WTA backs Serena, questions 'different standards'

Serena Williams was backed by the WTA after her outburst following the US Open final.

Published : Sep 10, 2018 09:45 IST

Serena Williams argued with officials during the US Open final.
Serena Williams argued with officials during the US Open final.

Serena Williams argued with officials during the US Open final.

After Serena Williams argued she was the victim of sexism in the US Open final, WTA chief executive Steve Simon backed the star's claim that a male player would have been treated differently.

Williams was involved in an incredible row with chair umpire Carlos Ramos during her 6-2 6-4 loss to Naomi Osaka in New York on Saturday.

The 23-time grand slam champion was handed three code violations – for coaching, racquet abuse and verbal abuse – culminating in a game penalty late in her defeat.

Former world number one Williams questioned Ramos after the match, accusing the umpire of sexism, and Simon agreed the 36-year-old had been treated unfairly.

"Yesterday's US Open final resulted in the crowning of a deserving new champion, Naomi Osaka. The WTA applauds Naomi for her tremendous accomplishment," he said in a statement on Sunday.

READ: Court: Serena Williams tried to be bigger than rules

"Yesterday also 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 vs. 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 last night."

While Williams denied receiving any coaching despite her coach Patrick Mouratoglou's admission he had attempted to give her guidance, Simon said it was an area that needed to be looked at.

"We also think the issue of coaching needs to be addressed and should be allowed across the sport," he said.

"The WTA supports coaching through its on-court rule, but further review is needed."

Simon added: "Yesterday's match showcased one of tennis's new stars as well as one of the greatest players of the game.

"We look forward to more thrilling matches between these great players and hope that what we all witnessed yesterday never happens again."

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