Serena seeded 17th at US Open

Serena Williams (Getty)
Serena Williams (Getty)

New York - Serena Williams got a bit of a boost in the seedings for the US Open by being placed at No 17, nine spots above her current ranking.

The US Tennis Association's (USTA) decision, announced on Tuesday along with all the other seeds for the main draws of women's and men's singles, means Williams avoids a possible match-up against one of the top eight players in the third round.

It also sets up a possible match-up at that stage against her older sister, Venus, who is No 16, her ranking this week.

Indeed, all of the other seeds - 32 women, 32 men - were positioned based on the WTA and ATP rankings, as usual.

This will be the third Grand Slam tournament of Williams' return to competition since her daughter was born during the 2017 US Open last September.

Williams dealt with health complications from childbirth, including dangerous blood clots.

The USTA already had said in June that it would institute a policy that would take into account if a pregnancy affected a player's ranking.

The issue arose when Williams - a 23-time Grand Slam champion and former No 1 - was not seeded when she returned to action at the French Open in May, her first Grand Slam tournament in nearly one and a half years. She was, however, seeded at Wimbledon, put at No 25 while ranked 183rd.

Williams wound up as the runner-up at the All England Club, losing to Angelique Kerber there last month. The run to the final allowed Williams to rise to No 28. In her next match, Williams had the most lopsided loss of her career, beaten 6-1, 6-0 by Johanna Konta in San Jose, California.

USTA spokesperson Chris Widmaier said the placement of Williams was determined by "balancing a variety of factors, including her return to competition following the birth of her daughter, her recent hard court performance this summer, and recognition of her achievements at the US Open."

He added that the USTA thought the decision "recognises Serena, and is fair to the remaining seeded players."

Williams, who turns 37 next month, has won the US Open six times, most recently in 2014.

She is one Grand Slam title away from equaling Margaret Court's all-time record of 24; Williams already owns the mark for most Grand Slam singles trophies in the half-century professional era.

The draw for the US Open is Thursday in New York.

Main-draw play begins in Flushing Meadows on Monday.

Seedings for men's and women's singles tournaments at US Open announced on Tuesday:

Women's singles

1. Simona Halep (ROU)

2. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)

3. Sloane Stephens (USA)

4. Angelique Kerber (GER)

5. Petra Kvitova (CZE)

6. Caroline Garcia (FRA)

7. Elina Svitolina (UKR)

8. Karolina Pliskova (CZE)

9. Julia Goerges (GER)

10. Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)

11. Daria Kasatkina (RUS)

12. Garbine Muguruza (ESP)

13. Kiki Bertens (NED)

14. Madison Keys (USA)

15. Elise Mertens (BEL)

16. Venus Williams (USA)

17. Serena Williams (USA)

18. Ashleigh Barty (AUS)

19. Anastasija Sevastova (LAT)

20. Naomi Osaka (JPN)

21. Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU)

22. Maria Sharapova (RUS)

23. Barbora Strycova (CZE)

24. CoCo Vandeweghe (USA)

25. Daria Gavrilova (AUS)

26. Aryna Sabalenka (BLR)

27. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)

28. Anett Kontaveit (EST)

29. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)

30. Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)

31. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK)

32. Maria Sakkari (GRE)

Men's singles

1. Rafael Nadal (ESP)

2. Roger Federer (SUI)

3. Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)

4. Alexander Zverev (GER)

5. Kevin Anderson (RSA)

6. Novak Djokovic (SRB)

7. Marin Cilic (CRO)

8. Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)

9. Dominic Thiem (AUT)

10. David Goffin (BEL)

11. John Isner (USA)

12. Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP)

13. Diego Schwartzman (ARG)

14. Fabio Fognini (ITA)

15. Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)

16. Kyle Edmund (GBR)

17. Lucas Pouille (FRA)

18. Jack Sock (USA)

19. Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)

20. Borna Coric (CRO)

21. Kei Nishikori (JPN)

22. Marco Cecchinato (ITA)

23. Chung Hyeon (KOR)

24. Damir Dzumhur (BIH)

25. Milos Raonic (CAN)

26. Richard Gasquet (FRA)

27. Karen Khachanov (RUS)

28. Denis Shapovalov (CAN)

29. Adrian Mannarino (FRA)

30. Nick Kyrgios (AUS)

31. Fernando Verdasco (ESP)

32. Filip Krajinovic (SRB)

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