Mothers and injured players returning to Tennis have been given increased protection from next season by the WTA.
The women's governing body of tennis have tweaked the ruling and expanded the scope of the “special ranking” policy that helps players coming back after injury or motherhood. From 2019, players will be able to use their previous ranking order to enter 12 tournaments over a three-year period.
As things stand, players must begin their comeback within two years, and then have a further year in which they can enter eight events under their protected ranking - the ranking held at the start of their absence.
Serena Williams highlighted the issue last year when she returned to Tennis 6 months after giving birth to her daughter. However, players will not be seeded in line with that ranking, despite Serena Williams' wishes, with the WTA instead guaranteeing they will not face a seeded player in a tournament's opening round.