Cape Town: The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour on Friday confirmed that players coming back to court after giving birth will now be able to use their previous ranking to enter 12 tournaments over a three-year period.
The changes are being implemented in the wake of what happened to American tennis ace Serena Williams when she returned after giving birth to her daughter last year. The former world number one unseeded at the French Open, but was given a seeding of 25 for Wimbledon, despite being outside the top 32 in the rankings, reported Sport24.
However, returning players will not be seeded in line with that ranking, as Williams had requested. They will only be able to enter tournaments based on it.
WTA has also decided to guarantee players that they will not have to face a seeded player in a tournament’s opening round. The decision to change the rules is based on opinions of all players this year including, Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova. While the likes of Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka and Johanna Konta did not appear to be in favour of any changes.