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Naomi Osaka outclasses Serena Williams in Miami Open first round

22 March, 2018, 02:00 | Author: Hannah Francis
  • Naomi Osaka outclasses Serena Williams in Miami Open first round

Take for instance Sloane Stephens, who did not win a match for nearly six months after she won the 2017 U.S. Open.

While it is obviously dumb that Williams has lost all of the standing of her pre-baby career on her return to tennis, it would be great if a similar level of outrage was displayed for every woman who takes time off to have a child.

"The rules should help her get the benefit of an easier draw and a better path".

"I think that's going to be a huge story, maybe the story of the year", said Roger Federer, hoping she could combine tennis and motherhood successfully. These kinds of things shouldn't happen.

Williams, an eight-time Miami Open champion, saved the first match point but sent a routine forehand long to give rising star Osaka further glory.

Three-time Miami Open champion Victoria Azarenka will face the American teenager CiCI Bellis while Bethanie Mattek-Sands, one of eight wildcard recipients, makes her return from a serious knee injury against Alize Cornet in their opening round meeting.

"It's a kind of punishment which is tough. I don't know if anybody knows this but Serena is my favourite player", Osaka said in an on-court interview.

"It makes sense to protect someone who goes on maternity leave", said Blake. No special exemption can be made for Williams to be given a seeding due to a WTA rule that enforces ranking-based seedings. "When reviewing these rules the players have traditionally expressed they do not feel that a player coming back from a long-term lay-off, for any reason, should be allowed to be seeded".




It sets a precedent and bad example that top female players can not freely take a step away from their profession through pregnancy and return to where they rightfully and previously belonged.

When she comes back in March next year, she plans to be holding a tennis racket instead.

"This match should not be happening in a 3rd round", the Australian wrote on Twitter.

"This provides for a player to return with a protected ranking but does not allow for a player to be seeded", WTA chief Steve Simon explained. "Women should not be penalized for giving birth by starting from zero".

Naomi Osaka said impressing her favourite player Serena Williams was her goal when they met in the first round of the Miami Open.

The American won a 23rd Grand Slam before becoming the top-ranked player in women's tennis when she defeated her sister Venus in straight sets to win the 2017 Australian Open final in January previous year.

Victoria Azarenka, a two-time grand slam victor, similarly wasn't seeded when she returned to tennis in 2017 after giving birth in late 2016. The tournament kicks off on Key Biscayne Wednesday and will relocate to Hard Rock Stadium in 2019.

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