Wimbledon 2018: Serena Williams seeding debate to rumble on as WTA considers rule change

Serenacropped
Serena Williams in action at Roland Garros (Getty Images)

The debate over whether Serena Williams should be seeded at Wimbledon has split opinion, and the debate is sure to rumble on as she faces the prospect of meeting a top-eight seed as early as the third round.

Languishing in 183rd in the rankings after giving birth to her first child last year, Williams was not guaranteed to be seeded at the grass-court major given she is outside the top 32.

Wimbledon organizers have been accused of being set in their ways many times over the years, but the All England Club’s seedings committee opted to break with the norm by promoting Williams.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion was sidelined by her pregnancy when Garbine Muguruza was crowned champion in South West London last year, but Williams will enter the first round next week as the 25th seed.

A matter of hours after Williams’ seeding was confirmed, WTA chairman Steve Simon said the organization is open to a rule change regarding seedings for players returning after giving birth.

“There are many perspectives to consider and there are divided views. Every player has a unique path with both planned and unexpected life events that impact their careers,” Simon said.

“To review the policy for the 2019 rulebook, the WTA has engaged its members in a dialogue to ensure all voices are heard and rule changes are reflective of what’s best for everyone.”

The draw for Wimbledon will take place on Friday.

Williams was unseeded at the French Open and looked ominous in her first Grand Slam since giving birth before withdrawing with a pectoral injury.

The American was due to face old foe Maria Sharapova in a fourth-round clash at Roland Garros before injury struck.

Williams could face one of the top eight seeds in Round 3 of Wimbledon, where she lifted the Venus Rosewater Dish in 2015 and ’16.

While the other well-fancied contenders must have been somewhat relieved to avoid a potential first-round clash with the legendary 36-year-old, they could still be facing her much sooner than they would have liked.

Dominika Cibulkova misses out on being seeded following Williams’ elevation, a decision the Slovakian said would be unfair.