Ivanka Trump is defending tennis great Serena Williams and slamming Williams’ lack of seeding at the French Open, calling it a penalty for being pregnant.
“This is ridiculous,” Trump said on Twitter. “Serena Williams is a formidable athlete (best ever) and loving new mother. No person should ever be penalized professionally for having a child.”
French Open officials announced this week they would not give Williams a seeding based on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings. The 23-time Grand Slam champion and three-time French Open winner is ranked No. 453 by the WTA.
“This year again, tournament officials will establish the list and ranking of the women's seeds based on the WTA ranking,” French Tennis Federation officials aid in a statement to The Associated Press. “Consequently, (the seeds) will reflect this week's world ranking.”
“The WTA should change this rule immediately,” Trump said.
Williams took 14 months off to have her first child and was No. 1 in the rankings at the last Grand Slam she played, the 2017 Australia Open, before taking time off to give birth in what turned out to be a difficult pregnancy, including six weeks of bed rest.
Without seeding at the French Open, Williams could potentially have a tough time in the early rounds, having to face top-ranked players right off the bat, instead of in later rounds.