Seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams has controversially been named the 25th seed for this year’s Wimbledon tournament, despite being ranked outside the top 32.
The 23-time grand slam singles champion, 36, is continuing her return to action after giving birth to her first child in September.
The American, who has played only three tournaments in the past 12 months and is ranked 183rd in the world, received the nod from the All England Tennis Club ahead of world No.32 Dominika Cibulkova, who was not seeded.
The Slovakian said on Tuesday it would not be fair for Williams to be seeded ahead of her.
“I don’t think it’s the right thing to do,” Cibulkova 29, 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.”
Hours after Williams’ seeding was confirmed, WTA chairman Steve Simon said the organisation is open to a rule change regarding seedings for players returning after giving birth.
“There are many perspectives to consider and there are divided views. Every player has a unique path with both planned and unexpected life events that impact their careers,” Simon said.
“To review the policy for the 2019 rulebook, the WTA has engaged its members in a dialogue to ensure all voices are heard and rule changes are reflective of what’s best for everyone.”
Romania’s Simona Halep, who beat Sloane Stephens to win the French Open at Roland Garros in early June, is the top seed.
Caroline Wozniacki is No.2 and Garbine Muguruza at No.3.
Australians Ashleigh Barty (No.17) and Daria Gavrilova (No.26) will carry local hopes on the famed grass courts.
The men’s draw was less controversial, with Roger Federer being top seed, ahead of Rafael Nadal and Marin Cilic.
Canberra-born Nick Kyrgios was seeded 16th.