Barbora Strycova has dished out a brutal assessment of Serena Williams’ epic blow-up that overshadowed the US Open final.
Strycova is one of the first female tennis players on the circuit to publicly criticise Williams for her handling of the situation.
The world No.25 poked holes in Serena using sexism as a catalyst for the meltdown, disagreeing with the idea that umpires treat men and women players differently.
“This is a bulls***, for umpires being women or men doesn’t matter,” Strycova told Czech website Sport.CZ.
“In comparison, I never saw (Rafael) Nadal shouting like that with an umpire.”
Serena Williams claimed the code violations that sparked her meltdown in the US Open final were sexist, with the Women’s Tour Association (WTA) chief executive Steve Simon backing her opinion.
But the 32-year-old said she was shocked at the WTA’s stance on the matter, alluding to Williams receiving different treatment over other players on the tour.
“Me, as a woman, take a lot of warnings,” Strycova said.
“WTA defence surprised me. Will the rules change in Serena’s matches?”
The American star was fined AU$24,000 for coaching, racquet abuse and for verbal abuse when she accused umpire Carlos Ramos of being “a thief” during the stormy final.
Strycova also weighed in on the treatment of Ramos, who copped plenty of criticism for the way he officiated the match.
“Ramos is tough, one of the best umpires in the world,” Strycova said.
“He did what he had to do in that match, because she overcame the limit.
“Did she have to behave differently only because she was Serena Williams?
“I find it interesting that she did it only when she was losing.”
The Czech’s opinions are a stark contrast to those from other professional tennis players, with big-hitters like Novak Djokovic and del Potro believing Williams was hard done by.
Djokovic in particular criticised Ramos for ‘pushing Serena to the limit’.
“I have my personal opinion, maybe the chair umpire shouldn’t have pushed Serena to the limit, especially in a grand slam final,” Djokovic said.
“He did change the course of the match.
“We all go through our emotions, especially when you’re fighting for a grand slam trophy.
“I felt for Serena. A tough thing for chair umpire to deal with. Awkward situation.”
Why umpires are ‘fearful’ after Serena Williams meltdown
A former professional umpire has opened up about why officials are so furious after Serena Williams’ US Open blow-up.
As the fallout continues from Sunday’s controversial US Open final, tennis umpires are having their say.
They’re not pleased with Williams or what they see as a lack of support from the tennis world for chair umpire Carlos Ramos, who was on the receiving end of a heated outburst from the 23-time Grand Slam champion.
The Serena controversy has stirred resentment among umpires ― and they are now reportedly considering a boycott of her future matches.
Retired umpire Richard Ings has opened up to ESPN about why his former colleagues are now ‘fearful’ after the controversy erupted.
“The umpiring fraternity is thoroughly disturbed at being abandoned” by officials with the Women’s Tennis Association who questioned Ramos’ rulings in such a high-profile contest, Ings said.
“They are all fearful that they could be the next Ramos.
“They feel that no one has their back when they have to make unpopular calls.”
But will a bocyott actually eventuate?
Ings said such a protest was “unlikely” because umpires have no fraternal organisation or union.
“I do not believe there is a formal boycott in place so I do not think we need to take any action in regards to a boycott,” a spokesman for the US Tennis Association told HuffPost on Wednesday.