stayontheblack.com

Sport

FRENCH OPEN '18: How much do you know about the Paris Slam?

Serena Williams

The three-time French Open champion and 23-time Grand Slam victor will be playing in her first Slam since taking maternity leave following the 2017 Australian Open.

The French Tennis Federation says the 32 women's seeds at Roland Garros will be "based on the WTA ranking". That leaves the 23-time Grand Slam singles victor, who was ranked No. 1 in the world at the time she went on maternity leave, in danger of having to square off with a top player in the early rounds - and those players are facing the same unpleasant possibility.

Williams, a three-time French Open champion, is expected to play in her first major since returning from maternity leave.

The WTA now gives players coming off maternity leave or injuries a "special ranking", which allows them to enter tournaments but doesn't impact seeding.

She has played just four matches on the WTA Tour all year, the last of which was a first round loss in Miami at the end of March.

Without a seeding, the 23-time Grand Slam champion risks facing highly ranked players in the early rounds.

Women's Final: Who was the most recent left-handed female singles champion at the French Open?

Williams, who travelled to Paris after attending the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle in London on Saturday, opted not to play at the Madrid Open or the Internazionali d'Italia in the buildup to the second major of the season, instead training at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy.

The Tennis star also claimed on Twitter that she still gets tested twice a week for drugs and anti-doping. 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. Because of that, as well as her absence for nearly the entire 2017 campaign, she sits No. 453 in the WTA rankings.

However, being seeded gives a player a number of advantages. " ... The time she lost after the delivery, with all the medical issues she had to go through, was missing".

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

Maria Sharapova will be getting back on the clay of Paris for the first time in two years, after missing the 2016 tournament while serving a drug suspension, then being denied the wild-card entry she would have needed in 2017 because her post-punishment ranking was too low to earn an automatic berth in the field.

"Proud to participate to keep the sport clean".

"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".