Potential Shapovalov, Nadal blockbuster highlights French Open main draw

Serena Williams makes a return against Naomi Osaka

Three-time champion Serena Williams could face longtime rival Maria Sharapova in the French Open last-16 after the draw on Thursday, May 24, which also handed Rafael Nadal a dream route to an 11th title.

The American great has not played one of tennis' major tournaments since winning a 23rd grand slam title - an Open Era record - at the Australian Open in 2017, having given birth to her daughter last September.

Williams, a three-time French Open champion, is now ranked No. 453 in the world, meaning she could be up against other top-ranked players in the early rounds in Paris.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion is able to play at Roland Garros by using her protected ranking from when she stopped playing before her daughter Alexis was born.

Williams was ranked No. 1 in the world when she left the pro tour to give birth to her now eight-month old daughter.

Pliskova, the twin sister of world number six Karolina, has never won a main draw match at Roland Garros.

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As a result, French Open organizers announced that they are following guidelines and declining to seed her at the tournament.

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.

The French Open draw will be made on Thursday, with the tournament starting on Sunday. 'So, yeah, I definitely think that would be a nice change'. 'Not just for her but for the other women who could play her in the first round.

'It's wrong, they should protect players', Evert told Reuters. "The rule is now under further review as part of our 2019 rules process".

Defending champion Jelena Ostapenko, seeded fifth, begins against Ukraine's Kateryna Kozlova, with fourth seed Elina Svitolina - who won the Italian Open in Rome last week - meets Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic. She has a line of apparel and accessories that says it's "committed to helping women create the lives they want to lead", although some critics have claimed that Trump hasn't done enough to push the president toward policies that many women support.

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