An Unseeded Serena Williams Looms in the French Open Draw

Annette Crawford
May 26, 2018

Now, more than a year later, she is ranked 453 and French Open organizers have refused to seed her this weekend as she returns for her first major since the complicated birth that almost killed her.

Trump was responding to an ESPN report that Williams, who was ranked No. 1 when she left to give birth to her daughter in September, will not be given a seed at Roland Garros ahead of this year's tournament. Without a top seeding, the 23-time Grand Slam champion risks facing highly ranked players in the early rounds - meaning there's a greater chance she could lose early on in the competition. At least, though, she won't have an early date with Halep, a possibility warned of earlier in the week by Chris Evert, the 18-time Grand Slam singles victor who also said that Williams deserved better.

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'No person should ever be penalized professionally for having a child! "I mean if you are forced out of the game for a specific reason, whether it be maternity or injury, you need to be protected", Evert told Reuters.

Ohanian has been based in San Francisco since relocating their from Brooklyn some years ago, but he and Serena and their daughter have been spending most of their postpartum time in Florida-though signs seem to be pointing due west, at least some day.

Williams, a three-time Roland Garros champion, was drawn against Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the first round of the French Open at Thursday's draw. It's normal to have protected ranking. "But in my opinion it's good to protect the ranking when someone is giving birth".

Ellis now has two children - but she has spoken openly about her own fertility difficulties.

"Historically, WTA players have not been supportive of the use of special rankings for seeding purposes", the WTA said in a statement to The AP.

Fourth-ranked Elina Svitolina, who retained her Italian Open title on Sunday, was also supportive of seeding Williams. "She was my idol since I was growing up".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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