Experts in the tennis world have reacted to the $17,000 fine on Serena Williams following her behavior during last Saturday’s U.S. Open final.
Williams, who lost her 24th Grand Slam singles title to Naomi Osaka on Saturday was fined $17,000 by the United States Tennis Association for calling the chair umpire a “liar” and a “thief”.
Serena Williams, who was handed a warning for a coaching violation before being deducted a point for smashing her racquet later had a heated argument with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, which eventually cost her the game.
The six-times U.S. Open champion claimed the umpire treated her differently as he would treat a male player.
Taking to Twitter, tennis great Billie Jean King wrote: “When a woman is emotional, she’s “hysterical” and she’s penalized for it. When a man does the same, he’s “outspoken” and there are no repercussions. Thank you, @serenawilliams, for calling out this double standard. More voices are needed to do the same.”
However, Australian Margaret Court, whose tally of Grand Slam singles titles is being chased by Williams, had little sympathy for the 36-year-old American former world number one.
“We always had to go by the rules,” Court, who dominated tennis during the 1960s and early 1970s, said according to a report in The Australian.
“It’s sad for the sport when a player tries to become bigger than the rules.
“Because the young player outplayed her in the first set, I think pressure got her more than anything.”
“I’ve said far worse,” McEnroe, a seven-times Grand Slam singles winner, said on ESPN. “She’s right about the guys being held to a different standard, there’s no question.”
Also, Richard Ings, a former professional chair umpire and former ATP Tour Executive Vice-President, Rules and Competition, felt it was Williams who needed to apologize.
“We should not let her record, as glowing as it is, overshadow the fact that on this day, in this match Williams was wrong,” Ings wrote in The Sydney Morning Herald.
“The decisions made by Ramos had nothing to do with sexism or racism. They had everything to do with observing clear breaches of the grand slam code of conduct and then having the courage to call them without fear or favor.”
A spokeswoman for Williams did not immediately respond when asked to comment on the remarks from Court and Ings, while the USTA said it does not make chair umpires available to the media.