New York: Serena Williams’s claim that the code violations that sparked her meltdown in the US Open final were sexist stirred debate, with WTA Tour chief executive Steve Simon backing her Sunday.
The American superstar claimed that chair umpire Carlos Ramos meted out penalties for infractions that male players could have gotten away with.
Simon said the affair brought to the forefront the question of whether different standards are applied to men and women in the officiating of matches.
“The WTA believes that there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men versus women and is committed to working with the sport to ensure that all players are treated the same,” he said. “We do not believe that this was done last (Saturday) night.”
Williams was most incensed by the first code violation she received — for coaching from her box.
It’s not clear if she even saw the hand gestures by coach Patrick Mouratoglou sitting her box, although he admitted in an interview with ‘ESPN’ that he was trying to advise her – and asserted all coaches do it.
“Yes, I was coaching just like everybody else. We have to stop this hypocrisy. Furthermore, Serena didn’t even see my gestures. She felt humiliated by the warning,” said the Frenchman.
US great Billie Jean King also supported Serena. “When a woman is emotional, she’s ‘hysterical’ and she’s penalised for it,” King tweeted.
“When a man does the same, he’s ‘outspoken’ & and there are no repercussions. Thank you, @serena williams, for calling out this double standard,” King added.
Men’s champion Novak Djokovic treaded warily when asked to weigh in on matter. Djokovic noted that it was an ‘awkward situation’ for both competitors and ‘tough’ for the umpire.
“I have my personal opinion that maybe the chair umpire should not have pushed Serena to the limit, especially in a Grand Slam final,” Djokovic pointed out. “He did change the course of the match. It was, in my opinion, maybe unnecessary.”
New York: Serena Williams has been fined $17,000 for the code violations she received during the US Open final, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) said, Sunday. During Saturday’s match against Naomi Osaka, Serena, was handed a coaching violation and a point penalty for breaking her racquet before a heated argument with umpire Carlos Ramos ended with her losing a game. The tournament referee’s office fined Serena $10,000 for ‘verbal abuse’ of Ramos, $4,000 for being warned for coaching and $3,000 for smashing her racquet.