One of the world’s best female tennis players slammed Serena Williams for her meltdown at the U.S. Open, bluntly calling it “bulls***”.
Barbora Strycova, who is ranked #25 in the world, spoke with Czech website Sport.CZ about Williams claiming both during and after the match that chair umpire Carlos Ramos had displayed sexism when he hit her with three code violations leading to a game penalty. Williams called Ramos a “thief’ and a “liar” for charging her with a point penalty, and also slammed her racket to the court, breaking it during the match.
Strycova said Williams’ tantrum was triggered by her desperation from Japan’s Naomi Osaka playing better and leading her during the match. She stated:
This is a bulls***, for umpires being women or men doesn’t matter. In comparison, I never saw (Rafael) Nadal shouting like that with an umpire. Ramos is tough, one of the best umpires in the world. He did what he had to do in that match, because she overstepped 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.
Strycova said she didn’t understand why the WTA Tour and US Tennis Association released statements supporting Williams. She commented, “Me, as a woman, take a lot of warnings. The WTA defense surprised me. Will rules change in Serena’s matches? If it’s like this, let me know.”
Tennis legend Martina Navratilova also criticized Williams this week, writing in The New York Times, “We cannot measure ourselves by what we think we should also be able to get away with. In fact, this is the sort of behavior that no one should be engaging in on the court … I don’t believe it’s a good idea to apply a standard of, 'If men can get away with it, women should be able to, too.' Rather, I think the question we have to ask ourselves is this: What is the right way to behave to honor our sport and to respect our opponents?”