimbledon debut against 113rd ranked enemy

Wimbledon, England (AP) — Serena Williams will make her Wimbledon comeback debut against France’s 24-year-old Harmony Tan, who is ranked 113rd and owns a 2-6 career record in Grand Slam matches.

Williams’ place in the women’s section was the most anticipated aspect of Friday’s draw at the All England Club. She is making her first appearance in singles at any tournament since she injured her right leg and stopped playing during the first set of her first-round match at Center Court a year ago.

Due to her lack of activity over the past 12 months, Williams – who has been No. 1 in the rankings – is out of the WTA’s top 1,200 this week and could therefore end up anywhere on the field and against any opponent in the first round. , She only returned to tour in England this week playing two doubles matches at a tuneup event and was awarded a wild-card invitation to Wimbledon.

While the 40-year-old American’s track record would be worthy of a seeding, the All England Club now strictly follows the rankings to determine how it seeds players.

Williams has won seven Wimbledon Championships, part of her total of 23 Grand Slam singles titles, a record for the professional era. Meanwhile, Tan will make her grass-court tournament debut.

If Williams surpasses Tan, the next match may be against Sarah Soribes Tormo, seeded 32nd but has not progressed beyond the third round in the second round or any majors in 19 previous appearances at the All England Club. Have got.

The third round will potentially put Williams up against a tough test: No. 6-seeded Karolina Pliskova, who was Ash Barty’s runner-up at Wimbledon last year and also reached the final of the 2016 US Open – defeating Williams in the semi-final there.

Barty retired in March at age 25 and is therefore not defending her title when games begin on Monday. It also leaves open the question of which woman will have the honor of playing the first match on Tuesday at Center Court, a slot traditionally reserved for the previous year’s champion.

The two most likely choices would appear to be No. 1 Inga Swietec, who enters on a 35-match winning streak and is coming out of a title at the French Open, or Simona Halep, who won the 2019 trophy at Wimbledon, beating Williams. final, but didn’t get a chance to start things off at Center Court in 2020, when the tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, or in 2021, because she was injured and unable to play.

The predicted women’s quarterfinals based on seeding are Swietek vs. No. 8 Jessica Pegula, Pliskova vs. No. 4 Paula Badosa, No. 2 Annette Kontaveit vs. No. 5 Maria Sakkari, and No. 3 Ons Jabur vs. No. 7. Danielle Collins.

The probable men’s quarter-finalists are top seed Novak Djokovic vs No. 5 Carlos Alcaraz, No. 3 Casper Roode vs. No. 7 Hubert Herkaz, No. 2 Rafael Nadal vs No. 6 Felix Auger-Aliassim and No. 4. Stefanos Tsitsipas vs No. 8 Matteo Berrettini.

Djokovic defeated Berrettini in last year’s final to win his third consecutive Wimbledon title and sixth title overall.

Djokovic will have the honor of starting the game on center court on Monday when he faces 75th-ranked Kwon Soon-woo of South Korea.

Although Djokovic’s ranking has dropped to No. 3, he leads the men’s seeding as No. 1 Daniil Medvedev and No. 2 Alexander Zverev are not in the fray. Medvedev is Russian, and all players from that country and Belarus were banned by the All England Club because of the war in Ukraine. Zverev is recovering after tearing a ligament in his right leg during his French Open semi-final against Nadal, who won his 14th championship there and a men’s record 22nd in the Majors.

Andy Murray, who won two of his three Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon, was drawn to face James Duckworth in the first round, while three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka goes up against No. 10 Jannik Sinner, and Nick Kyrgios. The British face the Wild – Card entry Paul Jubb.

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