Ivanka Trump Defends Serena Williams After French Open Snub

No person should ever be penalized professionally for having a child! Ivanka Trump tweeted calling for the WTA to change its rule after the French Open declined to seed Serena Williams who was out on maternity leave

With only four matches under her belt in the past 16 months - and no clay court match practice whatsoever - Serena Williams will be vulnerable early on.

Williams took 14 months off from the WTA Tour after winning the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant.

Ellis now has two children - but she has spoken openly about her own fertility difficulties.

The three-times French Open champion was not granted a seed by tournament organisers, triggering criticism from women's groups and tennis pundits.

While she was No. 1 when she left the tour to give birth, Williams is now ranked No. 453.

Trump, a senior adviser to President Trump, her father, has long positioned herself as an advocate for women's issues, among them maternity leave. They are trying to put her on the so-called mommy track, which sadly is an all-too-common occurrence in all workplaces, not just sports.

While she was No. 1 when she left the tour to give birth, Williams is now ranked No. 453.

"I think it's very important seeding ... for arguably one of the greatest female players of all time". "She was No. 1, so she deserves seeding".

'It's normal to give birth to a kid. It's normal to have protected ranking.

Trump said the Women's Tennis Association needs to change its rule'immediately
Trump said the Women's Tennis Association needs to change its rule'immediately

And apparently a part in Being Serena where she groggily jokes about having another baby while they're on the way home from the hospital wasn't a hallucination sequence. "But in my opinion it's good to protect the ranking when someone is giving birth".

When the draw was announced Thursday, it appeared that Williams caught something of a break. She will open against 70th-ranked Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

She could face Maria Sharapova in the fourth round of the French Open on her return to Grand Slam tennis from maternity leave.

"It's such an incredible effort for a woman to come back from physically, emotionally", Sharapova said last week of Williams giving birth.

See her tweet below.

So danger lurks at the French for Williams, particularly since she was not her usual dominating self in March, going 2-2 while her coach acknowledged that she was "far from being at 100 percent".

Williams' extended absence from the WTA Tour means she heads to Roland Garros, where she is a three-time champion, unseeded and meets world number 70 Pliskova first up.

She said the mentality when she was a player was that if you made a decision to take time off to start a family, there were thousands of players ready to take your place.

The WTA told The Associated Press earlier this week that it is considering a rule change that would add protected seeding for highly-ranked players returning from maternity leave.



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