Serena Williams may be the best tennis player in the world, but, like many women, she still faced discrimination when she returned to work after having a baby. After not playing professionally for over a year, she dropped down in rankings to no.183 in the world. As a result, she was not granted a seed in the French Open, a move that has been widely condemned by the tennis community. However, the US Open has now announced that it is changing the way it seeds players to account for pregnancy.
Katrina Adams, president and chairperson of the US Tennis Association, told the New York Times that the U.S. Open would ‘revise the seedings if pregnancy is a factor in the current rankings of a player.’
Comparing Serena’s experience to a top executive returning from pregnancy at an entry-level position, she told the publication that players should not be ‘penalized’ for starting a family. ‘It’s the right thing to do for these mothers that are coming back, ‘she said, ‘we are all about social justice and equality, and this is definitely an instance of equality.’
Seedings allow the best players to face each other later in the tournament, intended so the hardest matches aren’t played early in a competition. Protected seedings allow players to return from injuries to their previous ranking, however, this does not apply to women who return after pregnancy. Serena Williams has long advocated for protected seedings after maternity leave, however, there is resistance within the tennis community as players who receive a seed outside of their ranking order will knock another player out of theirs.
Current Women’s Tennis Association rules do not grant protected seeding at tour events, however, the WTA received criticism for this when Serena was snubbed by the French Open and promised to reconsider their position. While we wait for that, the US Open has taken the issue into their own hands and with Wimbledon announcing their seeding on Wednesday, it’s expected they may make the same decision in accounting for pregnancy.
Traditionally, Wimbledon has been the only Grand Slam tournament to consider factors outside of a player’s ranking when deciding seeding. If they do choose to account for pregnancy, tennis will become a much more inclusive place for women.
Now read: 13 celebrity babies born in 2018!
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West - Chicago West
Kim and Kanye's third child, Chicago West who was born on 15th January 2018 joins the couple's two other children, North and Saint.
Danny and Georgia Jones - Cooper Alf Jones
Mcfly's Danny Jones and wife Georgia had Cooper Alf Jones earlier in the year on 27th January. The couple who married in August 2014, had been trying for a baby since the end of 2016.
Aston Merrygold and Sarah Richards - Grayson Merrygold
Aston and Sarah announced they were expecting in September 2017. They got engaged in December and welcomed their first child on 30th January 2018.
Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott - Stormi Webster
After Kylie keeping quiet for months and trying to keep her pregnancy as secret as possible, she gave birth to Stormi Webster on 1st February this year.
Michael and Nicole Phelps - Beckett Phelps
Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and his wife Nicole welcomed Beckett on 12th February this year to join Boomer who they had back in May 2016.
Coleen and Wayne Rooney - Cass Rooney
Coleen and Wayne had another baby boy, Cass, on 15th February of this year joining Kai, Klay and Kit.
Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo - Gio Grace
Lead singer of Maroon 5, Adam Levine and supermodel wife Behati Prinsloo had their second child on 15th February this year.
Robin Thicke and April Love Geary - Mia Love Thicke
The pair had their first child together, Mia Love Thicke on 22nd February.
Eddie Redmayne and Hannah Bagshawe - Luke Bagshawe
Eddie Redmayne and Hannah Bagshawe had their second baby on 10th March to join Iris May, who was born in June 2016.
Hugh Grant and Anna Eberstein - Name unknown
Hugh Grant's has become a father of five. Hugh and his girlfriend Anna have son John Mungo, born September 2012, and a daughter, born 2015. Hugh also shares 6-year-old Tabitha and 4-year-old Felix Chang with ex-partner Tinglan Hong.
Grant's ex-girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley accidentally announced the news in March but she did not reveal the sex.
Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson - True Thompson
Khloe and Tristan had True Thompson on 12th April. True will grow up with many cousins around her of the same age with Kylie and Kim both having babies this year too.
Prince William and Kate Middleton - Louis Arthur Charles
The most eagerly awaited baby of the year, Royal baby Louis was born 23rd April joining Princess Charlotte and Prince George.
Dwayne Johnson and Lauren Hashian - Tiana Gia
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Lauren Hashian had Tiana on 23rd April. In his heartfelt Instagram post Dwayne talks about 'skin to skin' with his new born Tiana.
Amir Khan and Faryal Mackdoom - Alayna Khan
Amir Khan took to Instagram when Alayna was born on 24th April with this cute selfie of Amir and Alayna together.
Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel - Hart Spiegel
On the 7th May 2018, Miranda gave birth to a baby boy, who was named Hart Speigel, after dad Snapchat CEO Evan's beloved grandfather.
Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons - Ennis Howard Plemons
In May 2018, 36-year-old actress Kirsten Dunst and fiance Jesse Plemons became proud parents to “a healthy baby boy." Kirsten announced the pregnancy 3 months previously, by modelling her bump in an iconic portrait for Rodarte's Autumn/Winter 2018 lookbook, Women Who Inspire Us. She wore a pink, red and white floral embroidered gown, with a dotted tulle dress underneath. Talk about announcing your news in style!
Chrissy Teigen and John Ledgend - Miles Theodore Stephens
On the 16th May 2018, Chrissy gave birth to Miles. The couple have been very open about the fact that they conceived their newborn son via IVF.
America Ferrera and Ryan Piers Williams - Sebastian Piers Williams
America Ferrera, most famous over here for her much loved stint as Ugly Betty, is now a mum! They announced the birth of their son, Sebastian, at the end of May 2018 on Instagram. The post was a shot of her little baby boy's toes, captioned:
“When 2 becomes 3 … Welcome Sebastian Piers Williams – aka Baz! Mom, Dad and Baby are happy, healthy and totally in love!”
Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall - Lena Elizabeth Tindall
Zara and Mike Tindall welcomed their second child, Lena Elizabeth, on the 18th June 2018. The Queen's latest great-grandchild weighed 9lb 3oz at birth and is 19th in line to the British throne.
Eva Longoria and Jose Baston - Santiago Enrique Baston
Actress Eva Longoria gave birth to her first child with husband Jose Baston on the 19th June 2018. She also revealed his name, Santiago, means 'Saint James' in Spanish.
Jacqueline Jossa and Dan Osborne - Mia Osborne
EastEnders star Jacqueline Jossa, gave birth to a baby girl named Mia on the 25 June 2018. Mia joins Jacqueline and Dan's daughter Ella.
Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black - Robbie Ray
Robbie Ray was born on the 30th June and the couple, who married in 2017, announced his arrival on Instagram. Dustin wrote: "Welcome to the world little Robbie Ray. Thank you for bringing so much love and light with you".
Russell Brand and Laura Gallacher - Name unknown
Laura Gallagher, younger sister of Kirsty Gallacher, gave birth to a sibling for her 20-month-old daughter Mabel, in June 2018 'in secret'.
Michael Buble and Luisana Lopilato - Vida Amber Betty Buble
Michael Buble is now a dad of three. His wife, Argentinian actress Luisana, announced she'd given birth to a baby girl on Instagram on the 26th July 2018.
Tom and Giovanna Fletcher - Max Mario Fletcher
McFly star Tom and YouTuber Giovanna welcomed a sibling for their boys Buzz and Buddy on the 25th August 2018. Max weighed 7lb and Giovanna used hypnobirthing techniques to help bring him into the world.
Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) and Rosie Jones - Indie
First time parents Joe Wicks and Rosie Jones welcomed their baby girl, Indie, into the world on 30th July 2018.
Declan Donnelly and Ali Astall - Elizabeth Anne
Beloved TV presenter Declan Donnelly is a dad. His baby girl, Isla Elizabeth Anne, was born on the 1st September 2018 and is the first child for both parents.
Amy Childs and Ritchie - Name Unknown
Amy and Ritchie welcomed a little boy on the 1st September 2018. Amy already has one daughter, Polly, who was born the 20th April 2017.
Cat Deeley and Patrick Kielty - James Patrick
Cat Deeley and Patrick Kielty have welcomed another child together.
Cat announced the news through her representative in a statement on 22nd June, confirming the child’s name as James Patrick Kielty. Cat said "We are over the moon with happiness and Milo is the perfect big brother".
Helen Glover and Steve Backshall - Logan James David
Deadly 60 presenter Steve and Olympic rowing champ Helen announced in March 2018 that they were expecting twins. However, during the pregnancy they lost one of the babies in April. The couple announced the birth of their son on Twitter on 25th July 2018 with a cute picture of his little foot. They eventually chose the name Logan James David Backshall!
Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig - Name unknown
48-year-old Rachel Weisz confirmed to the New York Times that she and James Bond star Daniel, 50, were expecting their fist child together. This won't be the first foray into parenthood for either star - as they each have children from previous relationships. Rachel shares 11-year-old son named Henry with ex Darren Aronofsky, and Daniel has a 25-year-old daughter from his previous marriage to Fiona Loudon.
The couple apparently welcomed a baby girl into their lives in early September although both have remained tight lipped about their bundle of joy!
Vogue Williams and Spencer Matthews - Theodore
The TV star, 32, has given birth to her first child with former Made in Chelsea lothario Spencer Matthews. The couple welcomed their baby boy into the world on the 5th September 2018.
Chris Evans and Natasha Shishmanian - Boo and Walt
Radio presenter Chris announced his wife's pregnancy in April, making the big reveal on his BBC Radio2 show. Chris told listeners that Natasha, who is due in the autumn, had been undergoing IVF fertility treatment in the hopes of having another baby.
The couple have now welcomed twins - a boy and a girl - it was revealed on 20th September 2018 by Sara Cox on the Radio 2 Breakfast where she read out a statement from Chris: "Ping and Pong arrived safe and well last night. Ping popped her head out at 22.10, Pong popped his head out 12 minutes later at 22 minutes past 10".
Christine and Frank Lampard - Patricia Charlotte
England footballer Frank and telly presenter Christine announced the were expecting their first child together on Instagram.
On 21st September 2018, Christine took to Instagram to share a sweet photo as she held her new daughter. She wrote: "Let us introduce you to our little girl. Patricia Charlotte Lampard! We’re so in love @franklampard."
Kate Hudson and Danny Fujikawa - Rani Rose
The gorgeous actress first announced her pregnancy on Instagram saying that she was expecting a baby girl with musician boyfriend Danny Fujikawa. Kate Hudson gave birth to her daughter, Rani Rose on 2nd October 2018. A few days later, the actress has shared the very first photo of her new baby with the world with the caption "🌹Our little rosebud🌹,"
Pippa Middleton and James Matthews - Arthur Michael William
Pippa Middleton and her husbnand, James Matthews (brother of MIC's one and only Spencer Matthews), welcomed their first child, a baby boy, on the 15th October 2018. The couple's baby has yet to be named, but he has been settling in nicely to his family home since leaving the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital. The new bundle of joy – a baby cousin for Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge's three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
Our panel of no-nonsense mums put popular baby products through (very!) vigorous testing, meaning you can spend money on the things that really work and have extra time to watch EastEnders with a cuppa tea!