Chris Evert considers Serena Williams a heavy favourite to win her fourth US Open next month, provided she's healthy. And former pro Cliff Drysdale is so impressed with Williams's form and power so soon after a near year-long hiatus that he puts Williams's chances of winning equal to that of the rest of the 128-player field.
Nonetheless, US Open officials on Tuesday seeded Williams 28th, adhering strictly to current world rankings rather than exercising their prerogative to adjust seedings based on recent performance and common sense.
"I think it's ridiculous," Drysdale said in a conference call, adding that he would have seeded Williams eighth.
Said Evert, who won 18 Grand Slam titles: "I think they could have made a much better judgment call. She won both warmup tournaments (in Stanford and Toronto). That shouts loud and clear: 'I'm back! I'm beating the field! I'm still the best player in the world when I'm healthy!' I was surprised."
As a result of her 28th seed, Williams is projected to meet a player ranked among the top 10 in the first week of the U.S. Open, which gets under way Monday, setting up a clash that Evert views as unfortunate for both the players and the event. World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, who has yet to win a major title, is the top seed. Russia's Vera Zvonareva, the 2010 runner-up, is seeded second.