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Serena Williams denied seeding for French Open return

Serena Williams denied seeding for French Open return
Mar 5, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Serena Williams serves to Marion Bartol during their TieBreak Tens tennis match at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Johannesburg: American tennis ace Serena Williams, who has been struggling to find form since giving birth to her first child last year, has suffered a major blow as the Roland Garros organisers has announced that the three-time champion will not be seeded at this year’s French Open.

Serena ended her 15-month absence from tennis during which she gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr in March this year.

However, the former world number one slumped to early defeats in Indian Wells and Miami Open before she recently pulled out of Madrid Open and Rome Masters–something which saw her world ranking tumble to number 453.

Though Williams could have headed into the French Open under the World Tennis Association (WTA) protected or through a special ranking rule, the tournament organisers has denied to allot her a seed.

“This year again, tournament officials will establish the list and ranking of the women’s seeds based on the WTA ranking. Consequently, (the seeds) will reflect this week’s world ranking,”Sport24 quoted Williams, who was world number one when she left the WTA tour last year after winning 2017 Australian Open, as saying.

The decision of Roland Garros’ organisers comes despite several players including world number one Simona Halep, Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova and Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina coming in support of giving Williams a seeding.

Earlier this month, Williams had confirmed that she will kickstart her summer hard-court season at the upcoming WTA tournament in San Jose, California.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion will play at the 2018 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, which will be held at the San Jose State University from July 30 to August 5.

ANI