The 36-year-old tennis player, formerly ranked No. 1 by the Women's Tennis Association when she left to give birth to her daughter Alexis in 2017, is now at No. 453 in the ranking because of her 14-month hiatus. Of the 23 Grand Slam tournaments she has won in her career, only three came on the red clay of Paris. At least, though, she won't have an early date with Halep, a possibility warned of earlier in the week by Chris Evert, the 18-time Grand Slam singles victor who also said that Williams deserved better.
"This year again, tournament officials will establish the list and ranking of the women's seeds based on the WTA ranking", the French Tennis Federation announced in a statement to The Associated Press.
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World number one Simona Halep starts her bid for a first Slam title against Alison Riske of the United States, while second seed Caroline Wozniacki - who lifted her first major by beating the Romanian in the Australian Open final - also faces an American in Danielle Collins.
'It's wrong, they should protect players', Evert told Reuters. "If you're like finished or you stopped because you're going to have a child and you will be in top eight, I think you should have this kind of thing, to have protected seeding", Svitolina said recently. Currently, it is up to individual tournaments to decide where to seed them. "The rule is now under further review as part of our 2019 rules process".
She said people needed to speak more openly about the fact that the longer an athlete puts off starting a family, the higher the chances they would deal with fertility issues. Serena, who was ranked No. 1 before giving birth in 2017, is now ranked at No. 453.