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Wimbledon 2021: Serena Williams to meet Aliaksandra Sasnovich in first round

The 23-time Grand Slam champion opens against the world No 100 but will not meet her 2019 conqueror, after Simona Halep pulled out prior to the draw; British No 1 Johanna Konta will face Katerina Siniakova and the British wildcard Francesca Jones has drawn Coco Gauff

Serena Williams could meet Angelique Kerber in the third round of the Wimbledon Championships
Image: Serena Williams could meet Angelique Kerber in the third round of the Wimbledon Championships

Serena Williams will begin her latest quest for a 24th Grand Slam title by meeting the world No 100 Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships.

One opponent that Williams will not face in her bid to create history in SW19, will be the athlete who beat her to the title in 2019 - Simona Halep.

The Romanian, who tore her left calf muscle during a match in Rome in May, announced directly before the draw took place that she is not fit and cannot compete at this year's Wimbledon Championships.

If Williams prevails over Sasnovich and her second-round opponent too, then she will potentially meet Angelique Kerber, who she lost to in the 2018 final.

The British No 1 Johanna Konta will face Czech Katerina Siniakova in the opening round and her potential third-round opponent is the world No 1 Ashleigh Barty.

Barty will open against Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro, who is playing her final Wimbledon before retirement after recovering from cancer.

The British wildcard Francesca Jones will make her Wimbledon main-draw debut against 17-year-old Coco Gauff, who is back at the All England Club two years after her spectacular arrival on the world stage.

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Heather Watson will meet a qualifier, while Harriet Dart has been handed a tough draw against the 13th seed Elise Mertens.

The 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova takes on a Danish 18-year-old Clara Tauson, while the 2020 champion at Roland Garros - Iga Swiatek - is set to meet a tricky first-round opponent, Su-Wei Hsieh.

Brit Watch

In total there were eight British women in the singles draw when it was made, with 18-year-old Emma Raducanu being the youngest.

As a junior, Raducanu reached back-to-back quarter-finals at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018 and she has already been part of two Fed Cup teams.

Raducanu has drawn a qualifier in the opening round and if successful, she would face either Marketa Vondrousova or Anett Kontaveit in the second round.

The Brits' Draw

Johanna Konta vs Katarina Siniakova
Heather Watson vs Qualifier
Harriet Dart vs Elise Mertens
Samantha Murray Sharan vs Sorana Cirstea
Katie Boulter vs Qualifier
Fran Jones vs Coco Gauff
Jodie Burrage vs Lauren Davis
Emma Raducanu vs Qualifer

Samantha Murray Sharan faces Sorana Cirstea, who is playing in her 12th Wimbledon main draw, while Katie Boulter will also meet a qualifier.

Jones' encounter with Gauff will be eagerly anticipated while Dart has not faced Mertens since 2014, when they met in Portugal. Jodie Burrage's opener will see her face Lauren Davis for the first time in her career.

A couple of hours after the draw was concluded, Katie Swan became the first British woman to qualify for Wimbledon in 20 years.

The world No 284, who reached the second round in 2018, beat Arina Rodionova 6-0 6-4 to secure her spot in the main draw.

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