Wimbledon 2022: Five first-round matches to watch out for

Stan Wawrinka v Jannik Sinner is one of the five first-round matches to watch out for at Wimbledon 2022

Stan Wawrinka v Jannik Sinner is one of the five first-round matches to watch out for at Wimbledon 2022

Here are five first-round matches to watch out for at Wimbledon 2022, as per the draw made on Friday.

[10] Jannik Sinner vs. Stan Wawrinka

One of the brightest talents on Tour will meet an old war horse in the first round at Wimbledon when Jannik Sinner takes on Stan Wawrinka.

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The 10th seed Sinner is yet to win a tour-level match on grass and will have his work cut out when he meets former World No. 3 Wawrinka.

The 37-year-old is a three-time Grand Slam champion and is gearing up for his 16th appearance at SW19, with his best result a run to the quarter-finals in 2014 and 2015.

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Wawrinka will enter the clash with a 2-0 lead lead over Sinner, but both of his victories came in 2019 when the Italian was outside the Top 100.

(7) Hubert Hurkacz vs. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina

Hubert Hurkacz enjoyed a standout run to the semi-finals on the lawns at Wimbledon last season, defeating eight-time titlist Roger Federer on the way.

However, the seventh seed will need to be at his very best if he is to avoid an early exit this year.

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Opponent Alejandro Davidovich Fokina won the Wimbledon boys’ singles title in 2017.

The Spaniard is making his second main-draw appearance at Wimbledon and had advanced to the quarter-finals at The Queen’s Club earlier this month.

Hurkacz also arrives in good form, though, after capturing his first grass-court title in Halle last week. They have played four matches previously, with two wins apiece.

[6] Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Maxime Cressy

Maxime Cressy plays an attacking brand of serve-and-volley tennis, which still is hugely effective on grass, signified by his run to the semi-finals in Eastbourne this week.

Felix Auger-Aliassime will therefore have to be ready for the challenge if he is to reach the second round once again.

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Last year, the Canadian soared to the quarter-finals at The Championships, defeating Nick Kyrgios and Germany’s Alexander Zverev en route.

Earlier this month, Auger-Aliassime advanced to the semi-finals in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and the quarter-finals in Halle.

Karolina Muchova vs. [16] Simona Halep

There are question marks over the fitness of 2019 champion Simona Halep, after she pulled out of the tune-up event in Bad Homburg with a neck injury.

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She faces a tricky first round against Karolina Muchova. The Czech, ranked 82 in the world, has competed at Wimbledon only twice before this but made the quarterfinal both times (2019, 2021).

The 25-year-old Muchova’s best Grand Slam performance was at the 2021 Australian Open, when she defeated Jelena Ostapenko, Karolina Pliskova and Ash Barty to reach the semifinals.

Zheng Qinwen vs. Sloane Stephens

Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen was the only player at the French Open to take a set off eventual champion Iga Swiatek. On her Roland Garros debut, the attacking 19-year made it all the way to the fourth round.

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Zheng, currently ranked 53 in the world, defeated Stephens in Charleston back in April, but is still looking for her first professional win on grass.

Stephens, the former US Open champion, played only one tune-up event for Wimbledon but lost in the first round at Bad Homburg. She is ranked 48 in the world currently.