Serena US Open drama provides a new sexism for tenniss
The tennis world was engulfed in a fresh row over sexism in sport last weekend following Serena Williams’s extraordinary on-court tirade at an umpire, Carlos Ramos, during the US Open final.
The final was won by Naomi Osaka of Japan, an enormously talented 20-year-old claiming her first major title, but will be remembered for the controversy prompted by a furious outburst from Williams.
There were several flashpoints during the match, which descended to its most unsavoury moment midway through the second set when the Spanish umpire penalised Williams for receiving on-court coaching, an accusation she denied furiously. Williams was later given a point penalty for smashing her racket and she accused Ramos of being a thief for stealing a point from her. Ramos, who is known on the circuit for being officious, deducted a game from the American.
Most agree that Williams’s offences were punishable by the letter of the law, albeit that the law is not always evenly applied. Many – from Chris Evert to Billie Jean King – questioned whether Ramos, could have dialled down the drama with a warning.
The bigger question is whether tennis has a problem blem with women, and with black lack women in particular. The e frequency with which the e sport seems to castigate the sex it took so long to equally recognise and remunerate is alarming. Williams, more often than n not, bears the brunt of that. at. The banning of her catsuit it by the French Open – despite e
it having h been designed to support the champion’s post-natal medical needs nee – occurred just last month. The row over Alizé Cornet, punished for an on-court shirt change, followed foll quickly. Now this.
Williams W has signalled that the argument arg won’t end here. Debates about ab equality in tennis go back a long lon way. Witness the Battle of the Sexes Sex match of 1973, when King beat be the chauvinist ex-champion Bobby Bo Riggs to disprove his claim of male ma superiority.
“Maybe “it didn’t work out for me, but it’s going to work out for the next person,” pe Williams said.