Serena Williams to face Tan at Wimbledon

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Serena Williams will begin her Wimbledon comeback by facing Harmony Tan, a 24-year-old from France who is ranked 113th and owns a 2-6 career record in grand slam matches.

The placement of Williams in the women's bracket was the most anticipated aspect of Friday's draw at the All England Club.

She is making her first appearance in singles at any tournament since she hurt her right leg and stopped playing during the first set of her first-round match at Centre Court a year ago.

Because of her lack of activity over the past 12 months, Williams is outside the WTA's top 1200 this week and so could have ended up anywhere in the field and against any opponent in the first round.

While the 40-year-old American's track record would merit a seeding, the All England Club now adheres strictly to the rankings in determining how it seeds players.

Williams has won seven Wimbledon championships, part of her total of 23 grand slam singles titles, a record for the professional era.

Tan, meanwhile, will be making her debut at the grass-court tournament.

Awaiting the winner of Williams-Tan match will be American Christina McHale or Spanish 32nd seed Sara Sorribes Tormo, while last year's runner-up Karolina Pliskova is a potential third-round obstacle.

Women's top seed Iga Swiatek starts against Croatian qualifier Jana Fett, while Britain's US Open champion Emma Raducanu was drawn to face the experienced Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck, a player who knocked out the then-defending champion Garbine Muguruza at Wimbledon four years ago.

Tunisian third seed Jabeur was paired with Swedish qualifier Mirjam Bjorklund, Pliskova faces fellow Czech Tereza Martincova, and American Coco Gauff, fresh from a first grand slam final in Paris, drew Romanian Elena-Gabriela Ruse.

Estonia's Anett Kontaveit, who may struggle to live up to her billing as the second seed having never previously gone past round three, plays American Bernarda Pera first-up.

Among former champions, Angelique Kerber tackles Kristina Mladenovic in her opener, while Simona Halep was handed a tough assignment against Karolina Muchova.

Of all the players in the draw this year, Muchova is the woman with the highest winning percentage in Wimbledon main draw matches.

The Czech has an 80 per cent success record, winning eight matches and losing twice after reaching the quarter-finals in her both previous appearances, losing to Elina Svitolina in 2019 and Kerber last season.

- with DPA

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