Serena Williams might get a top seeding despite her ranking; we give you the scoop as to why. Williams has been inactive since the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia in September 2017. She has dropped to 449th in the world since the birth of her daughter.
She has however played four tournaments since her return and hoisted herself back to the top 32. Williams says that players returning from pregnancy should be protected and should retain their rankings and seedings.
Richard Lewis; CEO of the All England Club told BBC Sport that it was a “big decision”. At first, Lewis thought it would not be possible that Williams would be given a seeding even if she ranked in the top 32 but that was not the case.
The club clarified that it would be possible to seed a player regardless of their ranking,
With the Wimbledon beginning in July, Williams has high hopes of getting a seeding. “The seeding order follows the WTA ranking list, except where in the opinion of the committee, a change is necessary to produce a balanced draw,” the club said.
The seeding meeting will take place on June 26th.
After Indian Wells, world number one Simona Halep said she believed Serena Williams “should have been given top seed”; while Miami tournament director James Blake said the seeding rules for players returning from pregnancy were “a kind of punishment”.
There is hope for Williams to get a seeding but the case is not the same for Scottish Andy Murray. In the event that he is not ranked top 32 by the time the championships begin in July, he will be out on the seeding.
Murray suffered a hip injury in last year’s Wimbledon in the quarter-finals. He had surgery in January and has been training on court but there low chances of him getting to the top 32.
“We take into account grass-court results from preceding years but the agreement we have with the ATP is based on computer formula,” Lewis said.
“Andy wouldn’t be put in the top 32 if he isn’t in that formula.”
This means Murray could be drawn against Federer or Nadal in the first round.
So, in theory, Serena Williams could be the top seed. And yet she could also be unseeded and have to play the top seed in the first round.
Williams will get into the draw because she has a protected ranking, and she recently told the New York Times she would also be in favour of having protected seedings.
“I think it’s more of a protection for women to have a life,” Williams said. “You shouldn’t have to wait to have a baby until you retire. If you want to have a baby and take a few months off or a year off and then come back, you shouldn’t have to be penalised for that. Pregnancy is not an injury.”