Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Ivanka Trump Defends Serena Williams After French Open Snub

Ivanka Trump Defends Serena Williams After French Open Snub

Serena Williams' return to Grand Slam tennis will see her play Kristyna Pliskova in the first round of the French Open 2018.

Former world number one Williams, now ranked a lowly 453, is playing a Grand Slam for the first time since she won her 23rd major at the 2017 Australian Open after which she stepped off the tour to give birth to her daughter in September.

Two other British players are also in the singles draw at Roland Garros - Heather Watson will face France's Oceane Dodin in the women's and Cameron Norrie meets Germany's Peter Gojowczyk in the men's. "Tennis is such a selfish sport, but I think when there's a child in your life you lose a little bit of that, because there's something that's so much more important".

Williams returned to the professional Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tour in March at Indian Wells in Southern California.

"Certainly when I was playing you nearly didn't allow yourself to think about having children while you were playing, because there wasn't the assistance available", she said.

Serena Williams holds her trophy after defeating her sister Venus in the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne Australia. Main-draw action begins Sunday

The 21-year-old German, who is seeded second in the absence of Roger Federer, begins his French Open against Ricardis Berankis of Lithuania.

While the WTA may add protected seeding for highly ranked players who return from maternity leave, the change would likely not take effect until next year.

"It's normal to give birth".

Norrie, 22, has climbed to the verge of the top 100 to earn his place in the Roland Garros draw for the first time and is rewarded with a match against Gojowczyk. It's normal to have protected ranking. But they announced Monday that they would follow convention and give players seeds based on WTA rankings.

"The benefit of being seeded is that she won't play another seed until probably the fourth round". Williams, then ranked 81st, won that tournament, thrashing the top-seeded Sharapova, 6-1, 6-2, in the final. They are trying to put her on the so-called mommy track, which sadly is an all-too-common occurrence in all workplaces, not just sports.

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They also would have to wait three days after that first meeting before terminating their pregnancy. The law has led to thousands of women travelling each year to Britain where abortion is legal.

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