Pierce supports seeding demand for Serena

Pierce supports seeding demand for Serena

Multiple Grand Slam winner Mary Pierce, who is the International Brand Ambassador for the 11th edition of TCS World 10K run, strikes a pose in Bengaluru on Thursday. DH photo/ S K Dinesh

Serena Williams has taken the French Open by storm even before the start of the Grand Slam event. The organisers' call to not to grant her a seeding has not gone down well with many players and experts of the game.

Serena, the former women's world no.1, will be back in a major event after missing out on action for more than a year after becoming a mother. Mary Pierce, the former French Open champion, felt the WTA needs to reconsider its rules in this matter.

"The WTA has a system in place. If you are injured or you have a child, you have protected rankings so she has that and it can be used for certain number of tournaments. They do not use that ranking to seed you. I think that is where the WTA could possibly have a look at the rules and may be reconsider using that protected ranking to be able to seed that player as well," offered Pierce, who is here in the city as the international Brand Ambassador for the TCS World 10K run scheduled on Sunday.

"So when you think of Serena not being seeded, she could play the number one seed of the French Open very early and that would be like the Grand Slam final, which is kind of crazy and unfortunate for both players," Pierce added.

Serena, winner of a whopping 23 Grand Slam titles, can never be counted out. The American carries huge expectations but Pierce predicts a tough road for Serena. "Well, I don't think Serena is back to her 100 percent yet. Some people wonder if she can be the same player she was before. Now, she has become a mom, she has a nurturing side, softer side more. Will she be a killer on the court as before? That is a question people have. "

Pierce, however, expects Serena to offer a stiff challenge. "Knowing Serena, she is an amazing competitor and I know that she just wants to continue to break records. I think she is not yet back in her form, and clay is not her best surface. She is not as comfortable moving around on the clay and sliding. I would not put her as a favourite, personally for this tournament, but I will expect her to go deep just because she is Serena. I will keep my eyes at her more for Wimbledon," Pierce explained. 

Serena is ranked 453 and the 36-year-old didn't have a great return, losing to Venus Williams in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in March. She then pulled out of the Italian Open earlier this month.