'Mother of all meltdowns'
23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams's outburst and verbal altercations with umpire Carlos Ramos in Saturday's US Open final overshadowed what was a brilliant performance from Naomi Osaka to become the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam. In the second game of the first set, Williams was given a warning because the umpire had seen her coach Patrick Morataglou attempt to coach her from the stands, an offence he admitted to after the match. Williams protested repeatedly, and in the fifth game was docked a point for smashing her racket, which is part of the procedure for a second code violation. The third code violation came when Williams was 4-3 down and she called the umpire a 'thief' and a 'liar' during the change over, resulting in her being penalised a game -- making the score 5-3. What some are calling the most controversial US Open final in history has sparked off a debate on gender discrimination in tennis.
DISCRIMINATION IN TENNIS
August 29, 2018: In her first-round match against Johanna Larsson, French tennis player Alize Cornet was hit with a code violation for briefly taking off her shirt on court. With the US Open instituting a heat policy that allows players a 10-minute break to change their gear between sets, Cornet returned to realise that she had her shirt back to front. After fixing her top, she was hit with a code violation.
The US Open said that it regretted the way she was treated, that all players are allowed to change their shirts while sitting in their chairs, while female players had the option of changing in ' a more private location close to the court, when available'.
However, throughout the US Open, men have been seen changing shirts several times inside the arena while sitting on chairs without penalty.
May 29, 2018: In her first Grand Slam match after a difficult childbirth, Serena Williams donned a Nike catsuit that helped her blood circulation in the French Open.
French Tennis Federation President Bernard Giudicelli announced late last month that he will be introducing a new dress code that would ban players from wearing such form-fitting clothes at the tennis tournament.
"One must respect the game and the place," Giudicelli said. The French Open never had a dress code before.
July 24, 2018: After submitting to a random drug test 10 days after losing the Wimbledon final to Angelique Kerber, Serena Williams tweeted: " and it's that time of the day to get “randomly” drug tested and only test Serena. Out of all the players it's been proven I'm the one getting tested the most. Discrimination? I think so. At least I'll be keeping the sport clean #StayPositive."
Before Wimbledon, a Deadspin article reported that the 23-time Grand Slam winner was tested more than any other player this year.
SERENA'S SLAM CONTROVERSIES
Losing her 2004 quarterfinal match to Jennifer Capriati, Williams was upset by several line calls and the tournament later removed umpire Mariana Alves from officiating. The incident paved the way for using video replays in the sport.
The Grand Slam Committee handed Williams an 82,500-dollar fine and put her on two years' probation for an expletive-laced outburst at a line judge during her 2009 semifinal against Kim Clijsters. The line judge called her
During her 2011 final against Sam Stosur, Williams was issued a code violation for arguing with the umpire, Eva Asderaki. The Grand Slam Committee ruled the incident was not a major offense and fined her 2,000 dollars. Stosur would go on to win the match 6-2 6-3.
WHAT THEY SAID
When a woman is emotional, she's “hysterical” and she's penalized for it. When a man does the same, he's “outspoken” and there are no repercussions. Thank you, @serenawilliams, for calling out this double standard. More voices are needed to do the same.
-- Billie Jean King
The star of the show has been once again the chair umpire. Second time in this US Open and third time for Serena in a US Open Final. Should they be allowed to have an influence on the result of a match ? When do we decide that this should never happen again?
– Williams's coach Patrick Morataglou.
@espn just showed Serena and coach while he was "coaching". She wasn't even looking. Believe what you want.
-- Former US male player Mardy Fish
If it was men's match, this wouldn't happen like this. It just wouldn't.
-- Victoria Azarenka
Congratulations to Naomi, the winner of the U.S. Open. Japan Player's first champion in the four major competitions.
- Japan prime minister Shinzo Abe
Mother of all meltdowns
– New York Post headline