All Grand Slam events make their own decisions on seeding players, so it's still possible that Roland Garros will make Williams one of the 32 seeded players even though her current ranking is down to near No. 500.
Instead, Williams will go unseeded at Roland Garros, where she is preparing to compete at her first major event since winning the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant.
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.
Another familiar face back in the draw: Victoria Azarenka, who gave birth to a son previous year.
The fact that Serena is still the best player in the game isn't lost on the other great players who know how great Serena is on the court.
"It's wrong", Chris Evert, who won 18 grand slams of her own, told ESPN.
Several of Williams' key rivals believe she deserves a seeding. Former world number five Eugenie Bouchard has already failed in her quest, retiring hurt against Dalila Jakupovic on Wednesday.
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"This provides for a player to return with a protected ranking but does not allow for a player to be seeded based upon the special ranking which was put in place. But in my opinion it's good to protect the ranking when someone is giving birth".
Now, thanks to the characteristic cussedness that has served her well since her tennis odyssey began in Russian Federation before being honed in Florida, the 31-year-old Sharapova is back in the top 30 and guaranteed a seeded place when the Roland Garros' 2018 edition starts on Sunday.
When Yannick Noah beat Mats Wilander in the 1983 French Open final to end the hosts' 37-year wait for a men's singles champion, few home fans would have thought the next 35 years wouldn't produce another.
Stephens is more of a power player and often left frustrated on clay, even though her biography on the WTA's website says the dirt is her favourite surface. If you are forced out for a specific reason, whether it be maternity or injury, you need to be protected. "So yeah, I definitely think that would be a nice change". If Williams enters unseeded, she could end up facing some of the top ranked players in the early rounds which makes it a lot more hard for her to advance and book herself a place in the quarter or semi-finals. "The rule is now under further review as part of our 2019 rules process".
"As always, we remain committed to reviewing the evolving needs of our players and are very supportive of those players returning from pregnancy to the tour".
"I don't think we would be talking about this if it wasn't Serena", she said.
The French Open starts on May 27.