Following the controversy surrounding the banning of Serena Williams’ catsuit from the French Open, common sense has seemingly prevailed as the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has introduced a series of new rule changes granting increased protections for returning tennis pro mothers.
According to a report from the BBC, players coming back from childbirth or injury will be allowed to use their previous ranking to enter up to 12 tournaments over a three-year-period.
While Williams’ request for returning mothers to be seeded in line with their protected ranking has been denied, the WTA has instead altered the rules to ensure that players coming back from injury or childbirth will be guaranteed not to face a seeded player in a tournament’s opening round should they use their protected ranking.
That being said, the new rules don’t provide protection for seedings as tournaments use their own discretion to seed players.
Still, these rule changes count as a big win for mothers returning to the pro tennis tour.
WTA rule changes for 2019
• # of tourneys using SR moved from 8 to 12
• Rules introduced for SR related to pregnancy
• Main draw singles players who withdraw b/w start of qualies & their R1 match, eligible to receive 100% of R1 💰
• Leggings/compression shorts may now be worn pic.twitter.com/nPrk7KYyC2
— Parsa (@Parsa_Nemati) December 12, 2018
In addition to new protections for returning mothers, the WTA has clarified its clothing rules to allow “leggings and mid-thigh length compression” shorts to be worn without a skirt, shorts, or dress.
In other words, Serena will be allowed to wear her epic catsuit at every tournament! Except for the French Open.
Catsuit anyone? For all the moms out there who had a tough recovery from pregnancy—here you go. If I can do it, so can you. Love you all!! pic.twitter.com/xXb3BKDGNF
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) May 29, 2018
That’s because this wave of common sense appears to have flew right over the French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli, who banned Serena’s catsuit earlier this year because it wasn’t “respectable” and ultimately has final say over attire matters at the French Open.
It seems that looking “proper” continues to take precedent over the practical and medical purposes of Serena’s catsuit, which she wore to help with blood clots.
Seeing as how Giudielli won’t be convinced in any way, here’s hoping that Serena wins the 2019 French Open in a tutu so she can rub it in his face at the trophy presentation.
— Aisha Alexander🏁 (@AishaThinker) August 28, 2018