Three-time champion Serena Williams to face Kristyna Pliskova in first round

Three-time champion Serena Williams to face Kristyna Pliskova in first round

Three-time champion Serena Williams to face Kristyna Pliskova in first round

United States first daughter Ivanka Trump waded into the debate over Serena Williams's lack of a seeding at the French Open, tweeting that the women's tour needed to change its rules for players that take maternity leave.

Without being seeded, Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam victor who has won the French Open three times, could face highly-ranked opponents in the early rounds of the tournament. A three-time French Open champion in singles, she hasn't played at a Grand Slam event since winning the Australian Open in January 2017, while pregnant.

As a result, French Open organizers announced that they are following guidelines and declining to seed her at the tournament. "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.

Serena Williams recently returned to tennis following maternity leave.

Williams, quite simply, is being penalized for having a baby. "I mean if you are forced out of the game for a specific reason, whether it be maternity or injury, you need to be protected", Evert told Reuters.

"It's normal to give birth". She experienced an extremely hard childbirth, which left her bedridden for six weeks, and has had a halting return to action, playing in two tournaments in March before pulling back to focus on a comeback at Roland Garros.

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Before they get to that stage, Sharapova would possibly have to get past Czech 6th seed Karolina Pliskova. "But in my opinion it's good to protect the ranking when someone is giving birth".

"Historically, WTA players have not been supportive of the use of special rankings for seeding purposes", the WTA said in a statement to The AP.

Third seed Garbine Muguruza, who beat Williams in the 2016 final, starts against Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2009 champion in Paris.

"I think we've got a long way to go before we get women to an equal playing field", she said.

"Sharapova, who made a comeback of her own past year after returning from a 15-month suspension for a positive drug test, said she believes Williams, the former No. 1, deserves a seeding".

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