London, June 27 (IANS) United States tennis star Serena Williams was on Wednesday named as the surprise 25th seed in the upcoming 2018 Wimbledon tennis tournament, despite being ranked world No.183.
For the main draw matches beginning July 2, World No.1 Simona Halep of Romania was seeded first and defending champion Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain was seeded third, while Serena’s sister Venus Williams is set to be ninth, reports Efe news agency.
Seven-time champion Serena, who gave birth to a girl in September 2017, was nowhere near high enough in the WTA rankings to be seeded at the tournament, but the organisers decided to feature the 23-time Grand Slam champion despite her lack of recent success.
This decision contrasts with the one taken by the French Open organisers in late May, where Serena, considered by many to be the greatest women’s tennis player of all time, was unseeded.
In Paris, the 36-year-old star reached the round of 16 before withdrawing due to a chest muscle injury during her match against long time rival Maria Sharapova of Russia.
The birth of Serena’s daughter had kept her out of competition until March, when she returned to the court at the Indian Wells Masters tournament.
Since then, she has only participated in two other tournaments: Miami and the French Open.
Wimbledon’s order of 32 seeds for women is determined by their WTA rankings, except when “a change is necessary to produce a balanced draw,” according to the tournament’s website.
The top 10 seeded players are: 1. Simona Halep (Romania), 2. Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark), 3. Garbiñe Muguruza (Spain), 4. Sloane Stephens (US), 5. Elina Svitolina (Ukraine), 6. Caroline Garcia (France), 7. Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic), 8. Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic), 9. Venus Williams (US), 10. Madison Keys (US).