Tough Wimbledon draw for No.1 seed Barty
Ash Barty is likely to face the strongest of opposition if she hopes to produce her best career performance at Wimbledon.
Seeded No.1 at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time, French Open champion Ash Barty opens her 2019 Wimbledon Championships against China’s Zheng Saisai.
Should she get past the world No.43 on Tuesday, her potential path to glory at the All England Club is full of big names and grasscourt experts as she looks to extend her 12-match winning streak.
It’s a similar story for the rest of Australia’s women, with four of the five outside of Barty drawing seeds as their first-round opponents.
Daria Gavrilova will play No.8 seed Elina Svitolina while Astra Sharma has drawn 27th seed and recent Mallorca champion Sofia Kenin. Ajla Tomljanovic faces last year’s quarterfinalist Daria Kasatkina, the 29th seed, and Sam Stosur will take on 30th seed Carla Suarez Navarro, with the winner potentially facing Maria Sharapova in the last 64.
Only Arina Rodionova, who qualified on Thursday, has drawn an unseeded opponent; she takes on American lefty Taylor Townsend in round one after three impressive wins at Roehampton this week.
World No.1 Barty’s projected second-round opponent is two-time Grand Slam champion and former world No.2 Svetlana Kuznetsova, who opens against Belgian Alison van Uytvanck.
If the seedings hold, she would take on 2017 Wimbledon champion and former world No.1 Garbina Muguruza, who is seeded 26th this year.
Should Barty reach the second week, it would mark the first time in her career she has done so; her best singles result at SW19 was a third-round finish last year. A pair of grasscourt guns in Belinda Bencic or Donna Vekic – seeded No.13 and No.22 respectively – may await her in the fourth round. Barty beat Vekic in the opening round in Birmingham last week.
Moving forward, Barty could take on either defending champion Angelique Kerber or seven-time Wimbledon winner Serena Williams in the quarterfinals.
Kerber and Williams, both multiple major champions, are projected to meet in a blockbuster fourth-round encounter in what would be a rematch of the 2016 and 2018 Wimbledon finals.
If she continues her progress, Barty’s semifinal opponent could be either No.4 seed Kiki Bertens or two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, the sixth seed who comes into the tournament under a significant injury cloud.
And that’s just in the top half.
Barty’s projected opponent in the final is No.2 seed Naomi Osaka, but also lurking in the bottom half are Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, Venus Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Aryna Sabalanka, Madison Keys and Jelena Ostapenko.