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Serena Williams’ Postpartum Tennis Ranking Sparks Pregnancy Debate

You won’t believe Serena William’s new ranking postpartum. What does this say about sport’s view of pregnancy?

Washington, D.C –

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A recent ranking in the Miami Open has the tennis industry and people worldwide scratching their heads. The historic, 8-time Miami Open winner (among a bevy of other international achievements), Serena Williams has been ranked 491st and thus unseeded in the tournament. This means that Williams can face anyone in the first round — a beginning to the tournament for beginners, not legends.

With the most unbiased view of William’s career, you still cannot argue that she is a legend in the making. With that being said, how does such a low ranking result for a such a decorated athlete? That’s what we’re trying to figure out. The only thing that has changed for the 7-time Wimbledon Champion was that she had a child. Well, let’s hope that’s not the narrative because then it would sound like she was being punished for starting a family.

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In fact, that’s exactly what Miami Open Tournament Director, James Blake, thinks. He also thinks that athletes who choose to start a family should be protected, “For someone who goes on maternity break, they should be protected. These kind of things shouldn’t happen. She has won this title so many times that she needs protection. It’s not as if she left because of injury and lost her passion for the game. She had a kid which we should all be celebrating so when she comes back there should be a grace period where she can still be seeded.

This line is what makes you think. Blake continues to AFP, “It’s a kind of punishment which is tough.”