Serena could get Wimbledon seeding, despite French snub

French Open Preview: From Serena's comeback to Nadal's reign, here's all you need to know about Roland Garros 2018

French Open officials know Serena is ready to play, so she should have the number one seed position, but French officials chose not to do that.

The 36-year-old, victor of 23 Grand Slam titles, is ranked a lowly 453rd in the world after returning to action this year following the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia last September.

While Williams was eligible to enter Roland Garros under the WTA's protected or "special" ranking rule, it was down to the organisers of the tournament to give her a seed, something they ultimately neglected to do.

Given that she's won the French Open twice, part of a career Grand Slam, and won a trio of three-setters this month in Rome, including against Ostapenko.

In Paris, Williams will compete at her first Grand Slam since winning the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant with Alexis, her daughter with husband Alexis Ohanian.

At Miami, Williams ran into Indian Wells champion Naomi Osaka in her opening match and was easily beaten. Williams was eventually able to make a recovery, but not before spending her fist six weeks of motherhood confined to a bed in her home. Maria Sharapova, a longtime rival of Williams, said last week, "It's such an incredible effort for a woman to come back from physically, emotionally".

Without a seeding, the 23-time Grand Slam champion risks facing highly ranked players in the early rounds.

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"It's normal to give birth to a kid".

"Tennis is such a selfish sport, but I think when there's a child in your life you lose a little bit of that, because there's something that's so much more important".

3rd Round. a. Ostapenko was the first woman in almost four decades to make a Grand Slam title the first tour-level triumph of her career.

Pregnancy expert Ms Philippa Middleton from the University of Adelaide said: "Most women who work in Australia have parenting leave entitlements so theoretically they come back to where they have left off and are not "demoted". Without a seed, Williams is likely to face an uphill battle as she plays against more experienced players earlier on, a dynamic that contributed to her middling performance at the March tournaments.

"I don't think we would be talking about this if it wasn't Serena", she said. "But in my opinion it's good to protect the ranking when someone is giving birth".

The French are allowing Serena to play because there is a Special Ranking Rule that allows players on maternity leave or players recovering suffered serious injuries to play in up to eight tournaments within a year after their recovery, according to a recent Washington Post article. "The rule is now under further review as part of our 2019 rules process".

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