Wimbledon - Defending champion Serena Williams was bumped up to No 8 in the seedings for Wimbledon on Wednesday, a position that will allow her to avoid playing the highest-ranked players until at least the quarter-finals.
Williams won her 13th Grand Slam title last year at the All England Club, but then stepped on broken glass, eventually leading to blood clots on her lungs, and was out of action for nearly a year. She returned to competitive tennis on Tuesday at Eastbourne, coming back from a set down to beat Tsvetana Pironkova 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Wimbledon starts on Monday. The draw is scheduled for Friday.
Since her injury, Williams has dropped to No 26 in the WTA rankings. If Wimbledon organisers had seeded her according to her ranking, Williams could have come up against a top player in the third round.
Her sister Venus, a five-time Wimbledon champion, was seeded No 24. She has dropped to 33rd in the rankings since missing most of this season with a hip injury. She also returned to action this week in Eastbourne.
"The seeding order follows the WTA ranking list, except where in the opinion of the committee, a change is necessary to produce a balanced draw," Wimbledon organizers said. "The only changes this year are Serena Williams and Venus Williams moving to 8 and 24, respectively. This reflects the balance between their proven records and also their lack of competitive play in the past 12 months."
At the top of the seeding list is top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki. She is followed by Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters at No 2, Vera Zvonareva at No 3 and French Open champion Li Na at No 4.
Another former winner, 2004 champion Maria Sharapova, was seeded No 6, one behind Victoria Azarenka.
On the men's side, defending champion Rafael Nadal was seeded No 1, followed by Novak Djokovic at No 2, Roger Federer at No 3 and Andy Murray at No 4.
Federer and Nadal have combined for the past eight titles at the All England Club.
List of Wimbledon seeds:Men
1. Rafael Nadal, Spain
2. Novak Djokovic, Serbia
3. Roger Federer, Switzerland
4. Andy Murray, Britain
5. Robin Sodering, Sweden
6. Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic
7. David Ferrer, Spain
8. Andy Roddick, United States
9. Gael Monfils, France
10 Mardy Fish, United States
11. Jurgen Melzer, Austria
12. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France
13. Viktor Troicki, Serbia
14. Stanislas Wawrinka, Switzerland
15. Gilles Simon, France
16. Nicolas Almagro, Spain
17. Richard Gasquet, France
18. Mikhail Youzhny, Russia
19. Michael Llodra, France
20. Florian Mayer, Germany
21. Fernando Verdasco, Spain
22. Alexandr Dolgopolov, Ukraine
23. Janko Tipsarevic, Serbia
24. Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina
25. Juan Ignacio Chela, Argentina
26. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Spain
27. Marin Cilic, Croatia
28. David Nalbandian, Argentina
29. Nikolay Davydenko, Russia
30. Thomaz Bellucci, Brazil
31. Milos Raonic, Canada
32. Marcos Baghdatis, Cyprus
1. Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark
2. Kim Clijsters, Belgium
3. Vera Zvonareva, Russia
4. Li Na, China
5. Victoria Azarenka, Belarus
6. Maria Sharapova, Russia
7. Francesca Schiavone, Italy
8. Serena Williams, United States
9. Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic
10. Marion Bartoli, France
11. Sam Stosur, Australia
12. Andrea Petkovic, Germany
13. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia
14. Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland
15. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russia
16. Jelena Jankovic, Serbia
17. Julia Goerges, Germany
18. Kaia Kanepi, Estonia
19. Ana Ivanovic, Serbia
20. Yanina Wickmayer, Belgium
21. Peng Shuai, China
22. Flavia Pennetta, Italy
23. Shahar Peer, Israel
24. Venus Williams, United States
25. Dominika Cibulkova, Slovakia
26. Daniela Hantuchova, Slovakia
27. Maria Kirilenko, Russia
28. Jarmila Gajdosova, Australia
29. Ekaterina Makarova, Russia
30. Roberta Vinci, Italy
31. Bethanie Mattek-Sands, United States
32. Lucie Safarova, Czech Republic