Serena Williams offered kind return by Wimbledon draw

• Ex-champion plays Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus in first round
• Johanna Konta to play Russia’s Natalia Vikhlyantseva

As Gareth Southgate knows, the draw in any sporting tournament matters most to those with least chance of winning it. To lift the trophy, the best sooner or later have to beat the best, be it on day one or in the final.

Yet the hidden drama in Friday’s women’s singles draw for Wimbledon was unavoidable from top to bottom – most obviously with Serena Williams’s return to the All England Club on Monday, after two years away, against the world No 107, Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands.

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