U.S. Open to Change its Seeding Protocol for Pregnancies

After backlash from the French Open, the U.S. Open is changing its seeding protocol for players coming back from pregnancy.
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The U.S. Open is changing its seeding protocol for players coming back from pregnancy, reports The New York Times.

USTA president Katrina Adams told the Times that players coming back from pregnancy shouldn't be "penalized" for starting a family and added that "it's the right thing to do."

The new approach comes after criticism for how Serena Williams' ranking affected her seed at this year's French Open. Williams gave birth to a daughter last September and didn't play competitive tennis for over a year. Her WTA ranking fell from No. 1 at the time of her 2017 Australian Open win to No. 183, and Williams went unseeded at Roland Garros. Williams then withdrew with an injury before the fourth round of the French Open.

Under the current WTA rules, rankings aren't protected for players who take a break for pregnancies or injuries. The organization said it would reconsider its position after the uproar. But the U.S. Open, along with the other three Grand Slam events, has authority to make rule changes.

It wasn't clear where Williams would be seeded at the U.S. Open.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion could be seeded at Wimbledon when seeds are announced Wednesday.