Unseeded Serena will be very dangerous at Roland Garros

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    It’s very possible a French Open top seed could meet Serena Williams in the opening round.

    For some unfathomable reason, the 35-year-old legend has been denied a seeding, thanks to her current world ranking of 453.

    But there’s a simple reason for that out-of-character ranking, Serena gave birth to her first child Alexis Oympia and Roland Garros will be her first Slam since straight-setting big sister Venus to win last year’s Australian Open.

    So Williams has been given a wild card entry, so she can pop up anywhere in the 128-strong draw that will be released tomorrow night once the qualifiers have been completed.

    That is shameful disrespect shown by French Open decision-makers who don’t have to be governed by world rankings.

    In the meantime there will be genuine contenders feeling very nervous about where Serena Williams will surface in the draw – it could well be defining.

    Serena William Venus Williams Wimbledon Tennis 2016

    The Williams sisters (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

    Only three women in tennis history have given birth, and gone on to win a Slam singles title or more – Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, and Kim Clijsters.

    Williams has only played two WTA tournaments since the Australian Open success – Miami and Indian Wells, both in March.

    She won two rounds in Indian Wells only to be straight-setted by Venus in the third, and lost to Japan’s Naomi Osaka in the first round in straight.

    So it’s two wins and two losses on the comeback trail for $67780 in prize money, just petty cash in her career prize money of $84.5 million, the all-time record.

    Second on that illustrious list is Venus with $40.5 million, from Maria Sharapova’s $37.6 million, and Caroline Wozniaki’s $30.3.


    There are only two all-time records Serena Williams doesn’t hold – her 23 Slam singles trails Margaret Court by one, and the most weeks as world number one held by Steffi Graf with 377 from Martina Navratilova’s 332. Serena’s on 319.

    Margaret Court would have held the all-time record, but official world rankings for women didn’t start until 1976 with Chris Evert the first to be honoured.

    It’s interesting Serena recently made public that her comeback inspiration was to again be world number one knowing to achieve that she will take over Margaret Court’s 24 Slam singles record.

    For the record Margaret Court won three Slam singles after the birth of Daniel in 1972, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley two after the birth of Kelly in 1977, and Kim Clijsters one after the birth of Jada Elle in 2007.

    It’s a pretty safe bet Alexis Olympia will be old enough to understand and watch from the crowd as mum sets a new Slam singles record that will never be beaten.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn't get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world's great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • Roar Guru

      May 24th 2018 @ 1:59pm
      Fox said | May 24th 2018 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

      Impossible David, she had one too many sausage rolls at the Prince Harry’s wedding ! 🙂

    • May 24th 2018 @ 2:14pm
      clipper said | May 24th 2018 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

      Don’t think Serena will ever catch up to Court on overall GS titles – 62 to 37.
      Couldn’t Serena have applied for a protected ranking, or is it only for injuries – seems a bit unfair.

    • Columnist

      May 24th 2018 @ 2:16pm
      David Lord said | May 24th 2018 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

      But she was in pink Fox as a preamble to the way she’ll play at Roland Garros.

    • Roar Rookie

      May 24th 2018 @ 7:28pm
      Tom VDS said | May 24th 2018 @ 7:28pm | ! Report

      An absolutely champion, so it’s unbelievable she hasn’t been seeded! I hear a lot of the other top players aren’t too pleased about it either…

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