Ten­nis pro shows that par­ent­ing never stops

The Washington Post Sunday - - WASHINGTONPOST.COM/SPORTS - EARLY LEAD BY MARISSA PAYNE marissa.payne@wash­post.com

Par­ent­ing is a non­stop job. It doesn’t mat­ter if you’re a stay-ath­ome mom or a pro ath­lete. If your kid needs some­thing, you’re there, and ten­nis player Patty Sch­ny­der proved that this past week when she took a few mo­ments dur­ing her match at the Swiss Open to en­sure her 2-year-old daugh­ter, KimAyla, was prop­erly at­tired.

Whether there was a slight chill in the air, or per­haps she was wor­ried about sun­burn, Sch­ny­der, who gave birth to KimAyla in Novem­ber 2014, was on it.

Sch­ny­der, how­ever, was less on her ten­nis. Ger­many’s An­to­nia Lot­tner won Thurs­day’s round-of16 match, 7-6 (7-0), 2-6, 6-3.

While Sch­ny­der, 38, won’t get the tour­na­ment’s $250,000 first­place prize, she can al­ways count on a bet­ter prize — hugs from KimAyla.

Af­ter retiring in 2011 and hav­ing KimAyla in 2014, she made a come­back to the sport, in which she once reached No. 7 in the rank­ings. She may not have won the tour­na­ment, but she did rack up her first WTA main draw win in six years this week when she beat fel­low Swiss player Amra Sadikovic, 6-4, 6-7 (9-7), 7-6 (8-6).

Sch­ny­der, of course, isn’t the first ten­nis mom to ex­e­cute a come­back af­ter giv­ing birth. Vic­to­ria Azarenka, who gave birth to her son, Leo Alexan­der, in De­cem­ber, is al­ready back on the Grand Slam cir­cuit. Af­ter tak­ing much of last year off while preg­nant, the Be­laru­sian star earned a spot in Wim­ble­don this year, where she made it to the round of 16. She lost to Si­mona Halep, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2.

Ser­ena Wil­liams, mean­while, whose first child is due in Septem­ber, is plan­ning a sim­i­lar come­back. Wil­liams has been post­ing videos of her­self keep­ing up with prac­tices, and in April she wrote on In­sta­gram, “I can’t wait for you to join the play­ers box next year.”

Con­sid­er­ing Wil­liams won the Aus­tralian Open while preg­nant al­ready, there shouldn’t be too many doubts about the suc­cess she could have post-preg­nancy.

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