Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Ivanka Trump serves up support for Serena Williams

Serena Williams Ivanka Trump Blasts WTA for Leaving Serena Williams Unseeded Due to Maternity Leave Getty Images Clive Brunskill 25 May 2018
Frederick Owens | 26 May, 2018, 01:39

Serena, a three-time singles champion at the French Open, will be playing in her first Grand Slam tournament since winning the Australian Open in 2017 after which she stepped off the tour to give birth to her daughter in September.

The clay-court tournament - the second Grand Slam of the year - starts in Paris on Sunday.

The ruling means that Williams, who was ranked by the World Tennis Association (WTA) as No. 1 past year but has dropped to No. 453 due to her absence, risked being pitted against top-ranked players early in the competition.

"This year again, tournament officials will establish the list and ranking of the women's seeds based on the WTA ranking", the French Tennis Federation announced in a statement to The Associated Press. The 36-year-old athlete was in the number one spot last year when she had to leave so she could give birth to her now-eight-month-old baby, Alexis Olympia.

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Konta, 27, has never won a match in the Roland Garros main draw and the 22nd seed hopes to end that unwanted record against world number 93 Putintseva. "The #WTA should change this rule immediately", she tweeted. "So, yeah, I definitely think that would be a nice change".

Without a seeding, Williams will have to go head-to-head against tennis' top players early into the competition, putting at risk her chances for a title.

Williams and Sharapova could meet in the fourth round of the French Open thanks to Thursday's draw, though a matchup between three-time champion Williams and two-time champion Sharapova is far from guaranteed.

Stosur won just one match in her first four visits to Roland Garros before finding her feet on clay with a breakout semi-final run in 2009. "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", Evert told Reuters. 'So the people will decide what seed she will get. She has a line of apparel and accessories that says it's "committed to helping women create the lives they want to lead", although some critics have claimed that Trump hasn't done enough to push the president toward policies that many women support. Before her pregnancy, she was ranked No. 1.

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