WIMBLEDON: Women's world No.1 tennis player Ashleigh Barty faces a path strewn with challenges at the Wimbledon, which begins on June 28.
The women's draw was released on Friday even as defending champion Simona Halep announced her withdrawal due to a calf injury.
Ashleigh, who is a one-time Grand Slam winner -- at 2019 French Open -- and has never proceeded beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon, is drawn to face current French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova.
The Aussie starts against former world No. 6 Carla Suárez Navarro, who will be playing her final Wimbledon. The Spaniard has successfully fought cancer over the past year.
Ashleigh may then run into 2017 Wimbledon semi-finalist Johanna Konta in the third round.
Two recent Wimbledon champions -- the No. 6 seed Serena Williams and No. 25 seed Angelique Kerber -- are expected to clash in the third round which could be a rematch of the 2016 and 2018 finals. Serena starts campaign against Aliaksandra Sasnovich. Angelique will play Nina Stojanovic. The winner of Serena-Angelique clash could face either ninth seed Belinda Bencic or 20th seed Coco Gauff in fourth round.
Eighth seed and world No. 10 Karolina Pliskova will begin campaign against French Open semi-finalist Tamara Zidansek. The Czech star will have to handle players adept on grass-court before getting to a last-16 clash against Kvitova.
No.5 seed Bianca Andreescu faces Alizé Cornet in first round. IANS
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