Ivanka Trump blasts rule that penalized Serena Williams at the French Open for having a baby

  • The news that Serena Williams would be unseeded at the French Open following maternity leave has generated significant controversy.

  • Ivanka Trump recently joined those criticizing the decision and called 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 on Thursday, 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."

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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.

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Trump joins the tennis stars Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova in speaking out against this rule. And in a profile in The New York Times last month, Williams said she wanted it changed.

"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."

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