St. Petersburg, Dec 18 (AP/UNB) — The women's tennis tour approved rule changes Monday that are meant to ensure players are not penalized after they return from pregnancy or an injury that causes a long absence.
The changes were prompted, in part, by the experiences of former No. 1 players Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka, both of whom returned to competition after giving birth.
The WTA announced that players returning to the tour may use a special ranking for up to three years after the birth of a child, and the exemption can be used for seedings at big events.
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 — despite having won the previous major she played, the 2017 Australian Open. Williams was seeded 25th at Wimbledon and 17th at the U.S. Open, and she reached the finals and lost at both of those majors.
Players who return from an injury that keeps them out of competition for a year or longer may use a special ranking in 12 tournaments. No player will be bumped from her earned seeded position.
"These changes," WTA CEO and chairman Steve Simon said, "are designed to fully support players in their return to competition, while maintaining the highest standards of athletic competition and fairness."
The tour also said 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 wore a black bodysuit at the French Open, where she pulled out with an injury before the fourth round. Williams said she wore the compression suit because of a history of blood clots, including after childbirth.
This fall, the president of the French Tennis Federation said Williams could no longer wear the black bodysuit at the French Open.
Azarenka, a member of the WTA Players' Council, said she wants to make sure the WTA is "the most progressive and inclusive association in sports."
"Our players should feel comfortable and confident to take time away from the courts to have a family or recover from injury," Azarenka said.
Dhaka, Dec 17 (UNB) – The Yonex-Sunrise International Junior Badminton Tournament began at the Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Indoor Stadium here on Monday with local shuttlers establishing their absolute supremacy on the opening day.
Youth and Sports Secretary Mohammad Abdullah inaugurated the four-day meet at a simple ceremony.
In the boys’ singles, Akib Solaiman, Rajesh Chandra Dey, Abdul Hamid Lokman, Gourav Singh, Rownak Nabi Priya, Khondakar Abdus Soyad, Mangal Singh, Hanif Mohammad and Sibgat Ullah of Bangladesh won their respective matches.
In the girls’ singles, Reshma Akter, Urmi Akter, Rahima Jerin Ahmed, Farbin Binte Imdad and Farzana Akter of Bangladesh beat their respective rivals on the opening day.
A total of 32 shuttlers, including 18 boys and 14 girls, from six countries -- India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, the USA, Bhutan and hosts Bangladesh -- are taking part in the meet.
Dhaka, Dec 17 (UNB) – Power Development Board (PDB) clinched the Victory Day Volleyball title beating Bangladesh Navy by straight 3-0 sets in the final at the Shaheed Nur Hossain National Volleyball Stadium here on Monday.
Social Welfare Minister Rashed Khan Menon was the chief guest in the day’s final.
Earlier, Bangladesh Army finished 3rd beating Bangladesh Air Force by 3-1 sets in a place deciding match at the same venue on Monday.
Harshit Biswas of the champions PDB was adjudged the best attacker, Mohammad Mohsin of Bangladesh Army named as the setter, Mohammad Shahjahan of the runners-up Bangladesh Navy was adjudged the best defender while Mohammad Shawon of Titas Club named as the best Libero.
Dhaka, Dec 17 (UNB) – The Teer 10th National Archery Championship, under the “Teer Go For Gold” project of Bangladesh Archery Federation (BAF), begins on Tuesday (Dec 18) at the Archery Training Centre at Shaheed Ahsanullah Master Stadium in Tongi, Gazipur.
Some 165 archers-113 men and 52 women- from 40 affiliated teams of Archery Federation will take part in the three-day meet in two divisions—Recurve and Compound, for 10 gold medals,sponsored by City Group (Teer).
Men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles were included in both the recurve and compound divisions of the meet in ranking and elimination rounds.
BAF General Secretary Kazi Razibuddin Ahmed Chapal disclosed the details of the meet at a press conference at the Dutch-Bangla Auditorium of Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) here on Monday.
Federation Vice President Anisur Rahman Dipu, Convener of Media Committee Rafiqul Islam Tipu and Senior Deputy Brand Manager of the meet’s sponsor City Group Rubaiyat Ahmed were also present at the function, chaired by BAF Senior Vice President Mahfuzur Rahman Siddiqui.
National colored archers of Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Ansar, BKSP and Teerondaz Sangsad will compete in the main battle for the national gold.
Addressing the function, BAF GS Kazi Razib informed that the 3rd Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation (ISSF) International World Ranking Championship will be held in Bangladesh from February 22-27.
Twenty seven countries from five continents already confirmed their participation in the ensuing meet, likely to be held at Army Stadium in Banani. The organizers are expecting three to five more teams in the meet by the last date of entry on December 30.
Rubaiyat Ahmed said, City Group will sponsor two national and three international archery meets in the ongoing 2018-19 season.
Dhaka, Dec 15 (UNB) – Tech Zhi Soo of Malaysia clinched the men’s singles of the Yonex-Sunrise Bangladesh Int’l Challenge Badminton 2018 beating Cao Cuong Pham of Vietnam by 21-17, 21-17 points in the final at Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Indoor Stadium here on Saturday.
BBF President Abdul Malek, who also the Information Ministry Secretary, witnessed the day’ finals as chief guest and later distributed the prizes among the winners.
Bangladesh Badminton Federation (BBF) with the colaration of Badminton World Federation and Badminton Asia organiswed the tournament.
Besides, Vietnam won women’s singles title while Indonesian pair clinched the men’s doubles crown and Malaysian partner shared the women’s doubles title while another Indonesian pair lifted the mixed doubles titles.