Serena Williams is without doubt the face of women’s tennis as her achievements speak for herself. She has won 23 Grand Slam tournaments and was ranked the number one player in the world before she took a break from tennis to give birth to her first child. Serena has since dropped in the rankings and now sits at 453.
Serena is expected to play in her first Grand Slam at the 2018 French Open after giving birth to her daughter in September 2017.
Williams will enter the tournament unseeded after the French Tennis Federation (FTF) confirmed that this year’s ranking and list of the women’s seeds will once again be based on the WTA ranking.
That will automatically result in Serena Williams being unseeded. Given the fact that Williams has won three French Open Championships at Roland Garros, it does seem unfair that she will have to enter unseeded because of her time-off to start a family. There is a possibility that Williams can enter the tournament seeded under a special WTA rule but that would depend on whether the FTF makes an exception for the American.
Being Unseeded Could Hurt Williams Chances
Serena Williams was recently spotted at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Williams has both the class and experience to not let being unseeded impact her game at the French Open.
However, being seeded gives a player a number of advantages. If Williams enters unseeded, she could end up facing some of the top ranked players in the early rounds which makes it a lot more difficult for her to advance and book herself a place in the quarter or semi-finals. Maria Sharapova who has been one of William’s rivals over the years is in favour of the WTA changing its rules so players like Serena Williams don’t get punished for taking time off to start a family.
In a statement, Sharapova said
It's such an incredible effort for a woman to come back from physically, emotionally. There's just another whole dimension to the travel, to the experiences, to the emotions to the physicality of every single day. 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