Calls for change after French Open snubs Serena Williams
Chris Evert and Maria Sharapova are among those who want a change to the rules after French Open officials decided not to seed Serena Williams.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner will play in her first major since giving birth in September when she competes at Roland Garros next week. However, organisers have opted not to give her a seed for the tournament even though she was world No 1 when she went on maternity leave in January 2017.
Evert, an 18-time Grand Slam winner, expressed her outrage at the decision, saying it’s not only Williams, who has slipped to No 454 in the world, who is negatively affected.
“It’s wrong, they should protect players,” she told Reuters. “Not just for her but for the other women who could play her in the first round. She could play [current world No 1 Simona] Halep in the first round. It’s about protecting the field too.
“It’s not like you decide to take a year off. I mean if you are forced out of the game for a specific reason, whether it be maternity or injury, you need to be protected.
“You don’t have to put her back at number one because she left at number one but try to figure out some sort of happy medium where it’s fair for all.”
One of Williams’ fiercest rivals Sharapova also felt that it’s time for change.
“I would like to see that [rule] change,” during the Italian Open. “It’s such an incredible effort for a woman to come back from physically, emotionally. … There’s just another whole dimension to the travel, to the experiences, to the emotions to the physicality of every single day.”
She added: “Tennis is such a selfish sport, but I think when there’s a child in your life you lose a little bit of that, because there’s something that’s so much more important. So, yeah, I definitely think that would be a nice change.”
Halep echoed the comments of Evert and Sharapova.
“In my opinion it’s good to protect the ranking when someone is giving birth,” the Romanian said.
‘Never write him off’ – Andy Murray’s former coach backs the Scot to shine in 2021
Andy Murray’s former coach Dani Vallverdu believes the former world No.1 can defy his doubters
Tennis365 speaks to ASICS about the input players had into the new Solution Speed FF trainers
Tennis trainers are a hugely significant part of a tennis player’s armoury, so how to do find the perfect trainer?
2020 ATP Awards nominees revealed: Diego Schwartzman in the running for two awards
Your 2020 ATP Awards nominees…
Grand Slam winners Sofia Kenin, Naomi Osaka, Iga Swiatek on WTA Player of the Year shortlist
Your 2020 WTA player award nominations are out.
Roger Federer accused of ‘using his position’ and changing ATP Rankings system to ‘protect himself’
Dirk Hordorff unimpressed by Roger Federer.
Out with the old, in with the new as WTA revamps event categories, changes logo, marketing campaign
New logo, revamped tournament categories for WTA.
2021 Australian Open set for 8 February start with players allowed to train during quarantine – reports
Dates for the 2021 Australian Open all but confirmed.
Roger Federer delivers a special Christmas treat for his army of fans
Roger Federer has revealed his iconic RF logo is now back under his control.
Andy Murray: ‘I want to do everything that I did when I was No 1 to see what I can achieve’
Andy Murray determined to get back into shape.
Belinda Bencic on teaming up with Roger Federer at Tokyo Games: ‘I’m ready, it’s just up to Roger now’
Swiss dream team for 2021 Tokyo Games?