Emma Raducanu learns Wimbledon first round opponent as draw is made


    mma Raducanu declared herself fit for Wimbledon where she faces a potentially tricky opening-round match having been drawn to play Alison Van Uytvanck.

    The experienced Belgian is a former Grand Slam quarter-finalist, who reached the last 16 of Wimbledon in 2018 and is currently ranked 46th in the world.

    Van Uytvanck has had an impressive build-up to Wimbledon, winning the grasscourt tournament in Gaiba, Italy, last week while Raducanu’s action on the surface has been heavily curtailed.

    She withdrew while playing her opening match at the Nottingham Open with what she called a “freak” side strain leaving her Wimbledon participation in doubt.

    There were concerns about her participation when she did not practice at the All England Club yesterday as she has done all week. But her team allayed fears over the injury and she was due on Court No1 on Friday for the first of two 45-minute practice sessions on the show courts.

    Last year’s Wimbledon proved the breakout event for the British teenager as she moved into the fourth round before breathing difficulties forced her withdrawal against Ajla Tomljanovic.

    She then went on to her fairytale win at the US Open but her 2022 season has been beset by a litany of injury problems, most recently her side strain. It remains to be seen whether it hampers her during her home Grand Slam.

    Champion: Serena Williams is back at Wimbledon

    / PA

    Elsewhere in the women’s draw, seven-time champion Serena Williams will play her first competitive singles match in a year against France’s Harmony Tan, who is yet to make it past the second round of a Grand Slam.

    Williams was a surprise return to action in Eastbourne this week in the doubles alongside Ons Jabeur but has not played singles since damaging her ankle in the opening round of Wimbledon 12 months ago. She is still bidding aged 40 to match the record 24 Grand Slam titles held by Margaret Court.

    World No1 Iga Swiatek, in the midst of a 35-match winning streak, faces world No254 Jana Fett, while another in-form Briton Katie Boulter faces Clara Burel and Boulter’s fellow Brit Katie Swan takes on Marta Kostyuk. Harriet Dart, meawhile, opens her 2022 Wimbledon against Rebeka Masarova.

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