Serena drawn to play Pliskova in French Open first round

Kristyna Pliskova faces a daunting opening-round contest at the French Open against Serena Williams.

Published : May 24, 2018 23:03 IST

Serena Williams' return to grand slam tennis will see her play Kristyna Pliskova in the first round of the French Open.

The American great has not played one of tennis' major tournaments since winning a 23rd grand slam title - an Open Era record - at the Australian Open in 2017, having given birth to her daughter last September.

Williams' extended absence from the WTA Tour means she heads to Roland Garros, where she is a three-time champion, unseeded and meets world number 70 Pliskova first up.

Should she come through that tie unscathed, a second-round date with Ashleigh Barty (17) or Natalia Vikhlyantseva awaits, while Julia Georges (11) is a potential opponent in round three.

Even more intriguingly, Williams could come up against her old nemesis Maria Sharapova in the last 16, with Pliskova's twin sister Karolina another possibility.

World number one Simona Halep, a beaten finalist at Roland Garros for the second time in her career 12 months ago, has a favourable draw with Alison Riske first up then a guaranteed round-two tie with a wildcard in the form of Myrtille Georges or Taylor Townsend.

Last year's surprise champion Jelena Ostapenko (5) begins the defence of her title against Kateryna Kozlova, while Caroline Wozniacki (2) starts against Danielle Collins. Garbine Muguruza (3) – the champion in 2016 – faces a tough task against the experienced Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2009 victor.

Other notable first-round matches see Elina Svitolina (4) face Ajla Tomljanovic, Petra Kvitova (8) take on Veronica Cepede Royg and Venus Williams (9) go up against Qiang Wang.

Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment