Serena Williams to face Arantxa Rus in Wimbledon first round

British No 1 Johanna Konta to play Natalia Vikhlyantseva

Serena Williams’ bid for an eighth Wimbledon singles title will begin against Arantxa Rus, while British No 1 Johanna Konta will face world no 106 Natalia Vikhlyantseva.

Williams, who is playing her second tournament since returning from the birth of her first child, has been seeded 25th and will play the Dutch world No 107 for the first time.

World No 5 Elina Svitolina is the first seed Williams could face in a projected third-round blockbuster and her seeded quarter-final opponent is world No 2 Caroline Wozniacki.

Johanna Konta was beaten in the Wimbledon semi-final last year
Johanna Konta was beaten in the Wimbledon semi-final last year

Konta, who reached the semi-final last year at the All England Club, plays Russia’s Vikhlyantseva for the first time, with Simona Halep a potential fourth-round opponent in what would be a repeat of their breathtaking quarter-final last year.

Defending champion Garbine Muguruza is also in Konta’s half and the Spaniard will face Britain’s Naomi Broady in her opener while top seed Halep, who ended her search for a Grand Slam title at the French Open, will face Kurumi Nara in SW19.

Denmark’s world No 2 Wozniacki, who also broke her Grand Slam duck this year winning the Australian Open, will face Varvara Lepchenko while five-time champion and last year’s runner-up Venus Williams meets Johanna Larsson.

As for the rest of the British women, Harriet Dart has been handed the toughest task, facing Karolina Pliskova in the first round while British No 2 Heather Watson will meet Kirsten Flipkens.

Katy Dunne will play 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko while Katie Swan meets Irina Camelia Begu and Katie Boulter’s first-round opponent is Veronica Cepede Royg.

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