Monday, June 20, 2011

Serena moved up to No. 8 seed at Wimbledon, Venus No. 24

The seeding order at Wimbledon "follows the WTA ranking list, except where in the opinion of the Committee, a change is necessary to produce a balanced draw."

Serena Williams was seeded No. 8 and her sister Venus No. 24 in Wimbledon seedings released by the All England Club on Wednesday. The selection committee at the All England Club used the balance draw exception to move the sisters up from their current ranks of No. 26 and No. 33, respectively. All the other seeds followed this week's rankings. Did the committee make the right decision?

Yes and it was the rare judgment call that will satisfy everybody. Serena is the two-time defending champion and deserved a corresponding seed that protected her from playing top seeds early. Venus has won five Wimbledon titles in her career. Though her game has slipped of late, her past rightfully earned her a minor bump. You could even make the argument that Venus deserves to be higher.

The truth of the matter is that the sisters' seedings and draw don't matter as much to the Williamses as they do to the other women in the field. As long as the sisters were seeded, and they would have been given their current rankings, the issue was largely moot. Serena and Venus are draw-proof. As a No. 8 seed, Serena is protected against facing a top-four seed until the quarterfinals. Had she been, let's say, a No. 9 and drew Vera Zvonreva in the fourth round, nobody would be saying Serena got a tough draw. They'd be sympathizing with Vera and her bad luck, same as they will be for whoever gets Venus in the third round.

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