Serena Williams ranks outside the top 150, but the All England club decided to set up their 25th based on the success of the past. (AP)
LONDON (AP) – Serena Williams avoids early encounters with opponents, with Wimbledon announcing a draw on Friday that could take them to third-round Saina Elina Svitolina (# 19659003). Williams returns to the grass court tournament for the first time since 2016, after missing her during pregnancy last year. She gave birth to a daughter in September.
She is ranked outside of the top 150, but the All England Club decided to make her 25th based on past success, recording seven of her 23 Grand Slam singles trophies at Wimbledon. Williams' first round opponent, when the game starts on Monday, will be 1
Williams is competing for the first time since she quit the French Open before a Fourth Round Showdown against five-time champion Maria Sharapova in early June, citing an injured breast muscle. That was Williams's return to Grand Slam action after 16 months absence.
Rus was only once as far as Wimbledon's third round, in 2012. That was the last time she won a match at the All England Club. She was beaten a year ago in the first qualifying round, as were the women Williams could beat in the second round, Ukrainian Viktoriya Tomova (136th) and Czech Tereza Smitkova (167).
Svitolina had come only once to the fourth round. Williams' fourth-round opponent, 2017 US Open runner-up Madison Keys, hit a quarter-final, while the 36-year-old American quarter-final opponent, reigning Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki, was never over the fourth Round out. Williams could meet in the semifinals to her older sister, the five-time champion and the number 9 of Venus. Venus Williams meets 62nd Johanna Larsson from Sweden, who won 0-7 at Wimbledon
In the upper half of the women's round, the quarter-finals were able to defend and defend French Open winner Simona Halep against two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova Champion Garbine Muguruza against No. 6 Caroline Garcia. In the bottom half, No. 2 Wozniacki was drawn to Svitolina, while in 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens No. 7 Karolina Pliskova was able to play.
The possible quarterfinals of the men in the top half are the eightfold champion Roger Federer. Kevin Anderson, the US Open-Second of 2017, and Marin Cilic, winner of the 2014 US Open, and Grigor Dimitrov, Gr. In the lower half of the group, it could be the two-time Wimbledon winner Rafael Nadal against the 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro and the No. 4 Alexander Zverev against the 7th Dominic Thiem.
Two-time champion Andy Murray will face the 48th Benoit Paire in the first round. It's a rematch of Murray's victory in the fourth round over the French at the 2017 All England Club.
This was Murray's last win before being suspended for nearly a year for an injured hip that was repaired in January.
Returning to action last week, Wimbledon won in 2013 and 2016, only 156th and unused.
Murray could face 26-placed Denis Shapovalov from Canada in the second round.
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