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Navratilova: Halep is favorite but Roland Garros is wide open
27 May 2018, 12:53 | Kristopher Drake
Simona Halep is a two-time Roland Garros runner-up and the number one seed at this year's French Open
Serena has received a lot of support from Donald Trump's daught Ivanka, who termed French Open's decision to not award Serena seeding as 'ridiculous.' "This is ridiculous", tweeted Trump.
In the first major without both Serena and Sharapova since 2002, the world was stunned as 20-year-old Jelena Ostapenko - who began the tournament as a teenager - shocked hot favourite Halep in the final to become the first Latvian Grand Slam champion. "No person should ever be penalised professionally for having a child!"
The WTA is considering a rule change to add protected seeding for highly ranked players returning from maternity leave but the earliest that could take effect is next year. In my opinion, I said many times, that she's able to come back and to win again tournaments.
In New York past year, her former home city before decamping to Florida, she defeated former champion Angelique Kerber in the first round.
A potential third round clash with either Julia Goerges or Dominika Cibulkova rounds off a very tough start to the event for the American legend, and it will be interesting to see quite how much her lack of warm-up event preparation will manifest itself as the event starts on Sunday.
British number two Watson has reached the second round on five occasions - without progressing any further - and comes into the tournament having ended a dismal run of eight straight defeats with a win in Lyon this week. Williams had her first child in September.
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Williams has played just four matches on the tour in 2018 and not featured at all since Miami in March.
The WTA says it will review the rules - which players including Williams' rivals Maria Sharapova and current world number one Simona Halep have questioned - before 2019. However, in the second round she could face 17th-seeded Ashleigh Barty, and the fourth round could bring either sixth-seeded Karolina Pliskova (Kristyna's more accomplished sister) or the 28th-seeded Sharapova. In Rome, I played too many cross-court shots and playing with patience against Halep is not ideal.
On media day Friday at the French Open, Caroline Wozniacki was asked for her thoughts on the growing trend of mothers playing on the WTA Tour.
In the men's draw, 10-time champion and overwhelming favorite Rafael Nadal will open against Alexandr Dolgopolov.
"Now I'm the woman that many players probably don't want to play against".
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