Wimbledon women’s singles: The 7 best round one matches to watch – ft. Iga Swiatek, Emma Raducanu

Iga Swiatek in action at Wimbledon
Iga Swiatek reacts at Wimbledon in 2023.

The women’s draw at Wimbledon has thrown up some truly fascinating opening matches.

Ahead of action on Monday, we look at seven of the best matches to follow in round one.

(1) Iga Swiatek vs Sofia Kenin

A rematch of the 2020 French Open final, and the opening round of the Australian Open this year.

This is not the easiest round one contest Swiatek, looking to reach the last four at Wimbledon for the first time, could have landed – but it is also not the most challenging.

On paper, Wimbledon is Kenin’s weakest Slam results-wise, and the American has had a rather drab season after signs of an encouraging resurgence in the second half of 2023.

Swiatek won a first-set tiebreak before running away with the second set in Melbourne back in January; a similar kind of match looks likely once again.

(16) Victoria Azarenka vs Sloane Stephens

Another opening contest between two former Grand Slam champions, Azarenka and Stephens will both look to channel past glories out on Court 2 this Monday.

Azarenka has not had a spectacular year but it has been solid enough for the Belarusian, well-established back inside the top 20 after a solid twelve months.

Stephens looked back in strong form after winning the title in Rouen, but struggled throughout the remainder of the clay season – and was easily beaten by Emma Raducanu in Eastbourne this week.

Azarenka’s level can fluctuate but she has a better SW19 record than the American – she reached the second week as recently as last year – and will be a warm favourite.

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(WC) Ajla Tomljanovic vs (13) Jelena Ostapenko

Those well-versed in tennis drama will know this match channels an All England Club feud of old, with Tomljanovic accusing Ostapenko of faking injury in a contentious match three years ago – a match the Australian won.

The two met more recently at the 2024 Australian Open – with Ostapenko turning the tables with victory – though this is undoubtedly a tough draw for the Latvian.

Returning from injury, Tomljanovic reached the final in Birmingham this summer and is twice a Wimbledon quarter-finalist, making this her most successful Slam.

Ostapenko has undelivered at majors in 2024, and is thrown into the deep end a little here.

(11) Danielle Collins vs Clara Tauson

Well and truly a battle for loyal tennis followers, fan favourites Collins and Tauson will try to hit the ball harder than each other in this fascinating encounter.

Collins has won the hearts of many with some stunning form during her farewell season, though this is the American’s weakest Slam on paper; she has never made it to the second week.

The American may find herself on paper the favourite but Tauson is no easy player to beat, with the Dane showing signs of the potential she promised a few years back.

Tauson beat Ostapenko at Roland Garros, and would not be a surprise if she claimed another significant scalp.

(22) Ekaterina Alexandrova vs Emma Raducanu

Home favourite Raducanu is back at SW19 for the first time since 2022, and is out on Centre Court against 22nd seed Alexandrova – not someone afraid of the big stage.

The Russian has beaten Swiatek and Jessica Pegula already this season, and is comfortable on grass, reaching round four at Wimbledon in 2023 and winning two ‘s-Hertogenbosch titles.

But Alexandrova is yet to win a major match in 2024, and Raducanu’s runs in Nottingham and Eastbourne have fuelled confidence she could go on a run at this tournament.

This feels like a 50/50 call in terms of who will win.

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(PR) Paula Badosa vs Karolina Muchova

Two of the unseeded players that most deserved a slice of luck with the draw have unfortunately been drawn against each other.

Badosa has been as high as world No 2, while Muchova was a French Open finalist just last year, and a former Wimbledon quarter-finalist – but both have been ravaged by injuries.

It is the Czech who has the better history on grass but she fuelled injury fears by withdrawing from her comeback event in Eastbourne, and Badosa’s serve should make her dangerous here.

The Spaniard may enter as a slight favourite having played more tennis this year, but there is not much in it.

Karolina Pliskova vs Diana Shnaider

A generational clash sees former world No 1 Pliskova take on rising star Shnaider in an intriguing battle.

Former Wimbledon finalist Pliskova showed some encouraging signs on her way to reaching the final in Nottingham, but Shnaider comes in fresh off the biggest title of her career in Bad Homburg.

The Russian will wise into the top 30 on Monday – a bit too late for a seeding at SW19 – but that confidence may propel her to victory.