U.S. Open 2018: Serena Williams elevated to No. 17 seed

Serena Williams - cropped
Serena Williams (Getty Images)

Six-time champion Serena Williams, who missed last year’s U.S. Open as she gave birth to her daughter, returns in 2018 as the No. 17 seed and the only player in either draw seeded above his or her ranking, according to the seedings released Tuesday.

“After balancing a variety of factors, including her return to competition following the birth of her daughter, her recent hard-court performance this summer and recognition of her achievements at the U.S. Open, the USTA has moved Serena Williams’ seeding nine spots, from 26 to 17,” managing director of corporate communications Chris Widmaier said (via the U.S. Open’s website). “We feel this is the appropriate decision, one that recognizes Serena and is fair to the remaining seeded players.”

By virtue of her seeding, Williams would be in line to face a Top 16 opponent in the third round, should the seeds hold. At 17, she is seeded one spot behind sister Venus.

The seedings for the year’s final Grand Slam event, which runs Aug. 27-Sept. 9 in New York, are based on Monday’s editions of the WTA and ATP rankings.

Simona Halep of Romania draws the No. 1 seed in women’s singles, and Rafael Nadal is the top seed on the men’s side.

Caroline Wozniacki is seeded second, and Sloane Stephens, at No. 3, is the highest-seeded American in the women’s draw. Angelique Kerber rounds out the top four seeds.

After Nadal on the men’s side, Roger Federer, Juan Martin del Potro and Alexander Zverev fill out the 2-4 seeds, respectively. At No. 3, del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, draws his highest seeding in nine New York appearances.

Eleventh-seeded John Isner is the highest-seeded American in the men’s singles draw.

2018 U.S. Open women’s singles seeds

1. Simona Halep, Romania
2. Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark
3. Sloane Stephens, United States
4. Angelique Kerber, Germany
5. Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic
6. Caroline Garcia, France
7. Elina Svitolina, Ukraine
8. Karolina Pliskova, Czech Republic
9. Julia Goerges, Germany
10. Jelena Ostapenko, Latvia
11. Daria Kasatkina, Russia
12. Garbiñe Muguruza, Spain
13. Kiki Bertens, Netherlands
14. Madison Keys, United States
15. Elise Mertens, Belgium
16. Venus Williams, United States
17. Serena Williams, United States
18. Ashleigh Barty, Australia
19. Anastasija Sevastova, Latvia
20. Naomi Osaka, Japan
21. Mihaela Buzarnescu, Romania
22. Maria Sharapova, Russia
23. Barbora Strycova, Czech Republic
24. CoCo Vandeweghe, United States
25. Daria Gavrilova, Australia
26. Aryna Sabalenka, Belarus
27. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russia
28. Anett Kontaveit, Estonia
29. Dominika Cibulkova, Slovakia
30. Carla Suarez Navarro, Spain
31. Magdalena Rybarikova, Slovakia
32. Maria Sakkari, Greece

2018 U.S. Open men’s singles seeds

1. Rafael Nadal, Spain
2. Roger Federer, Switzerland
3. Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina
4. Alexander Zverev, Germany
5. Kevin Anderson, South Africa
6. Novak Djokovic, Serbia
7. Marin Cilic, Croatia
8. Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria
9. Dominic Thiem, Austria
10. David Goffin, Belgium
11. John Isner, United States
12. Pablo Carreno Busta, Spain
13. Diego Schwartzman, Argentina
14. Fabio Fognini, Italy
15. Stefanos Tsitsipas, Greece
16. Kyle Edmund, Great Britain
17. Lucas Pouille, France
18. Jack Sock, United States
19. Roberto Bautista Agut, Spain
20. Borna Coric, Croatia
21. Kei Nishikori, Japan
22. Marco Cecchinato, Italy
23. Hyeon Chung, South Korea
24. Damir Dzumhur, Bosnia and Herzegovina
25. Milos Raonic, Canada
26. Richard Gasquet, France
27. Karen Khachanov, Russia
28. Denis Shapovalov, Canada
29. Adrian Mannarino, France
30. Nick Kyrgios, Australia
31. Fernando Verdasco, Spain
32. Filip Krajinovic, Serbia