Infotainment Factory: Serena's claims of sexism divides WTA Tour

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Monday, 24 September 2018

Serena's claims of sexism divides WTA Tour


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Serena Williams' claims of sexism after her US Open final defeat by Naomi Osaka earlier this month has divided opinion on the women's WTA Tour.

World No 1 Simona Halep and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova told CNN Sport they have seen no difference in the way male umpires treat players, irrespective of their gender.

But Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki believes her long-time friend "has a point."

Japan's Osaka won the September 8 final 6-2 6-4 after a match which saw Williams warned for coaching, penalized a point for smashing her racket and then docked a game for an outburst in which she called the umpire, Carlos Ramos, a "thief" and a "liar."

Serena Williams argues with umpire Carlos Ramos at the US Open women's final.

The American, who told Ramos she "never cheated" and "would rather lose" than be coached, later accused the Portuguese umpire of sexism, saying several male players had behaved and said much worse but not been punished as harshly.

However, Halep came to the defence of Ramos, saying he had acted correctly.

"The rules are the rules," Halep, this year's French Open winner, told CNN Sport in an interview in Wuhan, China.

"I don't see any difference between the men's rules and women's rules, and I think the chair umpires are doing just their jobs."

Simona Halep believes chair umpires are just doing their job.

As for Ramos, Halep said: "I never had any problems with him, or with any umpire. I also got fines, when I had to. It's normal."

Kvitova and French No. 1 Caroline Garcia also told CNN Sport they had not experienced any differential treatment.

"I don't see the difference, to be honest," said Kvitova, who was surprised someone as experienced as Williams had reacted so strongly to the coaching violation.

"Sometimes, when you get the violation, it is just a violation, and it is nothing, at the end of the day," said the fifth-ranked Czech.

"I got so many violations when I was a kid, I got a coaching violation as well, but it's OK.

"You get it, and you can't do anything with it, and sometimes it's tough, but you can't get interrupted by that."

Garcia, the French No 1, agreed. "I think umpires treat women and men the same way, from my own experience. I think if a player got angry and reacted like she did in the final, they would get the same penalty, I am pretty sure."

World No 2 Wozniacki said she understood where Williams, a long-time friend, was coming from.

Caroline Wozniacki believes Williams had a point at the US Open.

"I think she has a point in some of what she's saying," Wozniacki told reporters in Wuhan.

"I think everyone has the right to their own opinion.

"I think that when you're going into a grand slam final, you're fighting for your 24th slam, you're fighting to be on paper, the best player to ever have played the game ... there will be emotions involved. I think there will be some feelings there when you go onto the court."

And Wozniacki said she felt Ramos should have shown more consideration for the situation.

https://twitter.com/serenawilliams/status/1042571011777064960

"If someone knows Serena, if someone has followed her career, she never gets coaching, and she never asks for the coach on court," Wozniacki said.

"I think as a great umpire -- you obviously have to be a good umpire to be in the finals -- you should also be aware that this is the situation. You should be aware that Serena is not one of those people that really looks up to the box or communicates with the box.

"In my opinion I think that in the situation he probably should have given her a soft warning, and if he felt this is the way it was, said that your team is making signs, you need to make them stop. That's, in my opinion, the way that the umpires usually do it."

 

Serena Williams' claims of sexism after her US Open final defeat by Naomi Osaka earlier this month has divided opinion on the women's WTA Tour.

World No 1 Simona Halep and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova told CNN Sport they have seen no difference in the way male umpires treat players, irrespective of their gender.

But Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki believes her long-time friend "has a point."

Japan's Osaka won the September 8 final 6-2 6-4 after a match which saw Williams warned for coaching, penalized a point for smashing her racket and then docked a game for an outburst in which she called the umpire, Carlos Ramos, a "thief" and a "liar."

Serena Williams argues with umpire Carlos Ramos at the US Open women's final.

The American, who told Ramos she "never cheated" and "would rather lose" than be coached, later accused the Portuguese umpire of sexism, saying several male players had behaved and said much worse but not been punished as harshly.

However, Halep came to the defence of Ramos, saying he had acted correctly.

"The rules are the rules," Halep, this year's French Open winner, told CNN Sport in an interview in Wuhan, China.

"I don't see any difference between the men's rules and women's rules, and I think the chair umpires are doing just their jobs."

Simona Halep believes chair umpires are just doing their job.

As for Ramos, Halep said: "I never had any problems with him, or with any umpire. I also got fines, when I had to. It's normal."

Kvitova and French No. 1 Caroline Garcia also told CNN Sport they had not experienced any differential treatment.

"I don't see the difference, to be honest," said Kvitova, who was surprised someone as experienced as Williams had reacted so strongly to the coaching violation.

"Sometimes, when you get the violation, it is just a violation, and it is nothing, at the end of the day," said the fifth-ranked Czech.

"I got so many violations when I was a kid, I got a coaching violation as well, but it's OK.

"You get it, and you can't do anything with it, and sometimes it's tough, but you can't get interrupted by that."

Garcia, the French No 1, agreed. "I think umpires treat women and men the same way, from my own experience. I think if a player got angry and reacted like she did in the final, they would get the same penalty, I am pretty sure."

World No 2 Wozniacki said she understood where Williams, a long-time friend, was coming from.

Caroline Wozniacki believes Williams had a point at the US Open.

"I think she has a point in some of what she's saying," Wozniacki told reporters in Wuhan.

"I think everyone has the right to their own opinion.

"I think that when you're going into a grand slam final, you're fighting for your 24th slam, you're fighting to be on paper, the best player to ever have played the game ... there will be emotions involved. I think there will be some feelings there when you go onto the court."

And Wozniacki said she felt Ramos should have shown more consideration for the situation.

https://twitter.com/serenawilliams/status/1042571011777064960

"If someone knows Serena, if someone has followed her career, she never gets coaching, and she never asks for the coach on court," Wozniacki said.

"I think as a great umpire -- you obviously have to be a good umpire to be in the finals -- you should also be aware that this is the situation. You should be aware that Serena is not one of those people that really looks up to the box or communicates with the box.

"In my opinion I think that in the situation he probably should have given her a soft warning, and if he felt this is the way it was, said that your team is making signs, you need to make them stop. That's, in my opinion, the way that the umpires usually do it."

 

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