US Open 2018: Serena Williams' claims of sexism backed by WTA

Hope Soto
September 11, 2018

His Osaka figure - given her light skin, thin frame and entirely blond hair - looks like a small white woman, some critics say.

And although the 23-time singles Grand Slam champion showed no ill will towards her 20-year-old opponent, she certainly wasn't happy with how the match was officiated.

In May, Williams wore a black catsuit at the French Open that helped her blood circulation after a hard childbirth last September.

U.S. great Billie Jean King was among those coming down hard on Serena's side in her claim that chair umpire Carlos Ramos penalized her for comments that a male player could have gotten away with. Not only did Williams have to bear the brunt of the umpire's decision, but she also had to accept that it was a violation not of her doing.

Her stance was swiftly backed by the WTA Tour's chief executive Steve Simon and United States great Billie Jean King, both of whom also questioned the initial code violation handed to Williams for on-court coaching.

"He's never taken a game from a man because they said "thief". For me to say "thief" and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark.

"The accusation of sexism which was levelled by Serena Williams in her press conference after the woman's final needs to be backed up", he told BBC Radio Four's Today programme.

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Backlash against the image included disgust from Melbourne politician Rohan Leppert, who wrote: "The racist vilification of Melburnians from the Herald Sun continues apace".

The Women's Tennis Association and the U.S. Tennis Association both sent out statements supporting Williams during the loss. When are you going to give me my apology? While Kanell thinks that the warnings were independent of that, Bell thinks that Ramos took it more personally because Williams is a woman.

Tennis pro Andy Roddick admitted he's said worse things to an umpire and gone unpunished.

Female tennis players have also been voicing their support for Williams, including Victoria Azarenka.

Players cannot receive coaching during a Grand Slam match (including the warm-up). Secondly, she exhibits zero ego or diva behavior. She was already losing and even her most ardent defenders admit she would have lost anyway. You can hate Serena Williams, think she's a bully, but as someone who's watched male competitive sports for years, what Serena did was tame.

Several Twitter users, including celebrities J.K. Rowling and Kathy Griffin have condemned the cartoonist for his depiction of the tennis stars.

Williams was one of only two women punished for on-court coaching, alongside Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova, while no men were penalised for this offence.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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