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Serena Williams, Venus Williams to team up in doubles at French Open

Serena Williams

Without a top seeding, the 23-time Grand Slam champion risks facing highly ranked players in the early rounds - meaning there's a greater chance she could lose early on in the competition. It's normal to have protected ranking. A three-time French Open champion in singles, she hasn't played at a Grand Slam event since winning the Australian Open in January 2017, while pregnant.

Williams returned to the tour briefly in March after a 14-month absence. In January, she revealed just how hard her childbirth and adjustment to motherhood was, opening the door to public discussion that many believed was long overdue. Currently, it is up to individual tournaments to decide where to seed them. "But in my opinion it's good to protect the ranking when someone is giving birth". But after a period of training, coach Patrick Mouratoglou last week told the WTA tour website, "Serena will play the French Open to win it".

Konta, 27, has never won a match in the Roland Garros main draw and the 22nd seed hopes to end that unwanted record against world number 93 Putintseva.

French Open organizers ruled out giving special treatment to Williams, reaffirming the seedings would reflect the latest WTA rankings. "The rule is now under further review as part of our 2019 rules process".

Some of Williams' biggest rivals - such as Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep - have come out against the rule in defense of Williams, who gave birth to a baby girl in September.

"If you're like finished or you stopped because you're going to have a child and you will be in top eight, I think you should have this kind of thing, to have protected seeding", Svitolina said. "She was No. 1, so she deserves seeding". She has a line of apparel and accessories that says it's "committed to helping women create the lives they want to lead", although some critics have claimed that Trump hasn't done enough to push the president toward policies that many women support.

See her tweet below.

Now, more than a year later, she is ranked 453 and French Open organizers have refused to seed her this weekend as she returns for her first major since the complicated birth that almost killed her.