Top first round matches Women's Wimbledon including Swiatek – Kenin and Raducanu- Alexandrova

Friday, 28 June 2024 at 19:30
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The women's main draw for Wimbledon has been revealed and will feature some exciting first-round matchups, including clashes between Grand Slam champions. World No. 1 Iga Swiatek has been drawn against former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, while Sloane Stephens and Victoria Azarenka will face off in another battle of major champions.
This edition will see several notable names returning to SW19, though not with much luck in their draws. Former US Open champion Emma Raducanu will debut against Ekaterina Alexandrova, one of the grass-court specialists on the Tour, while 4-times Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka debuts against the talented Diane Parry. The tournament will begin its first round on Monday, July 1st, and here are the main women's matchups for the third Grand Slam of the year.

Iga Swiatek – Sofia Kenin

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek decided not to play in any grass-court tournaments before Wimbledon and will take the court for the first time since her Roland Garros title a few weeks ago. Wimbledon is the most elusive Slam for Swiatek, with just 9 wins at the All England Club and the 2023 quarterfinals as her best result.
The draw has pitted the Polish player against one of the most dangerous unseeded players in the draw, considering that Sofia Kenin (No. 48) is a former Grand Slam champion who eliminated none other than Coco Gauff in the first round in 2023. Kenin has struggled to find stability on the Tour but has clung to the top 50 and is always a player to watch in majors.
The match will likely be played on Center Court, and Kenin will not be intimidated by the occasion. So far, Swiatek leads the head-to-head 2-0. They first met in the 2020 French Open final, where Swiatek won her first major title, and again in the first round of the Australian Open this year, where Swiatek prevailed in straight sets (7-6, 6-2).

Emma Raducanu vs Ekaterina Alexandrova

The former US Open champion will be a player to watch at Wimbledon. During her comeback year, she has shown some performances that spark hopes of seeing her back at her best level, though not with enough consistency. Nonetheless, the grass swing has been beneficial for Raducanu (No. 168), who recently secured her first win over a top-10 player by defeating Jessica Pegula at the Eastbourne International this week.
She will face a specialist like Ekaterina Alexandrova (No. 22), who has a 21-6 record on grass courts since 2021, making her the leader in wins. The Russian has two titles on grass, won at the 2022 and 2023 Libema Open. They have no previous meetings.
Emma Raducanu at 2024 Eastbourne International.

Paula Badosa vs Karolina Muchova

Injuries forced Badosa to retire during her second-round match at Wimbledon last year. A bitter exit for the Spaniard, who hopes to have a personal redemption at the All England Club, where she has reached the fourth round twice. The former world No. 2 recently reached the quarterfinals at the WTA 500 Bad Homburg Open, allowing her to return to the top 100 next Monday, as she prepares to face former French Open runner-up Karolina Muchova.
Muchova will be playing just her second tournament this year. The Czech was out of competition for 10 months following the 2023 US Open semifinals due to a wrist injury and subsequent surgery. Her return was last week in Eastbourne, where she reached the quarterfinals but withdrew on her medical team’s advice in preparation for Wimbledon.

Sloane Stephens vs Victoria Azarenka

This will be the 10th meeting between these former Grand Slam champions. Azarenka leads the head-to-head 5-4, including wins in their last two encounters in 2023. This will be the 5th time they face each other in a Grand Slam, though they have never played at Wimbledon before.
Azarenka (No. 16) will play her 100th career match on grass, with a current record of 67-32. Her best result at Wimbledon was reaching the semifinals in 2011 and 2012. 'Vichka' has not lost in the first round at Wimbledon since her debut in 2006. Stephens (No. 45), on the other hand, has her best result at Wimbledon being the 2013 quarterfinals.
The American does not arrive with good feelings on grass after losing in the first round of Eastbourne to Raducanu with a resounding 4-6, 0-6, where she lost more points than she won on her serve.

Other Exciting Matches

The 4-times Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka (No. 111) left a good impression at the Libema Open, although a week later she suffered a tough defeat to Zheng Qinwen. Nonetheless, the Japanese player seems to be in better form and it would not be surprising to see her have a good run at Wimbledon. She will debut against the young star Diane Parry (No. 53).
Naomi Osaka at 2024 Indian Wells.
A duel of talented teenagers will feature recent French Open semifinalist Mirra Andreeva and Czech player Brenda Fruhvirtova. There will also be a clash between two grass-court specialists who could easily meet in the second week: 2-times Nottingham Open champion Katie Boulter and 2022 Wimbledon semifinalist Tatjana Maria.

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