Serena Williams seeding debate to rumble on as WTA considers rule change

28 June, 2018, 22:46 | Author: Isabel Grant
  • Serena Williams with baby daughter Alexis Olympia

Seven-time champion Serena Williams has been announced as the 25th seed for Wimbledon.

Williams was unseeded at the French Open and looked ominous in her first grand slam since giving birth before withdrawing with a pectoral injury. "I want to put her above everything else I'm doing", she said. It's just because she won it many times and she's Serena Williams.

"I just think it's so important to enjoy the moment".

"It was hard for me", she says of critics' takes on her body in her younger professional days. However, the All England Club can make a change if deemed "necessary to produce a balanced draw".

It was indeed incredibly hard for the athlete after her daughter was born via emergency C-section: She was bedridden for the first six weeks of little Alexis Olympia's life after suffering from a hematoma and blood clots in her lungs, and as recently as last month, she was still coping with postpartum depression.

The 36-year-old is now 183rd in the rankings but has called for players returning from pregnancy to have protected seedings. In turn, top players - such as defending champion Sabine Muguruza, French Open champion Simona Halep and reigning U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens - are protected against facing Williams in an early round.

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Williams has been "seeded" in the starting lineup of the tournament, which means she has to play opening matches against lower-ranked opponents, and has a better shot at the title. Venus Williams is No. 9, Australia's Ashleigh Barty is No. 17, home favorite Jo Konta is No. 22 and Maria Sharapova is seeded 24th, one place ahead of Serena Williams.

In the men's draw, the champion, Roger Federer, is seeded No1, despite losing the top spot in the world rankings to Rafael Nadal at the beginning of the week.

The world number one arrives in London with serious momentum after finally winning her first Grand Slam crown.

Dominika Cibulkova misses out on being seeded following Williams' elevation, a decision the Slovakian said would be unfair. "I think and I hope - and it should be under review - to change these rules". I think that's good.

She later added, "I don't know if I want to play if I have another baby, but you're right". "But I think this is a little bit of a different story".

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