New York: Eighteen-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova has said that Serena Williams was wrong in her outburst at the US Open women’s final even though she agreed there is a double standard.
Writing in an opinion article for the ‘New York Times’, which appeared Monday, the 61-year-old Czech-born American said a higher standard needed to be observed when Serena called chair umpire Carlos Ramos a ‘thief’ and was penalised a key game in the second set.
“We cannot measure ourselves by what we think we should also be able to get away with,” Navratilova wrote. “In fact, this is the sort of behaviour that no one should be engaging in on the court.”
Serena had earlier said she was punished for saying something where men have said far worse without incurring such a penalty.
“Serena Williams has part of it right. There is a huge double standard for women when it comes to how bad behaviour is punished – and not just in tennis,” Navratilova said.
“But in her protests… she also got part of it wrong. I don’t believe it’s a good idea to apply a standard of, ‘If men can get away with it, women should be able to, too’. Rather, I think the question we have to ask ourselves is this: What is the right way to behave to honour our sport and to respect our opponents?
“She was insisting that she doesn’t cheat – completely believable, but besides the point – while he was making a call over which he, at that point, had little discretion. Matters escalated and Serena called Ramos a ‘thief’, incurring the crucial game penalty,” added Navratilova.
Sydney: An Australian cartoonist has come under withering criticism for portraying tennis superstar Serena Williams using – what Harry Potter author JK Rowling described as – ‘racist and sexist tropes’. Mark Knight’s caricature, published in Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper Monday, shows a butch and fat-lipped Serena jumping up and down on her broken racquet at the US Open. In the cartoon the umpire is seen saying to Osaka, “Can’t you just let her win?” Knight was pilloried from far and wide, including Rowling, who said: “Well done on reducing one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes and turning a second great sportswoman into a faceless prop.”