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Barty and Williams on collision course; everything you need to know about the Wimbledon women’s singles draw

The world No 1 and the seven-times champion could meet in the semi-finals at Wimbledon while the draw also threw up some fascinating match-ups

Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2018 Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2018

On Monday, the “Temple of Tennis” opens its doors. After the qualifying rounds held at the nearby Roehampton site, the main draw for Wimbledon was held at the All England Club on Friday. In the women’s draw, the top half was more loaded than the bottom half, notably due to the last-minute withdrawal of Simona Halep, the 2019 champion pulling out with a calf injury that also forced her to miss Roland-Garros.

Barty and Serena headed for semi-final clash

Ashleigh Barty (1), Bianca Andreescu (5), Victoria Azarenka (12), Barbora Krejčíková (14) – who won the singles and doubles titles at Roland Garros -, Anett Kontaveit (24), Kiki Bertens (17), home hoper Johanna Konta (27) and Daria Kastatkina (31), who was recently a finalist in Birmingham. Theoretically, Barty, the world No 1, could face Konta in the third round, Krejčíková in the round of 16 and then Andreescu before a possible semi-final clash with Serena Williams.

The American is in the second quarter with Elina Svitolina (3), Belinda Bencic (9), Anastasia Pavlyunchenkova (16), Coco Gauff (20), and Angelique Kerber (25). In search of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title (to tie Margaret Court), Serena potentially faces Kerber in the third round for a rematch of the 2018 final, won by the German. She could then face Gauff or Bencic in the round of 16 and Svitolina in the quarters.

tableau femmes Wimbledon 2021, partie haute

Sabalenka, Kvitova, Muguruza, Kenin, Pliskova, Swiatek all in the bottom half

In the third quarter, Sofia Kenin (4), Karolína Plíšková (8) and Petra Kvitová (10) are the favourites. Plíšková, who has never made further than the last 16 in London, could face fellow Czech Kvitová, who won in 2011 and 2014, at the same stage of the competition this year. Kenin, who has always made it to the second round in both her appearances, could face Veronika Kudermetova in the third round and Elise Mertens or Madison Keys in the round after that.

Finally, in the last quarter, Aryna Sabalenka (2) is theoretically scheduled to face Maria Sakkari (15) or Elena Rybakina (18) in the last 16. While Iga Świątek (7) is the highest seed behind the Belarussian, her level on grass – a surface where she says she is still learning – puts her behind Garbiñe Muguruza as the favourite in her section. The Spaniard, winner of the 2017 edition, could however have to contend with Ons Jabeur, recent winner in Birmingham, in the third round.

Wimbledon 2021 tableau dames partie basse

Notable first-round matches

Ash Barty v Carla Suárez Navarro
The Spaniard, who played a heroic match against Sloane Stephens at Roland Garros on her return to competition after beating cancer, is playing her last Wimbledon against the world No 1.

Serena Williams v Aliaksandra Sasnovich
The American will start her quest for a 24th Grand Slam singles title right away with a tough match. With her varied game, the Belarussian Sasanovich enjoys playing on grass, with Wimbledon the only Grand Slam tournament where she has already reached the round of 16.

Petra Kvitová v Sloane Stephens
A clash of Grand Slam queens. Twice crowned at Wimbledon, the Czech faces an American who won at the US Open in 2017, and who was a quarter-finalist in London in 2013.

Barbora Krejčíková v Clara Tauson
Winner of the French Open in singles and doubles, the Czech does not have an easy start against the Dane. The 18-year-old has established herself as a rising star on the circuit by breaking into the Top 100 and lifting her first main tour trophy in Lyon earlier this year.

Garbine Muguruza v Fiona Ferro
Aiming for a second Wimbledon title and a third Grand Slam, the Spaniard launches her adventure against a Frenchwoman capable of causing problems for top players but who is currently struggling on grass (beaten in the first round of qualifying in Eastbourne).

Bianca Andreescu v Alize Cornet
Against the winner of the 2019 US Open, Cornet may have one ace to play. A semi-finalist in Berlin after a fine run, the Frenchwoman beat the Canadian in the first round. The latter, not very comfortable on grass, then lost in the second round at Eastbourne.

Karolina Plíšková v Tamara Zidansek
Apart from Wimbledon, the Czech has reached at least the semi-finals in every Grand Slam tournament. In order to get beyond the last 16 in London, she will have to deal with a player full of confidence after her semi-final at Roland Garros.

Leylah Fernandez v Jelena Ostapenko
At just 18 years old and already ranked 68th in the world, Leylah Fernandez is about to play her first Wimbledon. Like Tauson, she has won her first career title since March, against the same opponent – Vitkorija Golubic – in Monterey. To begin with, her duel against the powerful Ostapenko, who has been in form on grass in the build-up.

Coco Gauff could play Serena Williams in the last 16

  • Cori Gauff vs Serena Williams, 4th round
  • Ashleigh Barty vs Barbora Krejcikova, 4th round
  • Vicka Azarenka vs Bianca Andreescu, 3rd round
  • Cori Gauff vs Belinda Bencic, 3rd round
  • Serena Williams vs Angelique Kerber, 3rd round
  • Iga Swiatek vs Garbiñe Muguruza or Ons Jabeur, 4rth round

Serena Williams’ projected path to the final

  • 1st round : Aliaksandra Sasnovich
  • 2nd round : Bernarda Pera or Nao Hibino
  • 3rd round : Angelique Kerber (No 25)
  • 4rth round : Belinda Bencic (No 9) or Cori Gauff (No 28)
  • Quarter : Elina Svitolina (No 3)
  • Semi : Ashleigh Barty (No 1)

Ash Barty’s projected path to the final

  • 1st round: Carla Suarez Navarro
  • 2nd round: Anna Blinkova or Timea Babos
  • 3rd round: Johanna Konta (No 27)
  • 4rth round: Barbora Krejcikova (No 14) or Kiki Bertens (No 17)
  • Quarter-final: Bianca Andreescu (No 5) or Victoria Azarenka (No 12)
  • Semi-final: Elina Svitolina (No 3) or Serena Williams (No 6)
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