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WTA: Rule changes on ranking after pregnancy, leggings

Serena Williams Visits Beautycon POP In Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 02: Serena Williams visits Beautycon POP in Los Angeles on December 02, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for Beautycon)

Getty Images for Beautycon

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The women’s tennis tour has approved rule changes that involve seedings after a return from pregnancy. Former No. 1 players Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka are recent mothers on the tour.

The WTA says players returning to the tour may use a “special ranking” for up to three years from the birth of a child, and the exemption can be used for seedings at big events.

The tour says it will ensure women at WTA tournaments “are not penalized or prohibited from wearing leggings or compression shorts without a skirt, dress or shorts over them.”

Williams, who owns an Open era record 23 Grand Slam singles titles, was unseeded at this year’s French Open in her first major since the birth of her daughter.

In August, the president of the French Tennis Federation said Williams could no longer wear the black bodysuit at the French Open.