WTA calls for equal treat­ment of play­ers, on-court coach­ing

Manteca Bulletin - - Sports -

NEW YORK (AP) — The WTA is call­ing for equal treat­ment of all tennis play­ers and coach­ing to be al­lowed across the sport in the af­ter­math of the U.S. Open fi­nal.

Ser­ena Wil­liams was given three code vi­o­la­tions by chair um­pire Car­los Ramos in her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Naomi Osaka on Satur­day, and Wil­liams and crit­ics inside and out­side of tennis ar­gued that she wasn’t treated the same as some male play­ers. The women’s pro tour agreed. “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,” CEO Steve Si­mon said in a state­ment.

Men’s cham­pion No­vak Djokovic said he thought Ramos should not have pushed Wil­liams so hard.

“Just maybe changed — not maybe, but he did change the course of the match,” Djokovic said. “Was, in my opin­ion, maybe un­nec­es­sary. We all go through our emo­tions, es­pe­cially when you’re fight­ing for a Grand Slam tro­phy.”

But he dis­agreed with Si­mon that men and women are treated dif­fer­ently.

“I don’t see things as Mr. Si­mon does. I re­ally don’t,” Djokovic said. “I think men and women are, you know, treated in this way or the other way de­pend­ing on the sit­u­a­tion. It’s hard to gen­er­al­ize things, re­ally. I don’t see it’s nec­es­sary re­ally to de­bate that.”

The first vi­o­la­tion given to Wil­liams was for coach­ing, which isn’t al­lowed dur­ing any men’s matches but is per­mit­ted on the women’s tour ex­cept in Grand Slam tour­na­ments.

Though Wil­liams said she fol­lows the rules and never re­ceives coach­ing dur­ing a match, coach Pa­trick Mouratoglou ac­knowl­edged that he does it and says it’s well known through­out the sport that all coaches do.

“We also think the is­sue of coach­ing needs to be ad­dressed and should be al­lowed across the sport,” Si­mon said.

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