Emma Raducanu drew one of the toughest first-round opponents she could have faced at Wimbledon in the form of Alison Van Uytvanck while Andy Murray and Serena Williams both won favorable openers.
Raducanu’s participation still hinges on her having recovered sufficiently from a lateral strain suffered at the start of the grass-court season while Van Uytvanck is an accomplished and experienced grass-court player with a good serve, solid forehand and game all over the field. In 2018, the Belgian beat reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza en route to the fourth round.
Since the start of this grass season, Van Uytvanck has won the Surbiton $100,000 tournament and the WTA 125 event in Gaiba, Italy, in addition to a quarter-final at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands. Her only losses on grass this year came in third-set tie-breaks against world No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka and No. 25 Amanda Anisimova this week in Bad Homburg.
As she continues her recovery from the side injury she suffered in the first match of her grass-court season at Nottingham, Raducanu will train on the No 1 court as Wimbledon continues its new initiative allowing players to break through on the best courts to reduce the chances. competitors falling in the early laps.
Murray will open his campaign against Australian James Duckworth, 77th in the standings. If he’s in good shape, it’s a game he’ll have a good chance of winning. Duckworth has lost his last nine ATP main draw matches and has missed four months of this season through injury. Defending champion Novak Djokovic begins his quest for a seventh title against South Korean Kwon Soon-woo while second seed Rafael Nadal, who is set to make his first Wimbledon appearance since 2019, takes on Argentinian Francisco Cerúndolo as the Spaniard aims to win his third consecutive Grand Slam title.
Williams can have no problem with his draw, having received a decent opening round which should allow him to find his lineup after a year’s absence. Harmony Tan is both extremely inexperienced on grass and at the top level of professional tennis. She has lost seven of her last eight main draw matches on the tour and was only playing on grass for the first time at Wimbledon last year.
A potential second-round match against the interminable Sara Sorribes Tormo would likely be a significant test of Williams’ rally tolerance after such a long layoff, but the Spaniard’s lack of weaponry may be on display on longer courts. fast. Meanwhile, sixth seed Karolina Pliskova could face Williams in the third round. Pliskova has been in disastrous form this year after undergoing offseason hand surgery, compiling an 8-10 record in 2022. She will look to rediscover the form that sent her to the year finale last.
World number 1 Iga Swiatek, meanwhile, will start against qualifier Jana Fett as she looks to extend her winning streak to 36 games.