NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Serena Williams’ loss at the US Open was dramatic for all the wrong reasons in terms of sports, and critics are voicing concerns about gender double standards in terms of conduct on the court.
On Sunday, Williams was fined a total of $17,000 for three code violations stemming from the previous day’s meltdown.
Smashing her racket in the second set, frustration was all over Williams’ face Saturday after she lost the first set to Naomi Osaka of Japan.
But the drama did not end there, reports CBS2’s Marc Liverman.
The US Open umpire slapped Williams with her first penalty – accusing her of being illegally coached from the stands. Williams denied cheating, demanding that the official apologize.
“You will never, ever, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live. You are the liar,” said Williams. “When are you going to give me an apology? You owe me an apology. Say it you’re sorry. And you stole a point from me. You’re a thief, too!”
Williams was issued several warnings-before being penalized again – this time for verbal abuse.
Williams tried to compose herself again but it wasn’t enough to beat Osaka – who cruises to win her first Grand Slam championship – beating her idol.
At the trophy ceremony, both players put the drama behind them, but after the game Williams took another stand against the official’s actions.
“I thought he took the game from me, other men said other things,” said Williams, “I am here fighting for women’s right and women’s equality. (He) made me feel like a sexist remark, he never took a game from a man for saying thief.”
Williams said she was hopeful that her actions will help change women’s tennis for the better.
“If I had to go through this just an example for next person who wants to express herself, maybe it did not work out for me but may work out for next person,” she said.
Tennis great Billie Jean King weighed in on Twitter, arguing a double standard for women compared to men in tennis.
She tweeted when a woman is emotional, she’s “hysterical” and she’s penalized for it. When a man does the same, he’s “outspoken” and there are no repercussions.
“Thank you, @serenawilliams, for calling out this double standard. More voices are needed to do the same,” she said.
King also tweeted that coaching should be allowed in tennis.
After the set, the US Open issued follow-up statements defending the umpire’s decisions but praising Williams’ demeanor at the awards presentation as “a class move from a true champion.”
Other social media reactions were divided about what happened.
In support against the court penalties, others stood by Williams.