US Open: WTA and USTA back Serena Williams in sexism row
The American tennis star was fined $17,000 for her on-court behaviour during her dramatic defeat against Naomi Osaka in the New York final
Serena Williams has received a $17,000 (£13,200) fine for her outbursts during the US Open final on Saturday. In spite of the fine, she has the backing of both the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
In Saturday’s dramatic women’s final, which she lost 6-2 6-4 to Japan’s Naomi Osaka, Williams received a code violation for coaching from Patrick Mouratoglou. She was also given a penalty point for racket abuse and a game penalty for calling chair umpire Carlos Ramos a “thief” and a “liar”.
After the final the 23-time grand slam winner accused Ramos of sexism. She said: “I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things. I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff.
“For me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief’.”
New York tennis fans booed the decisions during the final. Last night The Daily Telegraph reported that Williams, who is 36, had been fined $17,000 (£13,200) for her on-court conduct.
‘All players should be treated the same’
The WTA and USTA have issued statements regarding the controversial scenes at Flushing Meadows.
WTA chief executive Steve Simon said: “Yesterday 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 v women and is committed to working with the sport to ensure that all players are treated the same. We do not believe that this was done.”
Katrina Adams, the USTA chairman of the board and president, praised Williams for showing “a great deal of class and sportsmanship” after boos rang out in the Arthur Ashe Stadium during the trophy presentation. The champion, Osaka, was in tears and Williams asked the crowd to stop.
Speaking to ESPN, Adams said there were double standards in how umpires treat male or female players. She said: “We watch the guys do this all the time, they’re badgering the umpire on the changeovers. Nothing happens. There’s no equality. I think there has to be some consistency across the board. These are conversations that will be imposed in the next weeks.
“I know what Serena did and her behaviour was not welcome. A line could have been drawn, but when you look at Carlos in this situation, it’s a judgment call to give that last penalty because she called him a thief.
“They’ve been called a lot more.”