LONDON, Great Britain – WTA World No.1 Ashleigh Barty, defending champion Angelique Kerber and seven-time winner Serena Williams have all been placed together in a stacked top quarter of the Wimbledon draw.
Serena, the No.11 seed for The Championships, will begin her campaign for a 24th Grand Slam title against qualifier Giulia Gatto-Monticone of Italy and has Krystna Pliskova and Julia Goerges as potential opponents before a projected fourth-round meeting with Kerber in what would be a repeat of the 2018 final.
The German, seeded No.5 at SW19, won that encounter, 6-3, 6-3, but must negotiate a section of the draw that also includes 2004 champion Maria Sharapova, Carla Suárez Navarro and Samantha Stosur if she is to have a rematch against the American. She will have to first overcome compatriot Tatjana Maria in the first round.
Heading up the same quarter of the draw is Barty, who is seeking to reach the second week in London for the first time, having made the third round in 2018. Garbiñe Muguruza could lie in wait in the third round, while Belinda Bencic, Donna Vekic or the in-form Alison Riske are among the potential fourth-round opponents for the French Open champion, who has won her last 12 matches.
Also in the top half of the draw are No.4 seed Kiki Bertens, who will first tackle Mandy Minella, Sloane Stephens, who has Timea Bacsinszky first up and as British No.1 Johanna Konta as a potential third-round opponent, and Petra Kvitova, who could play Ons Jabeur, Kristina Mladenovic and up-and-coming American star Amanda Anisimova in the first week.
No.2 seed Naomi Osaka, the reigning US and Australian Open champion, faces the feisty Yulia Putintseva in the first round and could have teenage sensation Iga Swiatek as a second-round opponent. Caroline Wozniacki is a potential fourth-round rival, with the Dane seeking to reach the quarterfinals of Wimbledon for the first time.
In that same quarter, former WTA World No.1 Simona Halep has an opening date with Aliaksandra Sasnovich but could face Daria Kasatkina or two-time semifinalist Victoria Azarenka in the third round.
Venus Williams, meanwhile, will face Coco Gauff, the youngest Wimbledon qualifier in the Open era, with the winner potentially to face Aryna Sabalenka.
No.3 seed Karolina Pliskova opens her campaign with a match against Zhu Lin.