Australian tennis veteran Sam Stosur has taken a swipe at her old rival Serena Williams over the American’s meltdown in the US Open final.
Williams was given a violation in last month’s defeat against Naomi Osaka when chair umpire Carlos Ramos saw her coach Patrick Mouratoglou make a hand gesture to tell her to play closer to the net.
She was later docked a point after smashing her racquet, and penalised a game for calling Ramos a “thief”.
The incidents overshadowed Osaka’s first grand slam win – much like how Williams did for Stosur in the 2011 US Open final.
Williams caused controversy in that match when she abused a female umpire, infamously calling her “a hater” and “unattractive inside”.
Stosur’s straight-sets victory, which came on the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, was a huge boilover.
Osaka repeated the dose when she defeated Williams 6-2 6-4, only to be brought to tears by the crowd’s booing during the trophy presentation.
Five weeks after watching the final from a position of empathy, Stosur criticised Williams for acting out on the biggest stage.
“I don’t think the final of the US Open is the time to lay that all out there,” the Australian said on Wednesday.
“She was obviously feeling a bit of stress in that match. It’s great the way Naomi was able to steady the ship and finish the match – we don’t always want to talk about the Serena factor in that because it was Naomi’s moment.
“There were some things at the US Open that made it (equality) a big talking point.
“We are the leaders in women’s sports and there is no reason we shouldn’t deserve the same pay (as men). I think I’m treated pretty well.”
Stosur admits she isn’t sure how many more Australian tennis summers she has left as she prepares for her 21st year on the WTA tour.
The 2011 US Open winner will again start her Australian swing at the Brisbane International on New Year’s Eve – this time alongside fellow grand slam champions Naomi Osaka, Sloane Stephens and Petra Kvitova.
The 34-year-old won’t put a date on her retirement but the Queenslander concedes it’s become a consideration despite enjoying an injury-free 2018.
“I don’t know necessarily how many more Brisbane Internationals or Australian Opens I’m going to have, but while I’m still playing the way I am I want to be part of it,” the former world No.4 said.
“I’ve got a bit of an idea but it’s so hard to say.
“I don’t want to put a date on it because if you feel like you want to keep going (when you should retire) you look like a bit of a fool, and if you quit earlier then you look silly as well.
“Not knowing how many are around the corner … it’d be nice to go out on a bit of a high with a good result in Australia.”
A hand injury stunted her 2017 campaign but she is back home healthy with an improved ranking of 74 after a consistent, if not dominant season.
“Probably overall (this year’s been) a little bit disappointing, but in a lot of ways it was good because I went the whole year without being injured and missing anything,” she said.
“I feel like I’m actually playing really well at the moment – obviously you’ve got to get those wins on the board – but I feel like its all there and I’m looking forward to next year.”
World No.1 Rafael Nadal will headline the men’s draw alongside defending champion Nick Kyrgios and former winners Andy Murray and Grigor Dimitrov.