Wimbledon draw: Serena Williams could face Karolina Pliskova or Coco Gauff early on at SW19

Serena Williams pleased

Serena Williams has ended up in the top half of the 2022 Wimbledon draw and she could face Karolina Pliskova or Coco Gauff in the first week while Simona Halep could be a quarter-final opponent.

Having dropped outside the top 1,000 in the WTA Rankings after being out of action for a year, the 23-time Grand Slam accepted a wildcard entry to compete at the grass-court Grand Slam.

Williams will face Harmony Tan from France in her first-round match at The All England Tennis Club next week and that encounter will also be her first singles clash since Wimbledon last year.

Tan is currently ranked No 113 and should the seven-time Wimbledon champion get past the Frenchwoman then she could face Sara Sorribes Tormo or Christine McHale in the second round.

Things will get tougher after that as last year’s runner-up Pliskova is projected to be a third-round opponent while fellow Americans Gauff or Amanda Anisimova are slated for the fourth round.

Halep, who beat Williams in the 2019 final, is the projected quarter-final opponent and reigning world No 1 and French Open champion Iga Swiatek is likely to be the player to beat in the semi-final.

The impressive Swiatek faces Croatian qualifier Jana Fett in her opener and last year’s French Open champion Barbora Krejčíková is projected to be her fourth-round rival.

American eighth seed Jessica Pegula is the headline act in Section 2, but she will likely face ninth seed and former Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round.

Fourth seed Paula Badosa and 2019 champion Halep could meet in the fourth round with the winner likely to meet Williams/Pliskova/Gauff/Anisimova.

The bottom half of the draw contains world No 2 Anett Kontaveit, who faces Bernarda Pera in the first round with 14th seed Belinda Bencic likely to be her fourth-round opponent.

Third seed Ons Jabeur, who could face US Open champion Emma Raducanu in the quarter-final, is projected to meet Kontaveit in the semi-final.