French Open: Thiem rages at press conference eviction for Serena

Dominic Thiem was left fuming after being kicked out of his own post-match press conference so that a defeated Serena Williams could be accommodated instead.

Dominic Thiem celebrates after beating Alexander Bublik in the second round of the French Open on Thursday.   -  AP

Austrian star Dominic Thiem was left fuming after apparently being kicked out of his own Roland Garros media conference, so that a defeated Serena Williams could be accommodated instead.

Thiem, the fourth seed in the men’s event and the 2018 runner-up, was conducting his post-match press obligations after reaching the last 16 on Saturday.

However, he was then informed that the main interview room was needed by American superstar Williams who had just suffered a third round loss to Sofia Kenin.

READ| Serena's Slam history bid halted in Roland Garros shock

It was the 23-time Grand Slam title winner’s earliest exit at a Slam in almost five years and she was eager to be away from the tournament site as quickly as possible.

“It’s a joke,” said 25-year-old Thiem to the media officers after being told he should finish his interviews in a smaller room.

“I have to leave the room because she’s coming. What the hell, I don’t care. I can also do whatever I want.” There was no indication as to who had decided to shift Thiem mid-flow.

However, French sports daily L’Equipe claimed that Williams had no preference over where she carried out her press conference.

“Put me in another room, a smaller one, but now,” she was reported to have said.

With Williams reportedly becoming increasingly impatient, officials looked to rescue the situation by moving Thiem to another room.

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Serena Williams crashed out in the third round of French Open 2019.   -  Getty Images

 

“That’s really impolite,” she was heard to say.

Thiem had defeated Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-3 4-6 6-2 7-5, while 23-time major winner Williams was stunned 6-2 7-5 by Kenin.

There was a backlash on social media over the incident.

“Wait your turn for the press room like everyone else,” tweeted former Australian player Sam Groth.

Groth further said: “Thiem, still in the draw having won, would have agreed to a press time and has a round of 16 match to prepare for, Serena just has her jet on the tarmac!”.

Thiem will next play home-boy Gael Monfils in the fourth round on Monday.