Serena, Sharapova poised for French Open 2018 last-16 duel

Kirsten Flipkens

Trump was responding to an ESPN report that Williams, who was ranked No. 1 when she left to give birth to her daughter in September, will not be given a seed at Roland Garros ahead of this year's tournament. Of the 23 Grand Slam tournaments she has won in her career, only three came on the red clay of Paris.

"Tennis is such a selfish sport but I think when there's a child in your life you lose a little bit of that, because there's something that's so much more important", said Sharapova, who has lost three Grand Slam finals to Williams.

Two other British players are also in the singles draw at Roland Garros - Heather Watson will face France's Oceane Dodin in the women's and Cameron Norrie meets Germany's Peter Gojowczyk in the men's. "So, yeah, I definitely think that would be a nice change".

Wow. I can't believe it. Serena Williams has been mommy tracked. "No person should ever be penalized professionally for having a child!"

"This year again, tournament officials will establish the list and ranking of the women's seeds based on the WTA ranking".

Under a rule established by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), players who are out of the game due to injury or pregnancy for a minimum of six months are allowed to keep the ranking they held when they went on leave.

The sisters will look to add to their 14 Grand Slam titles as a team, which include the 1999 and 2010 French Opens.

'It's normal to give birth to a kid.

Before they get to that stage, Sharapova would possibly have to get past Czech 6th seed Karolina Pliskova. Two weeks later, she fell to Japan's Naomi Osaka in the opening round of the Miami Open. "But in my opinion it's good to protect the ranking when someone is giving birth".

Fourth-ranked Elina Svitolina, who retained her Italian Open title on Sunday, was also supportive of seeding Williams.

"Sharapova, who made a comeback of her own previous year after returning from a 15-month suspension for a positive drug test, said she believes Williams, the former No. 1, deserves a seeding".