The 2018 Wimbledon Championships seeding was announced Wednesday, as reported by BBC and ESPN, and the most notable placement may have been that of a woman whose name doesn't even appear in the Women's Tennis Association's top-32 ranking.
It's not just any woman, though. It's Serena Williams.
Almost a month afteragainst Maria Sharapova at the French Open because of a pectoral injury, the 36-year-old Grand Slam veteran has drawn a No. 25 seed for competition at London's All England Club.
Wimbledon has generally "followed the WTA world rankings" when seeding its athletes, per ESPN, but Williams "has been afforded protection from having to face any other seeded player in either of the first two rounds" as she recovers from her injury and looks to take part in just her second tournament since giving birth to her daughter in September. This comes on the heels of the six-time Wimbledon champion successfully campaigning for seeding lenience from the U.S. Open due to pregnancy-related absences.
While the seeding may not sit well with Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova, who told BBC it would be unfair for Williams to be favored over her No. 32 WTA ranking, it means Williams could have a relatively quick path to a big-name match, as two wins would secure the possibility of taking on a player with a top-eight seed.
Seeded atop the women's tournament is, who rallied to top American up-and-comer Sloane Stephens (No. 4 seed) at Roland Garros. Reigning women's Wimbledon champ Garbine Muguruza is seeded No. 3 behind Caroline Wozniacki, while Serena's sister, Venus, is ranked No. 9 and Sharapova is seeded No. 24, one spot ahead of the younger Williams sister.
Headlining the men's tournament is defending champion Roger Federer, who's won at Wimbledon a record eight times. French Open men's champ Rafael Nadal, who has two Wimbledon victories under his belt, is seeded No. 2 despite his No. 1 world ranking. Former two-time champ Andy Murray remains unseeded as he returns from a hip injury, while Marin Cilic, Alexander Zverev and Juan Martin del Potro round out the top five. Serbia's Novak Djokovic, a three-time Wimbledon title winner, is seeded No. 12.