PARIS - JUNE 04: Serena Williams and Venus Williams of the United States pose with the trophy after winning the women's doubles final between Serena Williams and Venus Williams of the United States and Kveta Peschke of Czech Republic and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia on day thirteen of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 4, 2010 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Wimbledon 2011 Seeding: Rafael Nadal Grabs Top Seed, Serena Williams Seventh

Wimbledon 2011 promises to provide another great tennis tournament in the summer grand slam series. The grass at the Championships always provides a fun change of pace after the French Open clay.

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Wimbledon 2011 Seeding: Rafael Nadal Grabs Top Seed, Serena Williams Seventh

Seedings for the 2011 Championships at Wimbledon have been released for both the men and women's draw. The tournament will run from June 20th to July 3rd at the All England Club in Wimbledon, England.

As is customary, the selection committee observed the world rankings throughout the seeding process. Thus, defending champion Rafael Nadal will enter the tournament as the top men's seed, followed by a red-hot Novak Djokovic, six-time Wimbledon winner Roger Federer, Englishman Andy Murray, and Robin Sodering of Sweden.

Nadal strolls into the tournament on the heels of a stirring victory over longtime rival Roger Federer to claim the title at the 2011 French Open. The Spaniard will arrive as the prohibitive favorite, having won two of the last three Wimbledon championships, and four of the last five Grand Slam tournaments.

On the women's side, top ranked Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark received the one-seed, followed Russian Vera Zvonareva, French Open winner Li Na, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, and former champion Maria Sharapova. Second-seeded Kim Clijsters was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a foot injury incurred while dancing at a wedding.

Two-time-defending champion Serena Williams climbed to the women's seventh seed, despite the fact that her world ranking has dropped all the way down to 26th since her last victory. The four-time winner has not competed in a year due to significant injury and illness. Her sister, Venus Williams -- a five-time Wimbledon champion -- is seeded at 23.

Official 2011 Wimbledon Seeding:

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. Gaël Monfils, France
10. Mardy Fish, United States
11. Jürgen Melzer, Austria
12. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France
13. Viktor Troicki, Serbia
14. Stanislas Wawrinka, Switzerland
15. Gilles Simon, France
16. Nicolás 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 Martín del Potro, Argentina
25. Juan Ignacio Chela, Argentina
26. Guillermo García-López, 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

Women:
1. Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark
2. Vera Zvonareva, Russia
3. Li Na, China
4. Victoria Azarenka, Belarus
5. Maria Sharapova, Russia
6. Francesca Schiavone, Italy
7. Serena Williams, United States
8. Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic
9. Marion Bartoli, France
10. Sam Stosur, Australia
11. Andrea Petkovic, Germany
12. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia
13. Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland
14. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russia
15. Jelena Jankovic, Serbia
16. Julia Görges, Germany
17. Kaia Kanepi, Estonia
18. Ana Ivanovic, Serbia
19. Yanina Wickmayer, Belgium
20. Peng Shuai, China
21. Flavia Pennetta, Italy
22. Shahar Peer, Israel
23. Venus Williams, United States
24. Dominika Cibulkova, Slovakia
25. Daniela Hantuchova, Slovakia
26. Maria Kirilenko, Russia
27. Jarmila Gajdosova, Australia
28. Ekaterina Makarova, Russia
29. Roberta Vinci, Italy
30. Bethanie Mattek-Sands, United States
31. Lucie Safarova, Czech Republic
32. Tsvetana Pironkova, Bulgaria

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Serena And Venus Williams Returning To Wimbledon In 2011

The 2011 Championships at Wimbledon got a huge boost with the announcement that both Serena and Venus Williams will be playing on the grass at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club this June. Both sisters are entered in the Eastbourne preliminary tournament which runs June 11 to 18. It will be the first time either Serena or Venus has played in many months.

Serena Williams was last seen on the court when she won the 2010 Wimbledon Championship. Shortly after, she stepped on a piece of glass in a restaurant in Germany that required two surgeries to repair. In early March she had an emergency procedure to remove a clot from her lungs. 

"I am so excited to be healthy enough to compete again," Williams said in a statement released by her agent, Jill Smoller. "These past 12 months have been extremely tough and character building. I have so much to be grateful for. I'm thankful to my family, friends and fans for all their support. Serena's back!"

Venus Williams has been kept off the court with a hip injury suffered in January at the Australian Open. Venus was forced to retire during her third round match and hasn't played since.

Venus Williams, 30, won at Wimbledon in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, and 2008 while Serena Williams, 29, won the prestigious event in 2002, 2003, 2009, and 2010. 

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 22: Serena Williams and Venus Williams celebrate after match point after their first round doubles match against Julie Ditty of USA and Renata Voracova of Czech Republic on Day Two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 22, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

We'll be providing coverage of Wimbledon 2011 over the next few weeks. Check back in our Wimbledon 2011 StoryStream for news, analysis and other details. For more detailed conversation, join the folks at The Daily Forehand.        

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