Americans on grass: 2022 Wimbledon preview
London's calling and Wimbledon's here. Eighteen American women and 15 men will feature at the year's grass-court Grand Slam, and there's no shortage of players to watch among them.
Seven American women feature in the Top 32 seeds, the most of any nation, but the most compelling storyline prior to Friday's draw ceremony was where one particular unseeded player would fall: Serena Williams.
The 23-time major champion and seven-time Wimbledon winner returned to tennis last week after nearly a year out in Eastbourne, where she just played doubles, and received a wild card in the singles draw.
Read more at usta.com: Serena Williams announces return to tennis
As it turned out, Williams fell into the second quarter of the draw on the top half. She'll open against France's Harmony Tan, a 24-year-old ranked No. 113, and could be a potential third-round opponent for No. 6 seed and 2021 Wimbledon finalist Karolina Pliskova. No. 11 seed Coco Gauff, the Roland Garros finalist, and No. 20 seed Amanda Anisimova are also in the section as potential fourth-round opponents.
First Rounds for American Women at Wimbledon 2022
(7) Danielle Collins vs. Marie Bouzkova (CZE)
(8) Jessica Pegula vs. Donna Vekic (CRO)
(11) Coco Gauff vs. Elena-Gabriela Ruse (ROU)
(19) Madison Keys vs. Misaki Doi (JPN)
(20) Amanda Anisimova vs. Wang Xinyu (CHN)
(28) Alison Riske vs. Ylena In-Albon (SUI)
(30) Shelby Rogers vs. Petra Martic (CRO)
(WC) Serena Williams vs. Harmony Tan (FRA)
Bernarda Pera vs. (2) Anett Kontaveit (EST)
(Q) Louisa Chirico vs. (4) Paula Badosa (ESP)
(Q) Christina McHale vs. (32) Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP)
Ann Li vs. Lucia Bronzetti (ITA)
Madison Brengle vs. Lauren Davis
Claire Liu vs. Nuria Parrizas Diaz (ESP)
(Q) Catherine Harrison vs. Arantxa Rus (NED)
Sloane Stephens vs. Zheng Qinwen (CHN)
(Q) Emina Bektas vs. Bianca Andreescu (CAN)
Of the 18 American women in the main draw, four of them—Emina Bektas, Louisa Chirico, Catherine Harrison and Christina McHale—made it through qualifying. Harrison, a 28-year-old from Tennessee, played college tennis at UCLA is playing in the first Grand Slam main draw of her career. The only all-American match in either of the singles draws is between Madison Brengle and Lauren Davis, with the winner a potential Round 2 foe for Anisimova.
The two-highest seeded Americans, Danielle Collins and Jessica Pegula, both haven't played since Roland Garros, which leaves No. 11 seed Gauff as the most in-form U.S. woman on grass headed into the event; in her first tournament after Paris, Gauff reached the semifinals in Berlin before losing to eventual champion Ons Jabeur, who's seeded No. 3 at Wimbledon.
Meanwhile, Bernarda Pera and Louisa Chrico will look for big wins against two Top 5 seeds in the first round as they drew No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit and No. 4 seed Paula Badosa, respectively. Former world No. 56 Chirico, who returned last year after two years off with a career-threatening shoulder injury, is playing her first Wimbledon in six years.
On the men's side, No. 11 seed Taylor Fritz leads six American men in the Top 32 and 15 in the draw overall. Christian Harrison and former Top 10 player Jack Sock earned their way in by winning three matches in qualifying. After a foot injury impacted his clay-court preparations, Fritz will come into Wimbledon on an upswing; after losing his first two matches on grass this summer, he's reached the semifinals in Eastbourne. Later on Friday, he'll play Australia's Alex de Minaur for a spot in Saturday's final.
Speaking of in-form players, Maxime Cressy will also come into Wimbledon looking to make a deep run despite being unseeded; also through to the semifinals in Eastbourne, Cressy will have a tough task ahead of him in the first round at the All-England Club against No. 6 seed and 2021 quarterfinalist Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada. Nonetheless, with quality wins over Reilly Opelka, Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie coming in, Cressy's proved this week that his classic serve-and-volley game still works on grass in this era.
First Rounds for American Men at Wimbledon 2022
(11) Taylor Fritz vs. Lorenzo Musetti (ITA)
(15) Reilly Opelka vs. Carlos Taberner (ESP)
(20) John Isner vs. (Q) Enzo Couacaud (FRA)
(23) Frances Tiafoe vs. (Q) Andrea Vavassori (ITA)
(29) Jenson Brooksby vs. (Q) Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ)
(30) Tommy Paul vs. Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
(Q) Christian Harrison vs. (WC) Jay Clarke (GBR)
Maxime Cressy vs. (6) Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN)
Mackenzie McDonald vs. (14) Marin Cilic (CRO)
Steve Johnson vs. (18) Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)
Marcos Giron vs. (24) Holger Rune (DEN)
Denis Kudla vs. (27) Lorenzo Sonego (ITA)
(Q) Jack Sock vs. (Q) Bernabe Zapata Miralles (ESP)
Brandon Nakashima vs. (Q) Nicola Kuhn (GER)
Sam Querrey vs. Ricardas Berankis (LTU)
The 15 U.S. men in the singles main draw this year is the most since 2009, and the six seeded men is the highest number of American seeds in the men's draw at Wimbledon since Grand Slams began seeding 32 players in 2001. The last time six American men were seeded at Wimbledon was 1993, when Grand Slams had 16 seeds.
Wimbledon begins on Monday, June 27 and runs through Sunday, July 10. For more information, including full draws and the daily order of play, visit the official Wimbledon website.
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