WTA rankings draw controversy

Serena Williams is going into Wimbledon with a 25th seed, despite being outside the top 32 in rankings. Williams is only ranked 183rd in the world but secured a spot ahead of the former Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova who is ranked 32nd.

The All England Club usually follows the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings, which is meant to produce a balanced draw, so it has the right to make alterations in light of such interest. Williams has been critical of the WTA ranking system recently, and the disadvantages it places on women who take maternity leave since the 36-year-old had dropped drastically following her giving birth to a daughter in September.

The announcement for seedings for Wimbledon comes a week after organisers of the US Open announced they would revamp its seeding process to protect women who return from maternity leave.

So, where does it leave things in Serena Williams’ current ranking?

On Tuesday, Cibulkova spoke up and voiced her opinion on how unfair it is that the Wimbledon organisers have given Williams a seeding spot ahead of her.

“I don’t think it’s the right thing to do,” said the 29-year-old. “I think it’s just not fair. I have tried and I should be seeded. If they put her in front of me then I will lose my spot that I am supposed to have.

I was a former number four. Why should I not be seeded if I have the right to be?”

Meanwhile, John McEnroe only has high praise for Serena Williams.

“I don’t think there would be a player that would complain, especially the top ones, if she was one of the top eight. Why in the world would they want to play her in the first, second, third round? Nor should they, in my opinion,” McEnroe said.

It’s well worth noting that McEnroe was fairly measured in his appraisal of where Serena Williams should land with a preferential seeding, saying, “Somewhere between one and 10 – one and 16 at the worst.”

As the 25th seed, Williams will face one of the top eight seeds if she makes it to the third round. The draw will be selected Friday, and the tournament starts Monday.


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