Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams Have Promising Paths at Wimbledon


She joins an increasingly long list of absentees. The men’s tournament will be without the two-time champion Rafael Nadal, the 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic and the Grand Slam singles champions Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka. The women’s tournament will also be without the American Jennifer Brady, who lost to Osaka in the final of this year’s Australian Open; she has developed plantar fasciitis.

Despite Brady’s withdrawal, 21 American women are in the singles draw, the most since 1995 and by far the most women from any nation this year. The field includes the 41-year-old Venus Williams and the 39-year-old Serena Williams. Venus first played at Wimbledon in 1997 and has won five of its singles titles, the most recent in 2008. Serena first played in 1998 and has won seven singles titles, the most recent in 2016.

Venus, who is unseeded in what could be the final Wimbledon for both sisters, will open against Mihaela Buzarnescu, a 33-year-old Romanian with a Ph.D. in sports science. Serena, seeded sixth, will face the unseeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich, a former top-30 player from Belarus.


Serena, still chasing a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title, has a promising draw. If she reaches the fourth round, she could face the 17-year-old American Coco Gauff, who is seeded 20th in her second Wimbledon, after a stirring run to the fourth round in her debut in 2019.

Ashleigh Barty, the No. 1 women’s seed, will play Carla Suárez Navarro in the first round. Their match should be played on Centre Court and give Suarez, a former top-10 player returning from cancer treatment, a fittingly grand stage for her comeback.

Novak Djokovic, the world No. 1 and the reigning men’s singles champion, will play on Centre Court on Monday against Jack Draper, a 19-year-old British wild card. Djokovic’s draw looks clement, even if he could face a second-round rematch with Kevin Anderson, the tall, big-serving South African who is now ranked 103rd. Djokovic defeated him in the 2018 Wimbledon final.


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