- Serena Williams has addressed the umpire and sexism row from her 2018 US Open women’s final loss to Naomi Osaka on September 8.
- Williams was slapped with three code violations for coaching, smashing her racket, and for verbal abuse aimed at the chair umpire Carlos Ramos.
- She said trainer Patrick Mouratoglou does not have “signals,” just 10 days after denying she had received coaching during the match.
- Williams also accused the umpire of sexism, according to Sky News, and has said that “if you’re a female you should be able to do even half of what a guy can do.”
Serena Williams has given her first interview since her outburst at the 2018 US Open final.
The American tennis player was given three code violations during her September 8 loss to Naomi Osaka. The first violation was for coaching, which Williams argued against. “I don’t cheat to win – I’d rather lose,”she said. Williams was later given a violation for smashing her racket, costing her a point. Her third violation, for calling the umpire Carlos Ramos a “thief,” cost her a game.
After the match, Mouratoglou admitted to coaching. “I am honest: I was coaching,” he said.
Williams told the Australian television show The Sunday Project that she does not understand what Mouratoglou “was talking about.” And said they have “never had signals.”
Williams also accused the umpire of sexism, according to Sky News, as she does not believe a male player would receive the same treatment she was given on September 8. “I just don’t understand,” she said. “If you’re a female you should be able to do even half of what a guy can do.”
This is contrary to a recent The New York Times article that published data which showed men are actually punished three times as much as women in tennis, with 1,517 fines for men in all Grand Slam tournaments from 1998 to 2018 compared to 535 fines for women.
However, the portrayal of the statistics was disputed by Williams’ Reddit co-founder husband Alexis Ohanian. “The argument is that women are punished more often per incident than men are,”he said on Twitter. “These data only show there are more penalties for men total.”
He added: “If men were punished 344 times out of 3440 audible obscenities (10% enforcement), but women were punished 140 times out of 700 audible obscenities (20% enforcement) – that would mean women are penalised two times more often than men for the same violation.”
Umpires reportedly considering boycott action
The sexism row shows no signs of ending any time soon as a group of umpires are reportedly considering boycott action against Serena Williams, according to an anonymous source in The Times.
Umpires are allegedly unhappy about Williams’ treatment of Ramos during and after the match. The Times’ source said Ramos was “thrown to the wolves” and that umpires could refuse to accept the chair when Williams competes, but would call off the possible protest if Williams apologizes for her remarks.
Ramos, meanwhile, will not chair any of Williams’ matches at the 2018 Australian Open – the next major in the tennis calendar.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.