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Serena, a three-time singles champion at the French Open, will be playing in her first Grand Slam tournament since winning the Australian Open in 2017 after which she stepped off the tour to give birth to her daughter in September.

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) confirmed on Tuesday that its seedings would be based on the latest WTA rankings.

The decision not to seed Williams has attracted criticism from players past and present but at least at Wimbledon the same dilemma is unlikely to arise if Williams, seven-time champion on the grass, plays this year, whatever her ranking.

Rafael Nadal comes into the tournament, which begins May 27 at Roland Garros, in strong form on his favored surface, while Serena Williams is set to make her return to the major championship stage in the women's tournament.

Several of Williams' rivals were critical of the rule that doesn't protect a ranking when a player takes maternity leave.

But will 2018 be the year when Serena Williams erases Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam titles? She was not seeded at tournaments in Indian Wells, California, and Miami, and compiled two wins and two losses. If you are forced out for a specific reason, whether it be maternity or injury, you need to be protected.

He is the Austrian who ended Nadal's 21-match winning streak on clay at the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open - Nadal's first loss on clay since defeat by Thiem at the Italian Open past year.

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

Before thrashing Thiem 6-0, 6-2 in Monte Carlo last month, Nadal said the Austrian was "probably one of the three best clay-court players on tour", but the last fortnight has shown that Zverev is potentially even more risky.

"Behind this little black dress and the Swarovski crystals, there is a girl with a lot of grit and she´s not going anywhere", said Sharapova after seeing off second seed Simona Halep in her NY opener. "So yeah, I definitely think that would be a nice change". After sitting out of competition for over a year, she no longer had a ranking upon her return to the WTA circuit in March.

In contrast, the women's seedings usually follow the WTA rankings list but can be tweaked by the All England Club in special circumstances.

Fourth-ranked Elina Svitolina, who defended her Italian Open title on Sunday, was also supportive of seeding Williams. "The rule is now under further review as part of our 2019 rules process".

"Right now, the next few days, I won't even think about tennis". "She was No. 1 so she deserves seeding".