Ivanka Trump Defends Serena Williams After French Open Snub

Ivanka Trump is showing her support for Serena Williams after it was announced that French Open organizers will not be giving the 23-time Grand Slam champion a seeding this summer after going on hiatus following the birth of her daughter. Trump called the decision “ridiculous.”

“Serena Williams is a formidable athlete (best ever!) and loving new mother,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “No person should ever be penalized professionally for having a child! The WTA should change this rule immediately.”

Wiliams ranked No. 1 when she went on maternity leave, and her return to the court will mark her first major since giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia in September. Now, the three-time French Open champion sits at No. 453 in the Women’s Tennis Association rankings following a 14-month hiatus from the sport.

“This year again, tournament officials will establish the list and ranking of the women’s seeds based on the WTA ranking,” the French Tennis Federation announced in a statement to The Associated Press. “Consequently, [the seeds] will reflect this week’s world ranking.”

Without a seeding, Williams will have to go head-to-head against tennis’ top players early into the competition, putting at risk her chances for a title. WTA treats maternity requests similar to those of injuries or illnesses. The organization is considering a policy change to add protected seeding for highly ranked players who return from maternity leave.

The French Open draw is Thursday and the tournament begins on Sunday.

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