Serena Williams got a boost in the U.S. Open seedings Tuesday. Her sister Venus did not.
Serena was seeded third behind Justine Henin-Hardenne and Amelie Mauresmo for the year's last Grand Slam tournament -- eight spots above her No. 11
That's thanks to the "protected ranking" the WTA Tour gave both Williams sisters in January, taking into account their performances before long injury
At Wimbledon this year, for example, 10th-ranked Serena was given the top seeding, while eighth-ranked Venus was seeded No. 3.
But Venus' special ranking expired recently, so she was seeded 11th for the Open. Ranked 12th, she jumped one slot because 2003 runner-up Kim
Clijsters is out after wrist surgery.
"We just elected to follow the tour's lead on this," U.S. Tennis Association spokesman David Newman said.
While the tour does set guidelines for its events, the major tournaments aren't required to go along with them. So the U.S. Open seeding committee did
have the options of giving Serena less of a bump or lifting Venus a bit.
Each Williams has won the Open twice. Venus also was the runner-up twice, Serena once.
"The tour has given Serena a special seeding and ranking that we use at WTA Tour events. But Grand Slams are free to follow along or seed players
however they wish," tour spokesman Darrell Fry said. "They don't have to follow what we do at our events. It's totally up to them."
Otherwise, the men's and women's seedings match the rankings, with No. 1s Henin-Hardenne and Roger Federer leading the way. The draw is Wednesday
Defending men's champion Andy Roddick was seeded No. 2, followed by Carlos Moya, 2001 champ Lleyton Hewitt, Tim Henman, and two-time winner Andre
Olympic gold medalist Nicolas Massu is seeded No. 10.
Henin-Hardenne, who beat No. 2 Mauresmo in the women's final at the Athens Games, will be defending her first Open title. French Open champion
Anastasia Myskina was seeded fourth, followed by 1998 U.S. Open champion Lindsay Davenport, Elena Dementieva, Wimbledon winner Maria Sharapova, and
former No. 1 Jennifer Capriati.