After being forced to withdraw prior to her quarterfinals match against Maria Sharapova due to a pectoral injury at the French Open, Serena Williams is gearing up to play at Wimbledon next. The draw for the tournament was released today and Williams finds herself among the seeded players unlike Roland Garros.
Williams is listed as the No. 25 seed, one behind Sharapova, heading into The Championships beginning this Friday, June 29th. The seeding did stir up some annoyance with Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova according to USA Today, who is not among the seeded players according to today’s release. Cibulkova is the 32nd ranked player in the world and normally, that would qualify her to be among the 32 seeded players at the tournament.
However, Wimbledon reserves the right to make changes based on who they believe to be the top 32 players. Because Williams, who is currently the 183rd ranked player in the world, was rewarded with one of the seedings, Cibulkova was bumped from the seed list. She told USA Today that she doesn’t think it’s fair.
“My opinion about it is that I don’t think it’s fair and I don’t think it’s the right thing to do.
“It’s a really different thing if they change the seeding. If you are not seeded because of someone else they put in front of you, and you deserve to have the spot that you really have, I think that’s not right. Why should I not be seeded when I have the right to be?”
As the piece states, the WTA Tour is still figuring out how to handle players returning from pregnancy leave when it comes to their world rankings. Williams isn’t the only player on coming back from having a child who has been lower in the rankings than their previous accomplishments may indicate. Victoria Azarenka is currently ranked 87th as she returns from the birth of her son Leo in 2016.
Williams is a seven-time champion at Wimbledon, last winning the tournament in 2016.