Sport

Did angry Serena Williams overstep the mark?

Monday, September 10, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!


NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Serena Williams absorbed a $17,000 fine in the wake of her tumultuous US Open final loss to Naomi Osaka on Sunday as debate raged over whether the code violations that sparked her angry outbursts were sexist.

US great Billie Jean King was among those coming down hard on Serena's side in her claim that chair umpire Carlos Ramos penalised her for comments that a male player could have got away with.

“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'.”

Williams second-set meltdown overshadowed Naomi Osaka's 6-2, 6-4 victory, which made the 20-year-old the first Japanese to win a Grand Slam title.

Osaka, playing in her first major final against a 23-time Grand Slam champion she idolised as a child, capped an outstanding two weeks in which she also beat 2017 runner-up Madison Keys by simply outplaying her hero.

But her triumph was reduced to almost a side note as Williams railed about her treatment, accusing the US Open of being out to get her.

“Always something happens to me here,” she huffed at tournament referee Brian Earley, summoned to the court after she failed to get satisfaction from Ramos.

After the match Williams, playing in her third Grand Slam since giving birth to her daughter last September, took a more measured perspective on whether tournament officials had targeted her in an event she has won six times.

“Sometimes it might seem like things always happen, but you just kind of have to try to realise that it's coincidence. Maybe it's coincidence,” Williams said.

But she didn't walk back her claim that sexism played a role.

“I've seen other men call other umpires several things,” she said. “I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality and for all kinds of stuff.”

Williams was incensed in the first instance when Ramos assessed her a code violation for receiving coaching from her box, although coach Patrick Mouratoglou admitted in an interview with ESPN that he was trying to advise her with a hand gesture and said that 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.

Williams took the charge as an attack on her character.

“I don't cheat to win,” she told Ramos. “I'd rather lose.”

In a cascade of events Williams was issued a code violation for racquet abuse after giving back a service break in the second set. The one-point penalty further inflamed the star who branded Ramos “a thief”.

“You will never, ever be on another court of mine; you are the liar,” she fumed and he handed her a game penalty for a third violation for verbal abuse that cost her a game.

Ramos's actions were strictly by the book, but many observers felt he could have used his discretion and not called the coaching violation, something umpires often let go.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT