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Wimbledon: Three potential first round upsets in the women's draw

Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam of the season, gets underway on Monday with the biggest names in tennis preparing to take to the grass courts at the All England Club.

Iga Swiatek, Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka lead the way in the women's singles competition this year and while all three are capable of big tournaments, shock early exits are not uncommon in Grand Slam events.

Plucky underdog performances make tournaments like Wimbledon what they are, so here is a look at three potential upsets that could be on the cards in the first round of this year's Grand Slam.

WhatWimbledon 2023
WhereAll England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
WhenMonday 3rd July - Sunday 16th July
How to watchBBC Sport & Eurosport
OddsWimbledon Women's singles outright: Iga Swiatek 5/2, Elena Rybakina 15/4, Aryna Sabalenka 5/1, Petra Kvitova 12/1, Coco Gauff 14/1

Lack of game time could cost Bencic against Swan

It has been a stop-start season for Swiss ace Belinda Bencic this year.

A hip injury has limited her game time on the WTA tour in 2023 and forced her to withdraw from WTA 1000 events in Madrid and Rome earlier in the campaign.

She performed well at the Charleston Open in early April, losing in the final to Ons Jabeur, but was not in action again until the French Open at the end of May and that ended badly with a first-round exit at the hands of Elina Avanesyan.

Since then Bencic has had no grass-court preparation ahead of Wimbledon and she looks vulnerable in her first-round clash with Briton Katie Swan.

Swan, 24, is still finding her feet in her career and only previously reached the second round of Wimbledon back in 2018.

But she was in good nick at the recent ITF Great Britain 09A, reaching the final, and took a set off Alize Cornet at the Nottingham Open.

At 2/1, she could be of interest to spring a surprise against struggling Bencic, who is 2/5 to win.

2022 runner-up Jabeur could be vulnerable in opener

Ons Jabeur was a set up in the final of Wimbledon last year, eventually losing 6-3 2-6 2-6 to Elena Rybakina, but she could be in for a tougher time of it at the All England Club this time around.

Sixth seed Jabeur begins her grass-court Grand Slam campaign against tricky Pole Magdalena Frech, who could be worth a bet to win this match at the big price of 7/2.

Jabeur reached two Grand Slam finals in 2022 but it feels as though she has gone backwards this season and her grass-court preparation this summer has not been great.

The Tunisian lost her only match at the German Open to Jule Niemeier before crashing out in the last 16 of the Eastbourne International against Camila Giorgi.

As for Frech, she has got some decent grass-court practice in before Wimbledon, making the quarter-finals of both the Nottingham Open and the Birmingham Classic.

Her run to the third round of Wimbledon last year was her best-ever performance at a Grand Slam singles event and she is worth monitoring.

Burrage looks to build on Nottingham success

There are a handful of British women looking to make the most of a home crowd at Wimbledon this summer and among them is Jodie Burrage, who could open with a victory against American Caty McNally against the odds.

Burrage is enjoying a great grass-court campaign, having started with a run to the final of the Nottingham Open in which she beat the likes of Magda Linette, Magdalena Frech and Alize Cornet.

Her subsequent Birmingham Classic campaign was underwhelming but she was back at it at Eastbourne, reaching the last 16 before a straight-sets loss to Coco Gauff.

Burrage has a way to go in her career but she has reached the first round of Wimbledon in each of the last three seasons and looks ready to go a step further.

McNally ended up missing the recent Eastbourne International and won only one match at the Birmingham Classic beforehand, so she is not exactly in fine form and could be worth taking on in the first round at the All England Club.

Burrage is priced at 2/1 to cause n upset in this one, with McNally 2/5.

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