Dominic Thiem was not happy with Serena Williams’ behavior following the tennis superstar’s Round of 32 loss at the French Open this past weekend.
Thiem, who hails from Austria, is ranked the No. 4 men’s tennis player in the world, according to The U.K. Telegraph. Even so, following his Round of 32 victory over Pablo Cuevas on Saturday, he was forced to conduct part of his post-match news conference in a smaller room to accommodate Williams.
Thiem “was talking to the media after his third-round win on Saturday and Williams, who had just lost in straight sets to compatriot Sofia Kenin, was pushing organisers to give her a room right away,” Reuters reported.
Event organizers then asked Thiem to leave the main area where he had been speaking with the media to make room for Williams.
Thiem obliged, but he clearly wasn’t happy about it.
“I have to leave the room because she’s coming. What the hell, I don’t care. I can also do whatever I want,” he said at the time.
Thiem spoke more about the encounter in an interview Sunday with Eurosport Germany.
“I wasn’t angry or frustrated,” he said. “It’s the principle. It doesn’t matter if it is me who sits in there.”
“Every player has to wait. It also shows a bad personality in my opinion,” he said of Williams, according to The Telegraph.
Thiem added: “I am 100 percent sure [Roger] Federer or [Rafael] Nadal would never do something like that.”
Williams, the former top-ranked women’s player in the world, lost in two sets to 20-year-old Sofia Kenin (6-2, 7-5) in the Round of 32.
Her post-match news conference did not go well either, as Williams cut it short after telling an official, “You’re very rude.”
Roger Federer, who’s currently the third-ranked men’s tennis player in the world, seemed to take Thiem’s side.
“He’s a superstar,” Federer said. “Something went wrong for this to happen. I think there is always a way to go that the one who is still in the tournament gets priority.”
“Anyway, that’s how I see it,” he added. “If I would have lost today, I would let [Leonardo] Mayer go first or decide when he wants to go to press as he’s got a next match. My next match is far, far away.”
Federer defeated his opponent, Leonardo Mayer, in three sets on Sunday afternoon (6-2, 6-3, 6-3).
Federer has faced Thiem twice this year and was defeated by him at both the Indian Wells Masters and the Madrid Open.
While Thiem might not be happy with Williams, it appears she was not the one who made the decision to move his news conference.
“According to French outlet L’Equipe, Williams didn’t seem to care where her press conference took place, offering to go into another room, though she made it clear she wanted to get it over with,” the New York Post reported.
“She also seemed to not agree with moving Thiem, being overheard saying, ‘That’s really impolite,'” the Post added.
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