SERENA Williams has been seeded 25th for the women’s singles tournament at Wimbledon, the All England Club announced Wednesday.
The 36-year-old American, who has returned to competitive tennis following the birth of her daughter last September, is currently ranked 183rd.
The All England Club usually follows the latest ranking list but can make a change if deemed “necessary to produce a balanced draw.”
The 23-time Grand Slam champion has won Wimbledon seven times. Williams’ inclusion in the seedings means 32nd-ranked Dominika Cibulkova, a two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist, will go into the open draw.
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“I don’t think it’s the right thing to do,” Cibulkova told British broadcaster BBC ahead of the announcement. “I think it’s just not fair.”
Top-ranked Simona Halep leads the women’s seedings, ahead of Caroline Wozniacki in second and last year’s champion, Garbine Muguruza, at No. 3. Maria Sharapova is seeded 24th, one place ahead of Williams.
In the men’s draw, the grass-court Wimbledon formula sees defending champion Roger Federer, who is looking for a ninth singles title, as the top-seeded player.
The Swiss great is followed by Rafael Nadal, Marin Cilic, Alexander Zverev and Juan Martin del Potro.