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Serena Williams seeded 17th at U.S. Open

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Serena Williams has been seeded 17th at the U.S. Open, nine spots higher than her WTA ranking as she returns from childbirth.

The rest of the women’s and men’s singles seeds follow WTA and ATP rankings. Williams is seeded one spot below older sister Venus, a two-time U.S. Open winner.

Williams goes for her seventh U.S. Open title beginning next week. She eyes her 24th Grand Slam singles title overall, which would tie Margaret Court‘s record.

Williams returned to the WTA Tour in March after Sept. 1 childbirth followed by multiple surgeries. She made the fourth round of the French Open in May and June before withdrawing with a pectoral muscle injury.

She then reached the Wimbledon final, losing in straight sets to German Angelique Kerber.

Williams has lost two of her three matches since Wimbledon in U.S. hard-court tournaments.

The French Open did not give Williams a seed when she was ranked No. 453 due to the maternity leave. Wimbledon seeded Williams 25th when she was ranked No. 183.

The U.S. Open would “revise the seedings if pregnancy is a factor in the current rankings of a player,” USTA president and chairwoman Katrina Adams said in June, according to The New York Times.

2018 US Open Women’s Singles Seeds

 

1. Simona Halep, Romania

2. Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark

3. Sloane Stephens, United States

4. Angelique Kerber, Germany

5. Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic

6. Caroline Garcia, France

7. Elina Svitolina, Ukraine

8. Karolina Pliskova, Czech Republic

9. Julia Goerges, Germany

10.  Jelena Ostapenko, Latvia

11.  Daria Kasatkina, Russia

12.  Garbiñe Muguruza, Spain

13.  Kiki Bertens, Netherlands

14.  Madison Keys, United States

15.  Elise Mertens, Belgium

16.  Venus Williams, United States

17.  Serena Williams, United States

18.  Ashleigh Barty, Australia

19.  Anastasija Sevastova, Latvia

20.  Naomi Osaka, Japan

21.  Mihaela Buzarnescu, Romania

22.  Maria Sharapova, Russia

23.  Barbora Strycova, Czech Republic

24.  CoCo Vandeweghe, United States

25.  Daria Gavrilova, Australia

26.  Aryna Sabalenka, Belarus

27.  Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russia

28.  Anett Kontaveit, Estonia

29.  Dominika Cibulkova, Slovakia

30.  Carla Suarez Navarro, Spain

31.  Magdalena Rybarikova, Slovakia

32.  Maria Sakkari, Greece

 

2018 US Open Men’s Singles Seeds

 

1. Rafael Nadal, Spain

2. Roger Federer, Switzerland

3. Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina

4. Alexander Zverev, Germany

5. Kevin Anderson, South Africa

6. Novak Djokovic, Serbia

7. Marin Cilic, Croatia

8. Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria

9. Dominic Thiem, Austria

10.  David Goffin, Belgium

11.  John Isner, United States

12.  Pablo Carreno Busta, Spain

13.  Diego Schwartzman, Argentina

14.  Fabio Fognini, Italy

15.  Stefanos Tsitsipas, Greece

16.  Kyle Edmund, Great Britain

17.  Lucas Pouille, France

18.  Jack Sock, United States

19.  Roberto Bautista Agut, Spain

20.  Borna Coric, Croatia

21.  Kei Nishikori, Japan

22.  Marco Cecchinato, Italy

23.  Hyeon Chung, South Korea

24.  Damir Dzumhur, Bosnia and Herzegovina

25.  Milos Raonic, Canada

26.  Richard Gasquet, France

27.  Karen Khachanov, Russia

28.  Denis Shapovalov, Canada

29.  Adrian Mannarino, France

30.  Nick Kyrgios, Australia

31.  Fernando Verdasco, Spain

32.  Filip Krajinovic, Serbia

Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis eyeing Grand Slam record

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Serena Williams travels with “like 50 masks” and has been a little bit of a recluse since early March and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t have full lung capacity, so I’m not sure what would happen to me,” Williams said Saturday, two days before the start of the WTA’s Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky., her first tournament since playing Fed Cup in early February. “I’m sure I’ll be OK, but I don’t want to find out.”

Williams, 38, has a history of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. She faced life-threatening complications following her Sept. 1, 2017, childbirth that confined her to a bed for six weeks. She said her daily routine was surgery and that she lost count after the first four.

More recently, Williams enjoyed “every part” of the last six months at home in Florida, her longest time grounded since her teens.

“I’ve been a little neurotic, to an extent,” on health and safety, she said. “Everyone in the Serena bubble is really protected.”

Williams is entered to play next week in Lexington and at consecutive tournaments in New York City later this month — the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open, the latter starting Aug. 31.

Williams is the highest-ranked player in the Lexington field at No. 9. Others include 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, older sister Venus Williams and 16-year-old Coco Gauff.

She has been bidding ever since having daughter Olympia to tie Margaret Court‘s record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, albeit many of Court’s crowns came before the Open Era and, notably at the Australian Open, against small fields lacking the world’s best players. Williams reached the last two Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals, losing all of them.

She showed her seriousness in committing early to this year’s U.S. Open by installing a court at home with the same surface. Three of the top 10 female singles players already said they will skip the U.S. Open due to travel and/or virus concerns, including No. 1 Ash Barty.

“Tennis is naturally a socially distanced sport, so it was kind of easy to go back and just walk on my side of the court and have my hitter walk on his side of the court,” Williams said.

The French Open starts two weeks after the U.S. Open ends. Williams was asked if she will fly to Europe for tournaments this autumn.

“I see myself doing it all, if it happens,” she said.

The Tokyo Olympics are too far away to make plans.

“We’ll have to kind of wait to see what happens in the fall,” she said. “One thing I have learned with this pandemic is don’t plan.”

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Conseslus Kipruto tests positive for coronavirus, canceling world-record bid

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Conseslus Kipruto, the Olympic and world 3000m steeplechase champion, tested positive for the coronavirus without symptoms, which will keep him from a world-record chase on Friday, according to his social media.

The Kenyan was to race in the first in-person Diamond League meet of the year in Monaco on Friday.

“Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities,” was posted. “Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League.

“I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well.”

Kipruto, 25, is the 14th-fastest steepler in history with a personal best of 8:00.12. The world record is 7:53.63, set by Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen in 2004.

Last year, Kipruto won the world title by .01, extending a streak of a Kenyan or Kenyan-born man winning every Olympic or world title in the event since the 1988 Seoul Games. He was sidelined by a stress fracture in his left foot until opening his season extremely late on Aug. 24.

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Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities. Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League on August 14th. I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well. Wish to thank Monaco for all the work they have done and I wish them and my colleagues a wonderful competition. Athletics is back and I will be back as well. Anyone willing to organise a steeple once I can be cleared? @diamondleaguemonaco #nike #quarantine #WR #Kenya

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