The tournament’s decision comes after the French Open’s widely criticized move not to give tennis star Serena Williams a seed after her return from maternity leave.
New moms are getting some love from the U.S. Open.
The tennis tournament’s seeding process will no longer penalize players whose rankings took a nosedive during their pregnancy-related absences, the New York Times first reported. The decision comes a month after the French Open drew widespread criticism for not giving one of its 32 seeds to 23-time Grand Slam champ Serena Williams, whose No. 1 standing dropped to No. 453 during a 13-month leave around her pregnancy.
The accommodation will reportedly go into effect with this year’s tournament, which begins Aug. 27.
“We have top players who exemplify womanhood, becoming mothers, and are not being allowed to return following their pregnancy with a record that reflects that — Victoria Azarenka last year, and Serena now doing the same thing,” U.S. Tennis Association president and CEO Katrina Adams told the Washington Post.
“With Serena, you’re looking at one of arguably the greatest players of all time. There’s a level of respect there,” she added. “But it’s not about Serena; it’s about the accomplishments of a Serena — a number one player, with 23 Grand Slams.”