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U.S. Open to Change Seeding Protocol for Pregnancy Leaves

The U.S. Open has announced it will change the way it deals with seeding players returning from pregnancy leave after the French Open was accused of “penalizing” 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams upon her return last month. Katrina Adams, the president and chairwoman of the United States Tennis Association, told The New York Times on Saturday that women should not feel they are being punished if they return to the sport after giving birth. “It’s the right thing to do for these mothers that are coming back,” Adams was quoted as saying. It wasn’t immediately clear where 23-year-old Williams would stand in the tournament but Adams said the U.S. Open would “revise the seedings if pregnancy is a factor in the current rankings of a player.” Williams, who gave birth to a daughter in September, was not granted a seed in the French Open, leaving her with a world ranking of 453 upon her return despite having stepped away as No. 1.