Garbine Muguruza opts for relaxed approach at French Open


Serena Williams will nearly certainly be seeded at this year's Wimbledon championships despite being snubbed by French Open organisers, the All England Club confirmed yesterday.

This will be Williams' first Grand Slam event since she won the 2017 Australian Open when already pregnant.

In a statement to the AP on Monday, the French Tennis Federation said, "This year again, tournament officials will establish the list and ranking of the women's seeds based on the WTA ranking".

She is now training with her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, at his Nice-based academy where he confidently proclaimed that his ward was capable of adding to her 23 Grand Slam titles, even though she has slipped down the ranking to a lowly 453, which means she would be unseeded at Roland Garros.

Evert, who won the French Open seven times, believes the same should apply at Roland Garros and the protected ranking rule, which allows athletes returning from long absences to gain entry into tournaments using the ranking they had when they stopped playing, should extend to seedings.

At 36, the American is looking to regain her top form following the birth of her daughter last September. "She was No. 1 so she deserves seeding".

Some players may have not been supportive in the past of such a change to the rule, but more recently, a few prominent competitors have offered differing thoughts.

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Having endured a four-match losing streak for the first time since 2003, Sharapova arrives in the French capital on the back of a last-eight run in Madrid and semi-final spot in Rome where she took the first set off world number one Halep before drowning in a sea of errors.

On the men's side, top-seeded Rafael Nadal, a 10-time victor at Roland Garros and already an overwhelming favourite, got even more help from the draw.

Only the very fearless would write off the title chances of a player who was champion in 2012 and 2014, runner-up in 2013 and semi-finalist in 2011. Regardless of the obstacles, she'll be going for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title at the French Open, which starts Sunday after the draw is announced Thursday. It's normal to have protected ranking. "But in my opinion it's good to protect the ranking when someone is giving birth". She was not seeded at tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami, and compiled two wins and two losses.

Maria Sharapova, who has often been on the wrong side of a one-sided rivalry with Williams, supported a rule that would allow players on maternity leave to retain their rankings.

"It's not as if she left because of injury and lost her passion for the game", Blake said.

"There are a couple of others coming around the block, but I wouldn't even name them because, in my eyes, if Rafa stays healthy, injury free, I don't see anybody taking it but him".

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