Wimbledon draw: Swiatek headlines loaded top half

 - Reem Abulleil

Exciting match-ups in store on both the women's and men's sides at SW19.

Iga Swiatek Wimbledon 2021©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

The Wimbledon women's and men's draws were unveiled at the All England Club on Friday, with Iga Swiatek and Novak Djokovic in position as top seeds.

Here are some of the things we learned from the draw...

Iga's road to possible win streak of 42

Swiatek arrives at Wimbledon unbeaten in her last 35 consecutive matches. Only two tennis players have put together longer winning streaks in the 2000s: Novak Djokovic (43) and Roger Federer (41).

Should she clinch the title at SW19, Swiatek's streak would hit 42, surpassing Federer's impressive run from 15 years ago.

But who stands in her path to a possible third major title?

The reigning Roland-Garros champion's route could look like this:

First round - Jana Fett (Q)

Second round - Sonay Kartal (WC) / Danka Kovinic

Third round - Yulia Putintseva [27]

Fourth round - Barbora Krejcikova [13] / Jil Teichmann [18]

Quarter-finals - Jessica Pegula [8] / Garbine Muguruza [9]

Semi-finals - Paula Badosa [4] / Karolina Pliskova [6] / Coco Gauff [11] / Simona Halep [16] / Petra Kvitova [25]

Final - Anett Kontaveit [2] / Ons Jabeur [3] / Maria Sakkari [5]

Serena lands in stacked section

Having not contested a singles match since last year's Wimbledon, 23-time major winner Serena Williams is unseeded at these Championships and had to receive a wildcard to enter the draw.

The 40-year-old opens against French world No.113 Harmony Tan and has several heavy-hitters in close proximity including last year's finalist Karolina Pliskova (possible third round), Roland-Garros finalist and No.11 seed Coco Gauff (possible fourth round), two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep (quarter-final), two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova (quarter-final), and No.4 seed Paula Badosa (quarter-final).

Jabeur avoids Swiatek's half

Tunisian Ons Jabeur will rise to a career-high No.2 in the world on Monday but is seeded No.3 at Wimbledon, which means she could have shared a half of the draw with the unstoppable Swiatek.

Lucky for Jabeur though, she landed in the bottom half, and can only face Swiatek in the final, should they both make it that far.

The recent Berlin champion was a quarter-finalist at SW19 last year and is considered one of the top contenders for the title this upcoming fortnight. She faces Swedish qualifier Mirjam Bjorklund in her opener and could get former champion Angelique Kerber in the fourth round.

Juicy early rounds

Halep's first Wimbledon appearance since she won the 2019 final over Williams will be a mouth-watering clash with two-time quarter-finalist Karolina Muchova, the crafty Czech, who is a natural on grass.

Home favourite and No.10 seed Emma Raducanu also has a brutal opener against in-form Belgian Alison van Uytvanck, who has won 12 matches on grass these past few weeks, including two titles ($100k in Surbiton, WTA 125 in Gaiba).

No.8 seed Jessica Pegula's first round against grass-court love Donna Vekic is also one to watch.

Some intriguing possible third rounds include:

Bianca Andreescu v Garbine Muguruza

Serena Williams v Karolina Pliskova

Paula Badosa v Petra Kvitova

Coco Gauff v Amanda Anisimova

Belinda Bencic v Beatriz Haddad Maia

Djokovic, Alcaraz on collision course

Big servers, Andy Murray, and Spanish teen phenom Carlos Alcaraz are all possible obstacles for defending champion Novak Djokovic in his quarter of the draw.

Undefeated in his last 21 matches at Wimbledon, Djokovic's quest for a 21st Grand Slam trophy will begin against South Korea's Kwon Soonwoo.

The first seed in Djokovic's path is fellow Serb, the No.25 seed Miomir Kecmanovic, while power-server Reilly Opelka and Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili are two of his potential fourth round opponents.

Looming ahead in the quarter-finals are the likes of fifth-seeded Alcaraz, two-time champion Murray, or another huge serve in the form of No.20 seed John Isner.

Last year's semi-finalist, recent Halle champion and No.7 seed Hubert Hurkacz could square off with Djokovic in the final four.

Tough path for Rafa

If second-seeded Rafael Nadal wants to keep his bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam alive, the Spaniard will have to do it the hard way.

Several experienced grass-court players are in his path, including Italian No.27 seed Lorenzo Sonego (possible third round), No.14 seed and former finalist Marin Cilic (possible fourth round), last year's quarter-finalist and No.6 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime (possible quarter-final), 2021 runner-up Matteo Berrettini and unseeded danger man Nick Kyrgios (both possible semi-final opponents).

Unseeded threats

Andy Murray, Nick Kyrgios, Jack Draper, David Goffin and Alexander Bublik are all unseeded and can pose as serious threats in the draw.

Kyrgios, who recently made semis in Stuttgart and Halle, could square off with No.4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round and is in the same quarter as eighth-seeded Berrettini.

Goffin is a possible quarter-final opponent for Hurkacz while Draper could face Berrettini in the fourth round.

Popcorn openers

There are some unmissable first rounds on the men's side including:

Jannik Sinner v Stan Wawrinka

Jan-Lennard Struff v Carlos Alcaraz

Alexander Bublik v Marton Fucsovics

Felix Auger-Aliassime v Maxime Cressy