French Open won't seed Serena Williams after maternity leave

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Former World No.1 Serena Williams will not be seeded for the French Open, which starts on Sunday.

There was a time when the title of Number One in the Female Tennis game was synonymous with Serena Williams, then she took some maternity leave and disappeared from the sport for a while and now she's off her perch and finds herself in the unfamiliar position of No. 454 in the world ranking.

While she was No. 1 when she left the tour to give birth to her daughter, Williams is now ranked No. 453.

In a statement released by the French Tennis Federation, they said: "This year again, tournament officials will establish the list and ranking of the women's seeds based on the WTA ranking".

Several people in the tennis world have argued that the policy unfairly punishes women who step away to have a child - which Williams did previous year - by forcing them to sacrifice their ranking to do so.

Despite her lowly ranking she will be able to compete at Roland Garros under the WTA's protected ranking rule, which allows athletes returning from long absences to gain entry into events using the ranking they had when they stopped playing.

Semifinal. e. Evert won 15 of her 18 major championships in that span, including five of her seven French Open trophies.

The American is expected to play at next week's Roland Garros, where she has won the title thrice, but without being seeded she could meet reigning champion Jelena Ostapenko in the first round.

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At Miami, Williams ran into Indian Wells champion Naomi Osaka in her opening match and was easily beaten. It's about protecting the field too.

"I would like to see that change", Sharapova said at last week's Italian Open.

"It's such an incredible effort for a woman to come back from physically, emotionally ..."

She found out on Monday that she will not be seeded, which could make for a hard path through the tournament.

In February, Williams provided details of her harrowing experience of giving birth in September to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., who was delivered by emergency Caesarean section when Williams's heart rate dropped to dangerously low levels during contractions. "I definitely think that would be a nice change". "So the people will decide what seed she will get".

Serena had a tough time giving birth. "It's normal to have protected ranking ... it's more than tennis", Halep said.

Without a seeding she risks facing highly ranked players in the early rounds.

"I do expect that this rule will be reviewed further as part of our 2019 rules process".