Bleats

Serena Williams And Her Catsuit Help Mums Score Better Rights On The Pro Tennis Tour But The French Open's Stuck In The Mud

This is huge.

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.

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.

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.

Rafael Nadal's Relo Dissing Roger Federer Proves We Can Never, Ever Escape The Pissing Contest Of Sports Parents, Even As Adults

Aside from the talent, the millions of dollars, and worldwide adoration, they're really no different to the rest of us mere plebs.

One of the shining points of the last decade and a half of tennis has been the rivalry between tennis GOATs Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

It’s almost like it was always destined to happen given how the pair perfectly complement each other. One’s a righty while the other’s a lefty, Fed is silky smooth while Nadal plays like a bull in a china store, and both are leading the way in the most amount of men’s grand slam titles ever won.

But even as both hit the twilight of their illustrious careers, both Fed and Nadal have been unable to escape the one thing that comes with being particularly good at a sport: being the subjects of an almighty pissing contest between sports families.

A sporty kid’s worst nightmare.

In a new pot-stirring column (as translated via The Sydney Morning Herald) written by Toni Nadal, Rafael’s uncle and former coach of well over a decade, he declares that Federer is probably done winning grand slams in 2019 due to the physical demands of best-of-five set tennis being a bit too much for the 37-year-old GOAT.

Sure he covers it up by saying that Fed has repeatedly surprised him over the years, but one can’t help but feel that there’s a slight subtext of “my kid/nephew is better than your kid”.

It’s a trope that’s been played out countless times ever since sports became a thing: a parent’s kid is wildly successful at a sport and they end up using that to humblebrag (or just brag) about how much better their offspring (and by extension themselves) are compared to everyone else.

It just so happens Toni is comparing two tennis all-time greats so the stakes are considerably higher than your usual Saturday arvo tiff.

It is perfectly understandable though, we are all humans with flaws after all. But this latest little hot take from Toni shows that pissing contests between sports parents transcend any level of success since that’s not really the point.

Since being a tennis GOAT is irrelevant in this discussion, both Federer and Nadal have done the only sensible thing kids can do when their parents/relatives are getting into stupid tiffs: ignore it altogether and become tennis’ leading bromance just to rub it in their family’s faces.

So really, if you take out dumb little things like talent, success, and worldwide adoration, Federer and Nadal are actually no different to the rest of us mere mortals who have overly competitive parents wanting to one-up each other in the name of sport.

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