Serena Williams seeded 25th at Wimbledon

Serena Williams has dropped to 183rd in the world after taking a year off to give birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia

Wimbledon have announced that Serena Williams will be the 25th seed at the famous tennis tournament, which starts next week. In May she played in the French Open but was not seeded because she had fallen to 453rd in the world while she was gone.

The 31-year-old - who spent almost 11 months off the court due to a hip injury and then a subsequent operation - has not yet committed himself to play at Wimbledon and is due to play compatriot Kyle Edmund at Eastbourne later Wednesday.

The aim of seeds is to produced a balanced draw, so in theory the top two players would come from either side of the draw and only meet in the final.

Williams has been "seeded" in the starting lineup of the tournament, which means she has to play opening matches against lower-ranked opponents, and has a better shot at the title.

While WTA rules allow women who miss time because of a pregnancy to enter events based on their pre-absence ranking, there is no guarantee of a seeding, a policy which has been the subject of much debate in recent months because of Williams' status.

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Wimbledon will release the draw on Friday.

In the men's draw, the grass-court Wimbledon formula sees Roger Federer, looking for an eighth singles crown, confirmed as top seed ahead of world number one Rafael Nadal, the French Open champion.

Wimbledon made Williams the 25th seed, which comes at the expense of Dominika Cibulkova, who was ranked 32nd and therefore didn't get seeded at all to make room for Williams.

The BBC's tennis correspondent Russell Fuller says Cibulkova will not be the only one enraged by the decision. In turn, top players - such as defending champion Sabine Muguruza, French Open champion Simona Halep and reigning U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens - are protected against facing Williams in an early round. But because of an injured pectoral muscle, Williams pulled out of Roland Garros before what would have been a showdown against five-time major champion Maria Sharapova.

No unseeded woman has won the Wimbledon singles championship. They are followed by Marin Cilic, Alexander Zverev and Juan Martin del Potro.

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