Ivanka Trump is serving up support for tennis star and fellow mom Serena Williams. President Donald Trump’s daughter came to the Wimbledon Champion’s defense after the French Open announced that the mom-of-one would not be given seeding for her first major since giving birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. — seeding plants players into a bracket so that the best do not meet until later in a competition.
Serena Williams is a three-time French Open champion Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
“This is ridiculous. @SerenaWilliams is a formidable athlete (best ever!) and loving new mother. No person should ever be penalized professionally for having a child! The #WTA should change this rule immediately. #FrenchOpen,” Ivanka tweeted.
In a statement to the Associated Press, the French Tennis Federation said that “tournament officials will establish the list and ranking of the women's seeds based on the WTA ranking.” Serena, who was ranked No. 1 before giving birth in 2017, is currently ranked at No. 453. According to ESPN, Serena risks facing highly ranked players in the early rounds without seeding.
Like Ivanka, Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova also believes Serena deserves seeding. "I would like to see that [rule] change,'' she said at the Italian Open last week. "It's such an incredible effort for a woman to come back from physically, emotionally...There's just another whole dimension to the travel, to the experiences, to the emotions to the physicality of every single day.
Serena has yet to publicly reply to Ivanka’s supportive tweet. The tennis player is no doubt still recovering from a fun-filled weekend in the UK, where she attended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding ceremony and reception. The new Duchess of Sussex is a close friend of Serena’s and previously had a friendly relationship with first daughter Ivanka.