Serena Williams, and sister Venus, have both achieved a seeding in excess of their world rankings for the 2011 Wimbledon Ladies Singles Tennis Championship.
Serena Williams, last year’s Wimbledon Ladies champion, had not seen competive action since winning the All England competition in 2010.
While celebrating that victory, Serena stood on a piece of broken glass in a restaurant, and badly cut her foot. Complications following that injury have kept her out of competitive action for almost a year. Several commentators did not expect her to strip fit for the Wimbledon Championships, until she emerged on the grass court of Eastbourne on Tuesday, coming back from one set down to win a tough three-setter against Tsvetana Pironkova.
Serena is seeded 8 for Wimbledon, despite her World Ranking having slipped to 26 owing to her nearly 12 month absense from the sport.
Sister Venus has been given a ranking of 24 for Wimbledon, though her World Ranking is 33. Venus was troubled with a knee injury in 2010, before a hip injury forced her retirement from the 2011 Australian Open: she had not fully recovered from that injury until appearing at Eastbourne this week, where she won in three sets against eighth seed Andrea Petkovic.
The seeding decisions reflect the Williams sisters’ dominance at the All England Club in recent years: Venus williams has five Wimbledon titles to her name, to Serena’s four. During the decade between 2000 and 2010, only two ladies not in the Williams family – Maria Sharapova, in 2004, and Amelie Mauresmo, in 2006 – have lifted the title in 11 Championships.
2011 will perhaps be the tallest order for both Williams sisters, but, as the world of tennis has seen time and again, their battling spirit and ability on grass could well see them through to the top of the tree once more. Seemingly, the seeding committee were not willing to bet against sisters Williams making it to the pinnacle of this Grand Slam for a tenth time.