Serena welcomes rule change on players back from pregnancy

Serena Williams of the U.S. talks to journalists on the opening day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Serena Williams of the U.S. talks to journalists on the opening day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Serena Williams has welcomed the extra protection given to new mothers when they return to the women's tennis tour.

"It's great," the 23-time Grand Slam champion said on Thursday in quotes published by BBC Sport. "Women that are younger can go out there and have kids and not have to worry about it, and not have to wait until the twilight of their years to have children."

The WTA rule changes were agreed on this month and are meant to ensure players are not penalized after they return from pregnancy or an injury that causes a long absence.

The changes were prompted in part by the experiences of former No. 1 players Williams and Victoria Azarenka, both of whom returned to competition after giving birth.

The WTA announced that players returning to the tour may use a special ranking for up to three years after the birth of a child, and the exemption can be used for seedings at big events.

"Having gone through the experience myself really opened my eyes. Would I have done it sooner had there been different rule changes? I don't know," Williams said in Abu Dhabi ahead of an exhibition tournament where she played her sister Venus in a one-off match.

"But now there is an opportunity, people don't have to ask that question."

Williams was unseeded at the French Open in her first major since the birth of her daughter — despite having won the previous major she played, the 2017 Australian Open. Williams was seeded 25th at Wimbledon and 17th at the U.S. Open, and she reached the finals and lost at both of those majors.

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Must Read

Rohingya refugees celebrate holiday amid memories...

Aug 22, 2018

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees living in sprawling camps in Bangladesh are celebrating...

Fire in old part of Bangladesh's capital kills at...

Feb 21, 2019

A devastating fire has raced through at least five buildings in an old part of Bangladesh's capital...

Sculpture honoring fallen soldiers scandalizes...

Sep 4, 2016

A provincial governor in Egypt has ordered changes to a sculpture honoring fallen soldiers after...

Furor as Egypt officials use state funds for...

Feb 1, 2017

Egypt media sphere abuzz as parliament speaker, deputies use state funds to get expensive cars...

Egyptians recount sexual harassment, angering...

Apr 7, 2017

Hundreds of Egyptian women and girls have come out to denounce sexual harassment and share personal...

Sign up now!

About Us

Welcome to the Daily Nomad, a peek into our nomadic lifestyle where you’ll learn more of our culture and live happy, wild, and free.

Contact us: sales[at]daily-nomad.com