The WTA’s New Rules for Returning Mothers – Serena Williams
Since Serena Williams’s coming back from pregnancy had forced the officials to modify the tennis’s rules. The WTA has updated its rulebook this month. The WTA has decided to provide the mothers with more flexibility.
Serena Williams also stimulated a clarification which permits catsuits, the one she was wearing at the French Open. Hence, Serena Williams has also improved and increased the boundaries of tennis’s rules when it comes to the matching attire.
The WTA Rulebook’s New Rules:
The WTA rulebook had ruled maternity, injury or illness by the similar rules. But now, pregnancy will be given more consideration. A mother who is returning to the tennis will be provided with up to 3 years after the childbirth to be entitled to a special ranking in order to gain entry into the tournaments. Previously, the maximum timeline had been 2 years during her last competition.
Similar players who had returned from pregnancy or an injury were kept out of competition for about 52 weeks. They can also use this special ranking for the 12 tournaments. A returning player, ranked in a range which would earn her a seeding when she left would be given an “additional seed.”
This ensures her an unseeded opponent in the 1st round. And it does not mix any players who have received a seeding from the current rankings they have got. The special seedings topic has received this attention because of Williams. She, who got back to the tour 6 months later in March after her daughter’s birth. Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., at the time of her pregnancy, Ranked number one. At the first three tournaments, Williams was unseeded.
The United States Open that announced its policy of providing the special consideration to the returning players in its seedings has put Williams at 17th. She made it to the final again.
What Victoria Azarenka had to say?
Victoria Azarenka, who is a champion of 2 time Grand Slam singles, conveyed satisfaction with the betterment in a statement. (She is also a member of the WTA Players Council).
“Our players should feel comfortable and confident to take time away from the courts to have a family or recover from injury, and I think these new rules support that,” said Azarenka, who gave birth to her son, Leo, in 2016. “This is a really good first step, and we are using it as a base to continue to look for ways to improve and highlight the importance of mothers working and being on tour. My goal as a member of the Players’ Council is to make sure that the WTA is the pioneer of being the most progressive and inclusive association in sports.”
Azarenka was in the list of top 10 when she took maternity leave. She was not allowed special seedings while she took her way back on to the tour. Her return was made a complex with a huge custody dispute.
What are your thoughts on the new rules by WTA? Let us know in the comments.