A non-seeded Serena Williams stepping back into the Grand Slam at the French Open was overtly dissatisfying. Now she has been seeded 25th for next week’s Wimbledon Championships after the All England Club gave the seven-time singles champion a clean discretionary promotion.
She is ranked 183rd in the world but has returned after having a baby
The seven-time champion and the winner of 23 Grand Slams was not included in last year’s event due to her pregnancy. While at the French Open, she sparked debate due to her un-seeded placement, she has played only three tournaments in the past 12 months. Now the star has been handed a favourable seed by Wimbledon organizers.
6 days until #Wimbledon
15 years ago a boy from Switzerland and a girl from the US, both 21, shared the stage at Wimbledon for the first time.. and it wouldn’t be the last. 😏 🐐 🐐 pic.twitter.com/PQwwHmIfhx
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) June 26, 2018
The All England Club usually follows the women’s WTA world rankings, but reserves the right to change seedings — the top 32 players if deemed “necessary to produce a balanced draw”
When Williams gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, in September 2017, she left the tour, taking a maternity leave. During her pregnancy, she was ranked No 1 in the world and won the Australian Open in her first trimester. When she returned to the game, she slipped 491 spots.
“Unfortunately, in the ‘90s they changed the rule whereas if you were injured [and] then you come back, you lose your seeding,” the 36-year-old American Williams said in an interview with Good Morning America. “But they never took into account women that left No 1 due to pregnancy. And left not for an injury, but to have a great life and not give up tennis, but to come back.”
Now, the US Open has changed the rules for athletes, making it simpler for them who take time off when having a child. While Simona Halep is the top seed, with Roger Federer, her counterpart in the men’s draw, Slovakia’s world number 32 Dominika Cibulkova has not been seeded.
Feature Image Credit: Reuters