Serena could get Wimbledon seeding, despite French snub

Annette Crawford
May 24, 2018

Given the fact that Williams has won three French Open Championships at Roland Garros, it does seem unfair that she will have to enter unseeded because of her time-off to start a family.

The Williams sisters were dominant in the sport a number of years ago but while sister Venus faded a little bit, Serena kept at the top level for a while until she took maternity leave in January 2017.

The All England Club's official statement on the matter is that it follows the WTA ranking list, except where in the opinion of the seeding committee, a change is necessary to produce a balanced draw.

With organisers sticking strictly to the world rankings, Williams, now ranked 453, will be unseeded in Paris, which means she could face any of the highest-ranked players in the first or second round.

Current rules covering maternity leave and injuries allow a protected or "special" ranking to be utilized for entry into tournaments but not for seeding purposes regardless of the reason for a player's absence.

The American is expected to play at next week's Roland Garros, where she has won the title thrice, but without being seeded she could meet reigning champion Jelena Ostapenko in the first round. Two weeks later, she lost to Japan's Naomi Osaka in the first round of the Miami Open.

"I would like to see that change". But seeding is based on current rank.

However, that didn't stop Clijsters, who needed a wildcard just to compete in NY, from going on to lift the second of four career Grand Slam titles. Tennis great Maria Sharapova thinks Williams deserves seeding because it takes incredible emotional and physical effort to return to the game after giving birth.

"This past year, the WTA made adjustments in order to align a player who is out for pregnancy with a player who is out for a long term injury", they said.

Fourth-ranked Elina Svitolina, who defended her Italian Open title on Sunday, was also supportive of seeding Williams. If Williams enters unseeded, she could end up facing some of the top ranked players in the early rounds which makes it a lot more hard for her to advance and book herself a place in the quarter or semi-finals.

"It's normal to give birth".

Just in time for her return to Roland-Garros in Paris, the Nike Women's Blazer Mid SW will release May 24 in limited quantities via Nike SNKRS.

"I do expect that this rule will be reviewed further as part of our 2019 rules process". Former world number five Eugenie Bouchard has already failed in her quest, retiring hurt against Dalila Jakupovic on Wednesday. "We remain committed to evolving with the needs of our players and are very supportive of those players returning from maternity leave to the tour".

"I don't think we would be talking about this if it wasn't Serena", she said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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