World No.1 hits back at Serena Williams over sexism claim

Serena Williams’ US Open meltdown continues to make waves within the women’s WTA Tour.

World No. 1 Simona Halep is the latest women’s tennis star to speak out over the divisive issue of sexism in tennis, saying she sees no difference with the way men and women are treated on the tour.

“The rules are the rules,” Halep told CNN Sport in an interview at the Wuhan Open in China.

“I don’t see any difference between the men’s rules and women’s rules, and I think the chair umpires are doing just their jobs.”

This year’s French Open winner similarly had no issue with the umpire at the centre of Serena’s US Open meltdown Carlos Ramos, saying his actions were ‘normal’.

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Simona Halep doesn’t agree with Serena Williams’ claims of sexism in tennis. Pic: Getty

“I never had any problems with him, or with any umpire. I also got fines, when I had to. It’s normal.”

Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova echoed the sentiment of Halep at the Wuhan Open, saying she saw no differential treatment.

“I don’t see the difference, to be honest,” Kvitova told CNN Sport.

“Sometimes, when you get the violation, it is just a violation, and it is nothing, at the end of the day.

“I got so many violations when I was a kid, I got a coaching violation as well, but it’s OK.

“You get it, and you can’t do anything with it, and sometimes it’s tough, but you can’t get interrupted by that.”

Serena Williams said she was trying to “recover from that and move on” after her US Open meltdown (AFP Photo/TIMOTHY A. CLARY)

However Williams did get some support from a high-profile player, with World No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki saying she understood where the American was coming from.

“I think she has a point in some of what she’s saying,” Wozniacki said.

“I think everyone has the right to their own opinion.

“I think that when you’re going into a grand slam final, you’re fighting for your 24th slam, you’re fighting to be on paper, the best player to ever have played the game … there will be emotions involved. I think there will be some feelings there when you go onto the court.”

Serena Williams still baffled by claims of coaching

Patrick Mouratoglou’s claim he tried to coach Serena Williams during the US Open final has been refuted by the 23-time grand slam champion.

Umpire Carlos Ramos had given Williams a code violation for coaching, which prompted a furious response from the American, who would later incur a further two penalties for racket abuse and verbal abuse in her 6-2 6-4 loss to Naomi Osaka.

Williams repeatedly denied receiving coaching, yet Mouratoglou later confirmed he had attempted to send her signals but that he did not think they were seen.

Serena Williams disagrees with own coach over US Open controversy

However, Williams said she is baffled by her coach’s revelation.

“I just don’t understand what he was talking about because I asked him, ‘What are you talking about?’ You weren’t coaching, we don’t have signals, we’ve never had signals and he said he made a motion,” she told the Sunday Project.

“So, you said you made a motion, now you told people that you’re coaching me. That doesn’t make sense, why would you say that?

“We’ve never had this before. I was on the other side, I didn’t see the motion. It was just a really confusing moment for him.”

Williams had suggested she was treated more harshly than her male counterparts, a notion former tennis great Billie Jean King agreed with when she claimed the controversy surrounding the incident was the result of a “double standard”.

Williams, who would have equalled Margaret Court’s record with a 24th grand slam title had she won at Flushing Meadows, added that she was keen to move on from the incidents.

She said: “Even a man, if you want to express yourself in a way where you’re not using profanity or you’re just being yourself, and you’re at this moment where you’ve worked for since you were three years old and you’re on the cusp of this amazing moment…your female you should be able to do even half of what a guy can do.

“I feel like right now we are not, as it’s proven, in that same position. But that’s neither here nor there. I’m just trying to recover from that and move on.”

With Omnisport