Nadal happy to 'suffer' in pursuit of 11th French Open

Not seeding Serena in wrong — Evert

French Open organizers will not give Serena Williams a seeding.

A climb back up the WTA rankings should make for a less trying ordeal, but Williams apparently has quite an ascent to make before she again gets the benefit of a seeding.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion's last appearance on clay was in the final at Roland Garros in 2016 when she lost to Garbine Muguruza.

Muguruza and Williams have played against each other five times, and the Venezuela-born Muguruza prevailed twice, both at the French Open.

She is now training with her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, at his Nice-based academy where he confidently proclaimed that his ward was capable of adding to her 23 Grand Slam titles, even though she has slipped down the ranking to a lowly 453, which means she would be unseeded at Roland Garros.

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Lucia Evans told the New Yorker in October that she was a college student when Weinstein approached her at a club in NY in 2004. Almost 100 women have now accused Weinstein of crimes ranging from sexual harassment to assault and rape going back decades.

The French are allowing Serena to play because there is a Special Ranking Rule that allows players on maternity leave or players recovering suffered serious injuries to play in up to eight tournaments within a year after their recovery, according to a recent Washington Post article.

World number one Simona Halep, speaking before the release of the French Open women's draw, also supported Williams being given a seeding.

France has six players in the top 50 of the men's world rankings and three in the women's top 50, but it seems unlikely that this year will produce a first home men's champion since 1983.

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

"I don't think we would be talking about this if it wasn't Serena", she said.

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"It's wrong, they should protect players", said Evert.

The men's seedings is usually based on ATP rankings in conjunction with a formula based on grasscourt results over the previous two years.

Williams subsequently dropped out of clay-court tournaments in Madrid and Rome, which traditionally serve as key tuneups for the French Open, and her coach said she "clearly came back too early". But she'll try for her 24th Grand Slam as an unseeded competitor.

Stephens proved to be right as she went on to triumph at the Miami Open in March, a title that helped her break into the top 10 of the WTA rankings, to ninth, for the first time.

"Women after giving birth are often/usually stronger, psychologically as well as physically, than before", she said.

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