A new rule allows players to use a WTA Special Ranking at two Grand Slams. How does it work?
WTA Staff

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The WTA Special Ranking Rule allows players who are sidelined with a long-term injury with the ability to return to competition to use their ranking at the time of the start of their absence.

The WTA Special Ranking is outlined in the 2015 rulebook on pages 237-243. In order to be eligible for a WTA Special Ranking in either singles or doubles:
? A player must have been out of competition a minimum of six months and a maximum of two years; and
? At the time she stopped playing, must have been ranked in the Top 300 in singles or Top 200 in doubles

A player can use their WTA Special Ranking to gain entry (not for seeding) into eight tournaments within one year of their return date. The Special Ranking can be used at a maximum of two Premier Mandatory Tournaments (Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Beijing) and two Grand Slams, a new rule implemented for 2015 (previously could only use Special Ranking to enter one Grand Slam).

Three players have used their WTA Special Ranking to gain entry to the Australian Open singles main draw: Vera Zvonareva (No.15), Bethanie Mattek-Sands (No.52) and Romina Oprandi (No.40).