Serena Williams to face Kristyna Pliskova in French Open first round
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Serena Williams to face Kristyna Pliskova in French Open first round

Serena Williams will open her campaign at the clay-court Grand Slam - French Open - against 70th-ranked Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

tennis Updated: May 24, 2018 23:22 IST
Agencies
Serena Williams,Kristyna Pliskova,French Open
Serena Williams will face Kristyna Pliskova in French Open first round.(REUTERS)

Serena Williams’ return to Grand Slam tennis will see her play Kristyna Pliskova in the first round of the French Open 2018.

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.

She could face Maria Sharapova in the fourth round of the French Open on her return to Grand Slam tennis from maternity leave. Without a seeding, Williams was placed in the same quarter of the draw as Sharapova, who is unseeded too.

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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.

Top-ranked Simona Halep will open against Alison Riske, and defending champion Jelena Ostapenko will take on Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine.

First Published: May 24, 2018 23:22 IST