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Ivanka Trump takes shot at WTA over Serena's non-seeding

27 May 2018

What of Russian former champion Maria Sharapova, playing at her first French Open since returning from a doping ban.

Playing Grand Slam for the first time since winning Australian Open in 2017, former World No. 1 Serena, who took a break to give birth to her daughter, dropped her ranking to 453.

Three-time champion Serena Williams will play Czech Kristyna Pliskova in the first round of the French Open. "No person should ever be penalised professionally for having a child! The #WTA should change this rule immediately", she tweeted.

Now Ivanka Trump has joined the rising chorus of people who would like to see the rule changed.

Asked to assess her outlook heading into the season's second major, she told reporters: "I think I'm a better player if we compare it to a year ago".

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The clay-court Grand Slam tournament starts on Sunday.

While she was No. 1 when she left the tour to give birth, Williams is now ranked No. 453.

She returned to the World Tennis Association tour in March after giving birth to her daughter, and has won twice and lost twice.

The WTA released a statement saying it would review its existing rules to extend protections to include a player's seed up to a certain level.

Simona Halep suffered her 3rd Grand Slam final loss earlier this year in the Australian Open to Caroline Wozniacki, but clay is the Romanian's favored surface and this tournament represents her best chance of ending her wait for a major victory.

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2016 champion Garbine Muguruza has to reach at least the semi-final if she wants to sit on the WTA throne again and she would become world number 1 if she wins the title without facing Wozniacki in the final.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion was picked out in Grigor Dimitrov's quarter of the draw and could face the Bulgarian fourth seed in the last 16.

"I think this year really is a toss-up".

The defending champion, who opens against 54th-ranked Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov, is on the opposite half of the draw from numerous players considered most likely to challenge him.

Adding yet another dimension to the comeback story, Serena and Venus Williams were awarded a wild card into the Roland Garros doubles draw, joining an already sparkling list of all-star entries.

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Ivanka Trump takes shot at WTA over Serena's non-seeding