French Open Officials Decline Giving Tennis Champion Serena Williams Seeding

Rafael Nadal tennis news

As usual, all eyes are on Serena Williams, no matter what whether she's attending the most talked-about wedding of the year or practising at Roland Garros.

While Williams can enter Roland Garros under the WTA's protected or "special" ranking rule, it's up to Grand Slam organizers to give her a seed.

She gave birth to a daughter on September 1, then dealt with medical complications, and while she originally had hoped to be back on tour by the Australian Open this January, that did not work out.

"This year again, tournament officials will establish the list and ranking of the women's seeds based on the WTA ranking", the French Tennis Federation told the Associated Press in a statement.

Several people in the tennis world have argued that the policy unfairly punishes women who step away to have a child - which Williams did past year - by forcing them to sacrifice their ranking to do so.

Williams won the French Open most recently in 2015.

John Isner
AFP Getty Images

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. She won her first match in 14 months when she beat Zarina Diyas 7-5, 6-3 in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open on March 8 in Indian Wells, Calif. It's normal to have protected ranking ...

"It's such an incredible effort for a woman to come back from physically, emotionally".

She found out on Monday that she will not be seeded, which could make for a hard path through the tournament. Since then she has not had even a sniff at a title on clay but will be raring to go at the year's second grand slam.

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. "But in my opinion it's good to protect the ranking when someone is giving birth".

"Tennis is such a selfish sport but I think when there's a child in your life you lose a little bit of that, because there's something that's so much more important ... It's normal to have protected ranking. t's more than tennis", top-ranked Simona Halep said.

"Not just for her but for the other women who could play her in the first round". "She had a kid, which we should all be celebrating, so when she comes back there should be a grace period where she can still be seeded". "I am very satisfied and confident that she will be ready for Roland Garros", Patrick Mouratoglou said in an interview for the WTA's website. "The rule is now under further review as part of our 2019 rules process".

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