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.”
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) May 1, 2018
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.