WTA offers greater protection to returning mothers but falls short of Serena Williams demands

WTA Tour
Serena Williams

The WTA will grant increased protection for returning mothers from next season, but have stopped short of Serena Williams’ demands.

Currently, players coming back into the game following childbirth players must begin their comeback within two years, and then have a further year in which they can enter eight events under their protected ranking – the ranking held at the start of their absence.

It is essentially the same rule that applies to players returning from injury.

From 2019, though, players will be able to use their previous ranking order to enter 12 tournaments over a three-year period.

Serena Williams had requested players also retain their seeding for tournaments, but the WTA has guaranteed returning mothers will not face a seeded player in the first round instead.

One victory for William’s though is clarification that her ‘catsuit’ she wore for the French Open this year will continue to be permitted.

“Leggings and mid-thigh length compression shorts may be won with or without a skirt, shorts, or dress,” the new rule reads.


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