Serena gets seeding at Wimbledon, but not at French Open

Brunilde Fioravanti
Mag 24, 2018

When Yannick Noah beat Mats Wilander in the 1983 French Open final to end the hosts' 37-year wait for a men's singles champion, few home fans would have thought the next 35 years wouldn't produce another.

The decision by French Open organisers not to grant Serena Williams a seeding on her long-awaited Grand Slam return has prompted renewed focus on the sport's policy towards female players and parenthood. Consequently, (the seeds) will reflect this week's world ranking,"Sport24 quoted Williams, who was world number one when she left the WTA tour past year after winning 2017 Australian Open, as saying".

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.

Williams - who attended the British royal wedding with husband Alexis Ohanian last weekend - is set to compete in the 2018 French Open.

Victoria Azarenka was unseeded at last year's Wimbledon in her first Grand Slam since giving birth in late 2016, while Kim Clijsters was in a similar position at the 2009 US Open.

Her ranking was protected during maternity leave, enabling her to enter the French Open. "But she didn't. She had a baby, a physically grueling experience made even more so by complications that left her bedridden for six weeks", Armour wrote.

"I would like to see that change".

Serena Williams of the United States plays a forehand in her semifinal match against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia on day 11 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park, Jan. 26, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.

3rd Round. a. Ostapenko was the first woman in almost four decades to make a Grand Slam title the first tour-level triumph of her career.

"Tennis is definitely a roller coaster", Stephens said. "But in my opinion it's good to protect the ranking when someone is giving birth". James Blake, a former ATP Tour player who is the director of the Miami Open, said at the time that a player such as Williams deserved to have been "protected" by the WTA.

Maria Sharapova who has been one of William's rivals over the years is in favour of the WTA changing its rules so players like Serena Williams don't get punished for taking time off to start a family.

"As always, we remain committed to reviewing the evolving needs of our players and are very supportive of those players returning from pregnancy to the tour". She was not seeded at either tournament. "The rule is now under further review as part of our 2019 rules process".

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