SERENA Williams’s husband Alexis Ohanian angrily hit out at a New York Times report that clashed with Williams’ argument of unfair treatment towards female tennis players.
Williams’ heated argument with chair umpire Carlos Ramos at the 2018 US Open final won by Naomi Osaka continues to be one of the most divisive topics in the sporting world.
Williams was ultimately hit with a game penalty for a series of code violations — sparked by the moment she was reprimanded for receiving instructions from coach Patrick Mouratoglou during the final.
A statistical analysis of crime and punishment of male and female players at grand slam tournaments, published in the New York Times over the weekend, showed male players are actually punished much more frequently than their WTA Tour counterparts.
The figures published by The Times shows since 1998 male players were fined for code of conduct breaches 1517 times compared to the 535 times female players were penalised.
The article did not make any conclusions surrounding Williams’ claim that she was penalised for verbal abuse only because she is a woman.
The article’s biggest find was that women at grand slams have been fined for coaching 152 times, almost double the 87 fines handed out to male players for the same offence.
The figures obtained show that men received 649 fines for breaking racquets to 99 for women in tens of thousands of matches in the four Grand Slams over the last two decades.
Men were fined 344 times compared to 140 for “audible obscenity” and 287 to 67 for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Last week, Serena Williams accused Ramos of being a “liar” and a “thief” after she was cited for verbal abuse during the US Open women’s final.
“Because I’m a woman you are going to take this away from me?” she said to the tournament referee Brian Earley.
“That is not right.”
In the post-match news conference, Williams doubled down on her claim there is a double standard when it comes topunishment.
“I have seen other men call other umpires several things. I am here fighting for women’s right and women’s equality …. and for me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game it made me feel like it was sexist,” she said.
The fact that the New York Times’ report did not support the claims made by Williams in the heat of the moment appeared to anger Ohanian.
The millionaire founder of social media platform Reddit fired off a series of angry tweets on Monday, poking holes in the New York Times report.
He then showed exactly how disgruntled the report made him by bizarrely demonstrating a donation he made to public schooling charity Donors Choose.
He said he had made a $ 7140 donation to the charity “to make sure the next generation gets access to learn basic statistics”.
Williams earlier spoke publicly for the first time since her famous US Open press conference, declaring she did not receive any coaching in an interview with The Sunday Project.
It came after Mouratoglou admitted after the final that he had coached Williams from the stands.
“I just don’t understand,” she said.
“If you’re a female you should be able to do, even half, of what a guy can do.
“He said he made a motion. I don’t understand what he was talking about. We’ve never had signals.”
— with AFP