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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday June 25, 2021

 
Serena Williams

Serena Williams' quest for 24 continues at Wimbledon, but the American legend isn't the only one questing.

Photo Source: Getty

The Ladies Singles draw is out at Wimbledon and that means it’s time for us to break down some key matchups and storylines that have emerged ahead of the Championships.

See the Complete Wimbledon Ladies Singles Draw Here


Serena’s Quest for 24

12 majors have come and gone without Serena Williams raising hardware, but the seven-time Wimbledon champion is back on her favorite surface and ready to make another run at history at SW19. Can Williams, who will turn 40 this September, make her way through a tricky draw and capture her 24th major title, and first as a mother?

Serena Williams Last 12 Major Appearances

Roland Garros, 2018: Round of 16
Wimbledon, 2018: Runner-up
US Open, 2018: Runner-up
Australian Open, 2019: Quarterfinals
Roland Garros, 2019: Third round
Wimbledon, 2019: Runner-up
US Open, 2019: Runner-up
Australian Open, 2020: Third round
US Open, 2020: Semifinal
Roland Garros, 2020: Second round
Australian Open, 2021: Semifinal
Roland Garros: 2021: Round of 16

The grass will give her a good chance, as it allows the vaunted Williams to take advantage of her serve and keep points short. But her draw will not make things easy.

Williams face Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round. The Belarusian is not a Wimbledon juggernaut, but she did shock two-time champion Petra Kvitova out of the first round in 2018. Sasnovich, ranked 100, owns a 5-5 record at Wimbledon.

Williams could potentially square off with three-time major and 2018 Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber in the third round. Many will recall that the duo have contested a pair of Wimbledon finals—in 2016 and 2018—with Kerber winning the second one in commanding fashion.

If Williams can get to the second week she could see either Belinda Bencic or Coco Gauff in the round of 16. Her projected quarterfinal opponent would be No.3-seeded Elina Svitolina, and her projected semifinal would be against top-seeded Ashleigh Barty.

Swiatek, Andreescu chasing first Wimbledon win

Poland’s Iga Swiatek, the No.7 seed, is a Wimbledon Girls’ champion (2018) but she has yet to pick up her first main draw win at SW19. That task will be tricky in 2021 as she has been drawn to face Chinese Tapei’s Hsieh Su-Wei, a creative character that can flummox the best of them on any surface, and particularly the grass.

Hsieh famously took out No.1-seeded Simona Halep in the third round at Wimbledon in 2018.

Also seeking a maiden victory at Wimbledon is Canada’s Bianca Andreescu. The No.5 seed will face France’s Alizé Cornet, who defeated her last week in Berlin in straight sets. Cornet also has history at Wimbledon. In 2014 she toppled then World No.1 Serena Williams and reached the round of 16.

Farewell, Carla!

Spain's widely adored Carla Suarez Navarro drew former runner-up Sloane Stephens for her last match at Roland Garros a few weeks ago. This week the draw gods were equally unkind to the Spaniard, setting her up for a first-round tilt with top-seeded Ashleigh Barty.

The pair have never met. No matter how it turns out it promises to be a special occasion, and hopefully Wimbledon's schedulers will give it top billing.

Krejcikova for More Slam Glory?

Roland Garros was a tremendous coming out party for Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic. She claimed her first major title in dramatic fashion, with former coach, the late, great Jana Novotna riding shotgun on her shoulder. How will the 25-year-old back up her first major title on the grass? She’s a bit of an unknown on the surface, at least in singles. Krejcikova, a 2018 women’s doubles champion at SW19, has never contested a main draw match at Wimbledon.

She will face hard-hitting teenager Clara Tauson, also making her main draw debut at SW19, in the first round.

Farewell, Kiki!

Carla Suarez Navarro isn’t the only former Top 10 star saying goodbye to the sport in 2021. Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens will play her final Wimbledon, where she faces Marta Kostyuk in the first round. Bertens, seeded 17 and a former Wimbledon quarterfinalist and World No.4, plans to finish her career in the next few months.

Where’s Petra?

Petra Kvitova (2) is the only woman not named Serena (7) or Venus (5) to have won multiple ladies singles titles at Wimbledon, and she’s always a threat to go deep at her favorite venue and on her favorite surface.

The No.10 seed opens with Sloane Stephens, an unseeded threat that has defeated the Czech in two of their three previous meetings. Kvitova, the 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon champion, owns a lifetime record of 33-10 at SW19. She reached the round of 16 in her last Wimbledon appearance in 2019, but has not been to the quarterfinals since she won her second title in 2014.

 

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