Serena: Pregnancy is not an injury

Hubert Hurkacz beats Benoit Paire to win maiden ATP title at Winston Salem Open

Former world number one Serena Williams is adamant she should not be penalised in tournament seedings for having a baby.

The American gave birth to her daughter Olympia in September and has understandably played just four matches since, with the latest being a first round loss to Naomi Osaka in Miami in March.

Williams has been handed a protective number one ranking to allow her entry to tournaments and this could extend to Wimbledon in July.

“I think it’s more of a protection for women to have a life,” the 23-time grand slam winner told the New York Times last month.

“You shouldn’t have to wait to have a baby until you retire. If you want to have a baby and take a few months off or a year off and then come back, you shouldn’t have to be penalized for that. Pregnancy is not an injury.”

There has been some good news in this regard for Williams, as officials at the All England Club – the venue for Wimbledon – have indicated her pregnancy may be taken into account for the draw.

“The seeding order follows the WTA ranking list, except where in the opinion of the committee, a change is necessary to produce a balanced draw,” said an official.

“Therefore it is reasonable to state that the committee would have the discretion to seed a player for The Championships, regardless of their WTA ranking.”

Williams’ official WTA ranking has dropped to 449 given her inactivity, though she is a seven-time winner at Wimbledon.