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.”
.@serenawilliams maintains in her first TV interview since her stunning upset at the U.S. Open that she did not cheat — and further blasts what she sees as the double standard between male and female tennis players. https://t.co/J4LAgXwS0i pic.twitter.com/ruClm4zgir
— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 17, 2018
Mouratoglou, however, admitted that he was coaching Williams during the match — or at least trying to.
“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.
— thibnice10 (@thibnice10) September 8, 2018
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.
“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.
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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