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Serena seeding causes controversy


Big break: Serena Williams has been seeded for Wimbledon
Big break: Serena Williams has been seeded for Wimbledon

By Declan Warrington

Seven-time champion Serena Williams has been announced as the 25th seed for Wimbledon.

The 36-year-old American, who has returned to competitive tennis following the birth of her daughter Olympia last September, is 183rd in the WTA Tour rankings.

The All England Club usually follows the latest ranking list, but under tournament rules it can make a change if deemed "necessary to produce a balanced draw".

Williams' inclusion in the women's singles seedings means World No.32 Dominika Cibulkova, a two-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist, misses out and will go into the open draw instead.

Slovakian Cibulkova had been left less than impressed by the prospect ahead of the seeding announcement.

"I don't think it's the right thing to do," Cibulkova said. "I think it's just not fair.

"I have tried and I should be seeded. If they put her in front of me then I will lose my spot that I am supposed to have.

"I was a former number four, and it's also like why should I not be seeded if I have the right to be?"

French Open champion and World No.1 Simona Halep is the women's top seed, with last year's champion Garbine Muguruza third. British No.1 Johanna Konta is the 22nd seed, while Maria Sharapova is 24th.

Konta was yesterday eliminated from the Nature Valley International after losing to World No.2 Caroline Wozniacki in the third round at Eastbourne.

The 27-year-old made a promising start, but her preparations for Wimbledon - which begins on Monday - were undermined when she lost 4-6 6-1 6-4 in two hours and 10 minutes.

Wozniacki, who had lost her previous two matches to Konta, progresses to the quarter-finals where she will meet Ashleigh Barty of Australia today.

Wimbledon title favourite Petra Kvitova pulled out of Eastbourne with a hamstring problem.

Meanwhile, Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard moved to within one win of the main Wimbledon draw after battling past Karolina Muchova 6-2 2-6 6-3 in the second round of qualifying at Roehampton.

Bouchard was Wimbledon junior champion in 2012 and runner-up in the women's singles two years later. But after plummeting down the rankings to 191st, Bouchard missed out on a wild-card for the tournament.

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