Rival players support seeding Serena Williams at French Open

26 May, 2018, 13:22 | Author: Virgil Todd
  • Lynne Sladky  AP

Consequently, (the seeds) will reflect this week's world ranking,"Sport24 quoted Williams, who was world number one when she left the WTA tour previous year after winning 2017 Australian Open, as saying".

The 36-year-old, victor of 23 Grand Slam titles, is ranked a lowly 453rd in the world after returning to action this year following the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia last September.

Ten-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal regarded Richard Gasquet as the best player he faced as a junior, but the now-31-year-old has never reached a major final.

The French Tennis Federation says the 32 women's seeds at Roland Garros will be "based on the WTA ranking".

As a result the 23-time major winner's ranking has crashed to 453 in the world and she needed to use her protected ranking to enter the draw at Roland Garros.

The WTA now gives players coming off maternity leave or injuries a "special ranking", which allows them to enter tournaments but doesn't impact seeding.

Serena had a tough time giving birth.

Sharapova added that protecting seedings "would be a nice change" to the rule and said, "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".

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. I mean if you are forced out of the game for a specific reason, whether it be maternity or injury, you need to be protected.

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In February, Williams provided details of her harrowing experience of giving birth in September to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., who was delivered by emergency Caesarean section when Williams's heart rate dropped to dangerously low levels during contractions.

She has not played a tournament since Miami in March and pulled out of the claycourt events in Madrid and Rome.

Injury then ruled her out of Wimbledon before she made a stunning Grand Slam return at the US Open under the lights of Arthur Ashe Court in August.

"It's wrong, they should protect players", said Evert.

"I don't think we would be talking about this if it wasn't Serena", she said.

She is now ranked 453.

Just in time for her return to Roland-Garros in Paris, the Nike Women's Blazer Mid SW will release May 24 in limited quantities via Nike SNKRS.

French Open organisers announced on Monday they will not give Williams a seeding.

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