LONDON: Wimbledon chiefs have admitted they will hold an internal debate to clarify if seven-time champion Serena Williams can be seeded at Wimbledon. Serena is currently 449th in the WTA rankings after taking time off to get married and have her first child last year. Following the difficult birth of daughter Alexis Olympia, Serena has played only two singles events. She lost to her sister Venus in the last 32 at Indian Wells and was beaten by Naomi Osaka in the first round in Miami. However, Miami Open tournament director James Blake said recently that the 23-time Grand Slam winner had been “punished” for wanting to start a family. The WTA provides players returning from injury lay-offs or pregnancy with a ‘protected ranking’ that can be used to enter tournaments, but not for seeding at those tournaments. Players can enter eight events using the ranking they had when they left, including for two Premier Mandatory events and two Grand Slams. But players who hold the protected ranking for any reason, on both the men’s and women’s tours, can’t be seeded even if their protected ranking merits it.