Serena Williams victorious: Wimbledon amends rules to grant her 25th seed

Serena Williams victorious: Wimbledon amends rules to grant her 25th seed

Seven-times Wimbledon champion Serena Williams has been seeded 25th at the tournament this year despite a world ranking of 183 as she continues her return from maternity leave.

At the French Open last month, when her ranking was 451, she was not seeded and came up against 17th seed Barty in the second round, winning in three sets.

The 31-year-old - who spent almost 11 months off the court due to a hip injury and then a subsequent operation - has not yet committed himself to play at Wimbledon and is due to play compatriot Kyle Edmund at Eastbourne later Wednesday.

Williams has been "seeded" in the starting lineup of the tournament, which means she has to play opening matches against lower-ranked opponents, and has a better shot at the title.

Simona Halep tops the women's seedings. The draw will be selected Friday, and the tournament starts Monday. But each of the sport's four Grand Slam events - Wimbledon and the Australian, French and U.S. Opens - has the prerogative to depart from the rankings in awarding its 32 seeds to ensure a balanced, 128-player field.

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Kyle Edmund, the British number one, is seeded for the first time at number 22, having reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

As the 25th seed, Williams will face one of the top eight seeds if she makes it to the third round.

The tennis great said earlier this week that pregnancy should not be penalized when it comes to tournament seeding. Caroline Wozniacki, John McEnroe and USTA president Katrina Adams have spoken out in support of Williams. "I don't think it's the right thing to do". The slide resulted from a near year-long absence triggered by a freak injury, in which she stepped on broken glass and later developed blood clots in her lungs following her 2010 Wimbledon championship.

Aside from the All England Club's placing of Williams, the women's seedings align with the rankings.

Defending champion Roger Federer tops the men's seeds despite Spaniard Rafael Nadal knocking him off the top spot in the rankings this week.

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