Serena Williams seeded 25th for Wimbledon

Serena Williams seeded 25th for Wimbledon

Javier Howell
June 28, 2018

Some players and tennis commentators have said it is unfair that women who go on maternity leave to have a baby lose their ranking, and therefore their seeding at big tournaments.

The 36-year-old American gave birth to a daughter last September and was off the tour for more than a year.

The 31-year-old - who spent almost 11 months off the court due to a hip injury and then a subsequent operation - has not yet committed himself to play at Wimbledon and is due to play compatriot Kyle Edmund at Eastbourne later Wednesday.

The All England Club usually follows the latest ranking list, but under tournament rules it can make a change if deemed "necessary to produce a balanced draw".

With a seed, Williams is protected from facing an elite player in the early rounds.

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.

The draw for Wimbledon is Friday; play begins Monday.

Sharapova is seeded one place above her whilst Serena's sister Venus, who lost in last year's final, is ninth seed.

Defending champion Roger Federer tops the men's seeds despite Spaniard Rafael Nadal knocking him off the top spot in the rankings this week.

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Novak Djokovic is No. 12, Britain's Kyle Edmund is seeded No. 22 and French Open surprise Marco Cecchinato is No. 31.

Former champion Andy Murray, however, misses out on a seeding as he continues his comeback from hip surgery.

"I think if it was a different player, not her, I think she would not be seeded".

Wimbledon made Williams the 25th seed, which comes at the expense of Dominika Cibulkova, who was ranked 32nd and therefore didn't get seeded at all to make room for Williams.

"I don't think it's the right thing to do", Cibulkova told the BBC before the seedings were released.

"But it's just not fair if there is a player [who misses out] and it's me now". Cibulkova, who has reached the tournament's quarterfinals twice, can now be selected to face anyone from the main draw in the first round. "So I think that's why".

"Why should I not be seeded if I have the right to be?" I have tried and I should be seeded.

In the run-up to Wimbledon, Caroline Wozniacki advocated expressly for Williams, calling on tournament officials to award her a seed.