Serena Williams will be seeded at Wimbledon

Serena Williams may retire from tennis if she gets pregnant again

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"But it's just not fair if there is a player [who misses out] and it's me now".

It was announced Wednesday that Williams, who took time off for maternity leave, will be ranked 25th during the British Grand Slam despite now being ranked 183rd in the world. "I don't think there would be a player that would complain, especially the top ones, if she was one of the top eight", he said.

Languishing in 183rd in the rankings after giving birth to her first child past year, Williams was not guaranteed to be seeded at the grass-court major given she is outside the top 32.

Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki lead the way, they can face the defending champion Garbine Muguruza or the US Open victor Sloane Stephens in the semifinals.

It means the 36-year-old American, victor in 2016 but absent last year because of her pregnancy, will avoid the big names until at least the third round.

While many have said Williams, who has played only seven competitive matches since giving birth to Alexis Olympia last September, should not be penalised for taking time out to start a family, others say seeding her is unfair. However, the All England Club can make a change if deemed "necessary to produce a balanced draw".

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"Why should I not be seeded if I have the right to be?" Petra Kvitova, the two-time champ who is seeded No. 8, pulled out of her third-round match at Eastbourne on Wednesday with a hamstring problem, putting her status for Wimbledon in doubt. She missed Wimbledon in 2017, but won the title the last two times she was in the field, in 2015 and 2016.

The BBC's tennis correspondent Russell Fuller says Cibulkova will not be the only one enraged by the decision.

The draw for Wimbledon is Friday; play begins Monday.

The All England Club, which runs Wimbledon, usually sticks to seeding the top 32 players.

There's been a big debate about whether Serena should be seeded at the four Grand Slam tournaments - Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

No unseeded woman has won the Wimbledon singles championship. "Maybe not in time for me, but for the next person", she said. Competitor Caroline Wozniacki and U.S. Tennis Association President Caroline Katrina Adams were also among those who voiced support for Williams.

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