Serena should be seeded in Paris: Evert

Maria Sharapova | File AP

Current rules covering maternity leave and injuries allow a protected or "special" ranking to be utilized for entry into tournaments but not for seeding purposes regardless of the reason for a player's absence. But that rule doesn't include seeding.

With the French Tennis Federation (FFT) confirming that the 32 women's seeds to be announced tomorrow will "reflect this week's world ranking", it means Williams could face defending champion Jelena Ostapenko or World No.1 Simona Halep in the opening round.

Some players may have not been supportive in the past of such a change to the rule, but more recently, a few prominent competitors have offered differing thoughts. Maria Sharapova told the AP that she would like to see the rule changed.

The WTA has been considering changing the rules to protect players returning from maternity leave, but the earliest any chances could come into effect is next year.

"It's normal to give birth". It's normal to have protected ranking. Former world number five Eugenie Bouchard has already failed in her quest, retiring hurt against Dalila Jakupovic on Wednesday.

According to fourth-ranked Elina Svitolina, Williams is still number one, so she deserves seeding.

Stephens is more of a power player and often left frustrated on clay, even though her biography on the WTA's website says the dirt is her favourite surface. "She was my idol since I was growing up". "So the people will decide what seed she will get".

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Williams has not played a tournament since Miami in March and pulled out of the clay court events in Madrid and Rome. "I like the attitude that I'm playing with", said Sharapova, who added she was "going be so excited" to be heading back to Paris after "a tough period" in her life.

Nadal won the 2017 French Open and U.S. Open and reached the quarterfinal round of the 2018 Australian Open. She may not like it, but she will go with it and prove what she wants to prove in the process.

Another familiar face back in the draw: Victoria Azarenka, who gave birth to a son past year. Having suffered a pulmonary embolism in 2011, she recognized similar symptoms the next day and alerted doctors at her hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Mouratoglou further revealed that Williams' comeback was impromptu because she was not 100 per cent fit, though the return helped to show how much work needed to be done on the training ground.

The French Open draw will be made Thursday, with the tournament starting on Sunday.

Williams commented on the frequency of the tests Monday on Twitter. Nike states that the clean black and white color combination is a nod "to the greatest athlete of all time's quest to continue to rewrite the history books when it comes to defining sport dominance".



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