Top players divided on Seles ranking

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The Independent Online
Moves to give Monica Seles her No 1 world ranking back if she returns to the tour have met with opposition from leading players.

Steffi Graf, currently holding the No 1 ranking, has made it clear that she would like to see the Yugoslav-born American return but does not think she should automatically be given top ranking. "I don't agree with the proposals," the German player said, referring to a stormy WTA meeting this week.

The world No 2, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, has also said she would be "unhappy" if Seles was given back her former ranking.

Seles, 21, is expected to return to the tour after an exhibition against Martina Navratilova in Atlantic City later this month. The left-handed baseliner, winner of eight Grand Slam titles but without a Wimbledon triumph, has not played since being stabbed on court in Hamburg in April, 1993.

"Tennis needs Monica," said Graf after reaching this year's Wimbledon semi-finals. "The players need it. The media needs it. The tour needs it. I need it. I need a challenge."

Gabriela Sabtatini, eighth in the world and beaten by Wimbeldon's defending champion, Conchita Martinez, in the quarter-finals on Tuesday, said of a Seles return: "It is very tough to come up with something good for her and still be fair to the rest."