Iga Swiatek gets nightmare Wimbledon draw with her nemisis Ostapenko, and Vondrousova and Rybakina in top half

Shahida Jacobs
Top 3 Wimbledon seeds Iga Swiatek Coco Gauff and Aryna Sabalenka
Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff and Aryna Sabalenka headline Wimbledon draw

World No 1 Iga Swiatek will face a former Grand Slam winner in the first round at Wimbledon while she could meet a player she is yet to beat in the fourth round and the two most recent champions at SW19 in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively.

The five-time Grand Slam winner, whose best performance at the grass-court major came last year when she reached the quarter-final, will take on 2020 Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin first up.

The American, though, is currently at No 48 in the WTA Rankings as she has struggled with her form in recent years, but there have been signs of improvement over the last few months.

If Swiatek gets past Kenin then she is projected to meet either Francesca Jones or Petra Martic in the second round with Katerina Siniakova or Yulia Putintseva potential third-round opponents.

But after that it gets very difficult for the top seed as she will likely meet Jelena Ostapenko in the fourth round.

The Latvian leads their head-to-head record 4-0 and she won their last meeting in the fourth round at last year’s US Open in three sets as she ended the Pole’s title defence.

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Should Swiatek get past Ostapenko, she is then projected to meet reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova in the quarter-final while 2022 winner Elena Rybakina, Jessica Pegula or Ons Jabeur could await in the semi-final.

World No 2 Coco Gauff headlines the bottom half of the draw and she will kick off her campaign against fellow American Caroline Dolehide.

Gauff also has Naomi Osaka in her section, but the former world No 1 will most likely have to get past 16th seed Victoria Azarenka in the third round.

If the seedings hold, then Gauff is expected to face French Open runner-up Jasmine Paolini in the quarter-final and Aryna Sabalenka in the semi-final.

Reigning Australian Open champion Sabalenka starts against Emina Bektas and she is projected to meet 14th seed Daria Kasatkina in the fourth round. Kasatkina, though, also has 24th seed Mirra Andreeva in her path.

Qinwen Zheng is the eighth seed and she is projected to meet Sabalenak in the quarter-final, but the Chinese player has ninth seed Maria Sakkari in her section.

2021 US Open winner Emma Raducanu is also in Section 5 and she has a tricky opener against 25th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova. If she reaches the third round then she could face Sakkari.