Serena Williams says the Women’s Tennis Association’s changes to the special ranking rule could encourage players to take career breaks earlier than she did to have children.
The 37-year-old American gave birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia in September 2017 and returned to the WTA circuit in March at Indian Wells.
“I think it’s great,” said Williams of the rule changes as she spoke ahead of an exhibition match against sister Venus in Abu Dhabi last week at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.
“Women that are younger can go out there and have kids and not have to worry about it and not have to wait until the twilight of their years to have children and I think it’s a really great rule,” added the 23-time grand slam champion.
Under the WTA’s new rules, which will take effect in 2019, a player’s ranking freezes in the event of injury, illness or pregnancy.
As part of the modifications, players returning from pregnancy or long-term injury will be able to use their special ranking at additional tournaments and for seeding purposes.
For pregnancy, that time period now begins at the birth of the child, and players can use that special ranking for three years. — CNN.