Defending champion Serena Williams has been seeded number eight for this year’s Wimbledon Championships.

Serena Williams

Serena, who returned to action on Tuesday having not played since winning her 13th Grand Slam at Wimbledon last July, is world ranked 26th. Serena’s older sister Venus, a five-time winner, is seeded 24, despite being ranked 33rd in the world. Serena’s seeding will allow her to avoid playing the highest-ranked players until at least the quarter-finals.

She returned to competitive tennis on Tuesday at Eastbourne, coming back from a set down to beat Tsvetana Pironkova 1-6 6-3 6-4. “The seeding order follows the WTA ranking list, except where in the opinion of the committee, a change is necessary to produce a balanced draw,” a Wimbledon spokesperson said. “The only changes this year are Serena Williams and Venus Williams moving to eight and 24, respectively. “This reflects the balance between their proven records and also their lack of competitive play in the past 12 months.”

World number one Caroline Wozniacki is seeded first, followed by Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters at two, Vera Zvonareva at three and French Open champion Li Na at four. Another former winner, 2004 champion Maria Sharapova, was seeded six, one behind Victoria Azarenka.



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