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Was Seeding Serena Williams at Wimbledon the Right Call?

Wimbledon has begun and there has been some controversy surrounding 23-time grand slam winner, Serena Williams. Serena is currently ranked No. 150 and would have been unseeded and needed a wild card if Wimbledon did not seed her. They did, and it has been a hot topic in the tennis world, ever since.

For those unaware, a player’s ranking is the official position, he or she is at in their respected association’s calendar. Seeding, however, is the position a player is placed at in a tournament. Usually, the seeding of a tournament mirrors the ranking of the WTA or ATP. But grand slam tournaments such as French Open and Wimbledon have the discretion.

In the past, they have bumped up the seeding for Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova, players who have had success on grass.  This year, they did it for Roger Federer, moving him his official No. 2 rank to the No. 1 seed. So, it only makes sense they would do it for Serena. After all, she has seven single Wimbledon titles and six Wimbledon doubles titles. It is fair to say that she is the most accomplished grass court player actively playing.  But still, not everyone is not happy with the decision.

Predictably, Dominika Cibulkova, who lost her seeding once Serena was seeded, expressed her displeasure.

“I don’t think it’s the right thing to do,” said Cibulkova. “It’s just not fair.”

Cibulkova went on to express her efforts to get a seed, only to have it taken away. Although it is understandable for Dominika to be upset and it is tough luck for her to lose her seeding, these things happen when a player is rewarded special seeding. Tournament officials at Wimbledon must have felt that Serena’s record on grass and at Wimbledon was more deserving than hurting the chances of a player within that ranking. It could have easily been another player.

Two-time Wimbledon Champion, Petra Kvitová said she’s “okay with it”.

Naomi Osaka, a big of Serena Williams, stated, “If she can get that, and for her to be so good, then I think it’s okay.”

It makes sense players would be okay with the seeding. After all, Serena unseeded would be the most dangerous floater in the tournament.

It was just a no-brainer that Serena is seeded. Serena left the game ranked number one and had she not decided to take a break to start a family, it is likely she still would be the top player on the WTA. Serena’s accomplishments on all surfaces, especially grass, has earned her special seeding for the rest of her career. U.S. Open officials stated on the record that they too will give Serena a special seeding, no matter where her ranking is. Tennis fans should agree, it is the right call.

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