"It's a process": Sloane Stephens wants egg freezing to be a protected WTA ranking activity

Sunday, 16 June 2024 at 11:19
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America’s tennis star Sloane Stephens has advocated for the right of women players to freeze their eggs.
In recent years, women’s tennis has been under scrutiny for various reasons, especially after some current and former players highlighted the disparity in income between men’s and women’s tennis players at major events.
Stephens was recently quoted in a report, in which she highlighted the need for women players to free their eggs so that they can play with freedom without having to worry about starting a family while playing.
“Tennis is an interesting sport because you can play for a really long time,” she said while talking to Cosmopolitan. “And being a female athlete is hard in general, because it can feel like you have to decide between career and family, because, well, we bear the children and our bodies are our vehicle.”
Many women players have become mothers in recent years, and most have failed to reach the heights they had before becoming parents.
Stephens believed that women players need to have protected ranking so they can only return when they are fully fit and are not rushed to participate in different events just without healing properly, especially after giving birth.
“I think it's important that egg freezing, and even IVF, be added to the protected ranking list,” she said. “Women shouldn't have to rush back to play tennis and put themselves at risk of being injured. We've been fighting for it through the WTA Player's Council, where they're also working on getting us better maternity leave.
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Sloane Stephens has struggled with form in the recent past. 
"But it's a process. And it takes a long time. Egg freezing just hasn't been done that often [in tennis], so we're kind of starting from a blank sheet and advocating for the girls who might want to do it moving forward.”
Stephens, a former world number eight who won a Grand Slam in 2017 when she lifted the US Open after beating fellow American Madison Keys in the final in straight sets with a score of 6-3, 6-0, has not been in great form recently.
Her most recent appearance was in the French Open, where she was knocked out of the competition after losing in the first round to Yulia Putintseva in straight sets with a score of 6-1, 6-2.
It was the 19th occasion in the last 21 appearances in a Grand Slam where Stephens failed to qualify for the quarterfinal or beyond.

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