- Serena Williams has been accused of having a “bad personality.”
- The three-time French Open champion was pursuing a fourth title at Roland Garros but was stunned Saturday in straight sets by a fellow American, Sofia Kenin.
- Williams left the court and wanted to address the press in the French Open media room.
- But Dominic Thiem was already in the room, speaking with reporters following his win against Pablo Cuevas.
- Thiem was ejected to make way for Williams, something he complained about.
- Roger Federer said he understood Thiem’s frustration.
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Serena Williams has a “bad personality” according to a tennis player who was told to leave a room in the middle of a press conference in order to accommodate her.
Williams, a three-time champion at the French Open, headed to a post-match press conference on Saturday after being resoundingly beaten by a fellow American, Sofia Kenin, in the competition’s third round.
The only problem was that men’s player Dominic Thiem was already using the press room, having beaten Pablo Cuevas on the Suzanne Lenglen Court earlier in the day.
To accommodate Williams, Thiem was told to leave the room, something he later complained about to Eurosport Germany.
“I wasn’t angry or frustrated,” he said. “Maybe for a couple of minutes or so. It is just the principle … even if a junior is in there, every player has to wait.”
But Williams did not want to wait. L’Equipe reports that Williams wanted to fulfil press duties as quickly as possible.
“Put me in another room, smaller, but now,” she reportedly said, though other rooms were also occupied. The French newspaper wrote that Williams was ready to leave the media center, but event organisers wanted her to stay, and so it was decided to urge Thiem to vacate the press room, something Williams apparently said was “rude.”
It is not the first time Williams has faced criticism. She had a meltdown during the 2018 US Open final against Naomi Osaka, accusing the chair umpire of being a “thief.”
Williams was slapped with three code violations during the defeat to Osaka, and she even attracted condemnation from a Wimbledon chief, who said the incident was “not a good look.”
Thiem said getting ejected from a press conference to make way for Williams “shows a bad personality.” He added: “I am 100% sure Federer or Nadal would never do something like that.”
According to Eurosport, Federer himself said “something went wrong for this to happen.”
“There’s always a way to go, that the one who is still in the tournament gets priority – if I would have lost,” he said, he would let the opponent “go first or decide when he wants to go to press as he’s got the next match.”
He continued: “I understand Dominic’s frustration. For him, it’s just about how in the world did this happen?”
Thiem takes on Gael Monfils in the Round of 16 on Monday.
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