US Open to account for pregnancies when seeding players

Tanya Simon
June 26, 2018

Her WTA ranking fell from No. 1 at the time of her 2017 Australian Open win to No. 183, and Williams went unseeded at Roland Garros.

The ranking decision by the Woman's Tennis Association and the seeding decision by the French Open were seen as sexist in many sectors - penalizing women for starting families.

John McEnroe and Serena Williams don't share the greatest of the bonds.

But when McEnroe was asked about the downsides of "de-seeding" the player in 32nd place on the pecking order, he shook his head.

Now stationed at No. 9 in the rankings: Venus Williams, herself a five-time solo Wimbledon champ, also with six doubles titles to her credit at SW19 alongside her younger sister.

Asked, where the 23-time Major victor should be seeded, McEnroe said: "Somewhere between one and 10 - one and 16 at the worst".

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Williams was the top-ranked women's player in the world and had just won the Australian Open when she took a break from the sport while pregnant past year.

'I just don't think it's right to think that way.

That's the situation for Williams, who was not given a seeded spot by French Open officials. That's me coming from a different viewpoint'.

I don't think there would be one player that would complain, especially the top ones, if she was one of the top eight'.

'Forget the fact that she has won 23 majors and what she brings to the table. Our ratings on NBC, the day she played [against Kristyna Pliskova at the French Open last month], were 50 per cent more than it was a year ago. Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, would be a popular victor after battling back into the top 10 following the horrific stabbing that derailed her career in 2016.

WTA rules state players who drop in the rankings due to missed time don't receive protected seedings in tournaments, regardless of the reason.

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