Serena Williams Breaks Silence After US Open Controversy, Refuses To Give an Inch


One week after her loss in the U.S. Open finals to Naomi Osaka, tennis star Serena Williams is still defending herself against charges by the chair umpire that she accepted coaching.

Williams, in an interview that will air Sunday on the Australian current affairs program “The Project,” said that she and her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou “never had signals” that would count as coaching.

“He said he made a motion,” Williams told host Lisa Wilkinson, reported the New York Post, citing The Australian, which got a sneak preview of the interview. “I don’t understand what he was talking about. We’ve never had signals.”

Mouratoglou, however, admitted that he was coaching Williams during the match — or at least trying to.

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“I’m honest, I was coaching. I mean, I don’t think she looked at me so that’s why she didn’t even think I was. But I was like 100 percent of the coaches on 100 percent of the matches,” Mouratoglou told ESPN’s Pam Shriver after the match.

Mouratoglou said coaches giving players signals takes place all the time and very few warnings are given out.

ESPN reported that there were two other code violations given out at the U.S. Open for coaching.

Is it legitimate for Williams to claim sexism against tennis umpires?

“We all know that all the coaches coach at every match, all year long,” Mouratoglou said, according to Time. “So this is the rule. Then there is the psychology the chair umpire is supposed to have. Tell Serena, ‘I’ve seen your coach do a movement, stop, otherwise you’ll have a warning.’ I don’t understand why he didn’t do that.”

Williams went off on chair umpire Carlos Ramos when she was assessed a warning. “I don’t cheat to win. I’d rather lose,” Williams told Ramos.

“I’ve never cheated in my life. You owe me an apology,” Willams said. She was assessed a point penalty for breaking her racket in frustration and a game penalty for verbal abuse after she called Ramos a “thief” for stealing a point from her.

After the match, Williams cited what she called a double standard.

“I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things. I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief,'” Williams said after the match, reported the Washington Post.

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In her upcoming interview on the Project, she reiterated that view.

“I just don’t understand … if you’re a female, you should be able to do even half of what a guy can do,” Williams said.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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