- News that Serena Williams will be unseeded at the French Open following her maternity leave has generated significant controversy.
- Ivanka Trump joined those criticizing the decision, calling on the Women's Tennis Association to change its rules concerning maternity leave.
The Women's Tennis Association has been generating controversy following news that Serena Williams will be unseeded at the French Open following her maternity leave — and now Ivanka Trump has stepped in to criticize it.
"This is ridiculous," Trump tweeted, adding that Williams "is a formidable athlete (best ever!) and loving new mother."
"No person should ever be penalized professionally for having a child!" Trump said. "The #WTA should change this rule immediately."
This is ridiculous. @SerenaWilliams is a formidable athlete (best ever!) and loving new mother. No person should ever be penalized professionally for having a child! The #WTA should change this rule immediately. #FrenchOpen.https://t.co/W5jQ5aEUXm
WTA rules outline that women who step away to have a baby have their entry into tournaments protected, but not their seeding. Williams had her first child in September.
As a result of being unseeded, Williams will have to face tougher opponents earlier in the French Open than a player of her caliber usually would.
"I think it's more of a protection for women to have a life," Williams told The Times. "You shouldn't have to wait to have a baby until you retire. If you want to have a baby and take a few months off or a year off and then come back, you shouldn't have to be penalized for that. Pregnancy is not an injury."