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Black girl magic!
Although it’s been an amazing year for Serena Williams as a new mother, she faced some challenges in the tennis world. In August, the French Open banned players (italics) from wearing body suits.
French Open President Bernard Giudicelli decided to ban the catsuit because he felt it “disrespected” the game. He said, “it will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and place.” This was disappointing because Serena got the suit custom made by Nike because she experienced complications after pregnancy and the suit helped.
More controversy came her way after she lost the US Open in September to Noami Osaka and got into an argument with the Empire. She was hit with a $17,000 fine. She went from being ranked to number 1 to 453.
The tables have turned and the tennis association made new changes to their “special ranking” rule. In the past, it let a player freeze their ranking “in the event of injury, illness, or pregnancy,” and a halt on competing for at least 6 months. According to a report, this rule was not applicable for seeding purpose.
Under the new special ranking rule:
- A player who is out of competition for more than 6 months but less than one year may use her special ranking for up to 8 tournaments in a one-year period.
- A player who is out of competition for one year or more may use her special ranking for up to 12 tournaments in a one-year period.
- If a player is out of competition due to pregnancy or a medical condition, she is allowed 3 years to use her special ranking. In the event of pregnancy, the time period is calculated from the birth of the child.
- If a player is out of competition due to adoption, surrogacy, or legal guardianship, she is allowed 2 years to use her special ranking.
- If a player’s special ranking would earn a seeded position, that player will be drawn as an “additional seed” to play a non-seed in the first round. An “additional seed” does not bump an otherwise seeded player.
- Upon her return, a player is eligible to use her special ranking for seeding purposes at the first 8 WTA tournaments she plays.
- A player may freeze her ranking up to two times. Under the previous rule, a player was allowed to freeze her ranking just once.