Serena Williams, Venus Williams to team up in doubles at French Open

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The French Open will mark Serena Williams' first major tournament in more than a year. Of the 23 Grand Slam tournaments she has won in her career, only three came on the red clay of Paris.

The WTA and its players' council are considering such a rule, but French Open organizers also had the chance to seed Williams.

"I think it's very important seeding ... for arguably one of the greatest female players of all time".

With only four matches under her belt in the past 16 months - and no clay court match practice whatsoever - Serena Williams will be vulnerable early on.

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Williams, quite simply, is being penalized for having a baby.

Ohanian has been based in San Francisco since relocating their from Brooklyn some years ago, but he and Serena and their daughter have been spending most of their postpartum time in Florida-though signs seem to be pointing due west, at least some day. The organization is considering a policy change to add protected seeding for highly ranked players who return from maternity leave.

'It's normal to give birth to a kid.

Williams, a three-time Roland Garros champion, was drawn against Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the first round of the French Open at Thursday's draw. In January, she revealed just how hard her childbirth and adjustment to motherhood was, opening the door to public discussion that many believed was long overdue. It's normal to have protected ranking.

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"Historically, WTA players have not been supportive of the use of special rankings for seeding purposes", the WTA said in a statement to The AP. "So the people will decide what seed she will get". The American player is now outside top 400 and will enter the main draw without being included in the seeding.

"Sharapova, who made a comeback of her own previous year after returning from a 15-month suspension for a positive drug test, said she believes Williams, the former No. 1, deserves a seeding".

"I think we've got a long way to go before we get women to an equal playing field", she said.

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