Despite a season of injuries, defeats and tumbling rankings, Serena and Venus Williams are still the players to beat at Wimbledon. They received a break from the All England club yesterday when they were seeded way above their rankings in recognition of their Wimbledon credentials and grass-court prowess.
Two-time defending champion Serena, ranked No. 10, was given the top seeding. Two-time winner Venus, ranked eighth, was seeded No. 3. Russia's Anastasia Myskina, the French Open champion who is ranked No. 3, is seeded second for Wimbledon, which will begin Monday. Today's draw will determine whether the Williams sisters could meet for a third straight year in the final. Serena beat Venus in the last two.
Without top-ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne and No. 2 Kim Clijsters, Serena was listed seven places above her ranking -- the biggest jump ever in the women's seedings at Wimbledon.
The seedings were more straightforward for the men, with the top four following the rankings. Defending champion and top-ranked Roger Federer is No. 1, followed by Andy Roddick. Guillermo Coria, who lost in the French Open final, is No. 3, with 2002 Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian at No. 4. . . .
Nine-time champion Martina Navratilova said she has accepted a wild card to play singles at Wimbledon for the first time in 10 years. Navratilova was given the wild card last week. But after failing to qualify for the Eastbourne tournament, she questioned whether she would accept the spot.
* PRO FOOTBALL: Tight end Jeremy Shockey is considering having surgery on his right foot, a procedure that could force him to miss the opening of the New York Giants' training camp.
* CYCLING: South African Robert Hunter won the fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse, while Germany's Jan Ullrich held his overall lead. Ullrich, expected to be a top challenger to Lance Armstrong in next month's Tour de France, maintained his two-second lead over Switzerland's Oscar Camenzind.
* COURTS: The daughter and son-in-law of the late Ted Williams have ended their two-year fight to have the baseball great's remains removed from an Arizona cryonics lab. Bobby-Jo and Mark Ferrell spent close to $100,000 battling Williams's estate and his son, the late John Henry Williams.
-- From News Services