Williams' US Open treatment divides tennis world after she calls "Lier"
Serena Williams' behavior in Saturday's U.S. Open final divided the tennis world after she called the chair umpire a "liar" and a "thief" and said he treated her differently than male players during her loss to Naomi Osaka.
She then had a heated argument with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, which cost her a game.
The six-time U.S. Open champion, who has since been fined $17,000 by the United States Tennis Association for the violations, vigorously disputed each during the match.
Tennis great Billy Jean King wrote on Twitter: "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."
"We always had to go by the rules," Court, who dominated tennis during the 1960s and early 1970s, said according to a report in The Australian.
"It's sad for the sport when a player tries to become bigger than the rules.
"Because the young player outplayed her in the first set, I think the pressure got her more than anything."
The drama started when Ramos handed Williams a coaching violation early in the second set because of hand gestures made from the stands by her coach Patrick Mouratoglou. He later admitted the offense, which that is not allowed in the sport but rarely enforced.
Things seemed to settle down as Williams went on to break Osaka for a 3-1 lead, but she gave the break right back in the next game with a pair of double faults, prompting the former champion to smash her racquet on the court.
That resulted in a second violation, meaning Osaka was awarded the first point of the sixth game.
During a changeover, Williams resumed her argument with the umpire, this time saying he was attacking her character and was a "thief". That triggered a third violation, which resulted in a game penalty that gave Osaka a 5-3 lead.
From there, Williams summoned the tournament referee to the court and said male tennis players are not punished for similar offenses.
Tennis great John McEnroe, one of the game's most tempestuous characters in his playing days, said the sport must find a way to allow players to express feelings and inject their personality into the game while adhering to certain rules.
Ings once issued a warning, point penalty and a game penalty against McEnroe at the 1987 U.S. Open for obscenities directed at the umpire.
"We should not let her record, as glowing as it is, overshadow the fact that on this day, in this match Williams was wrong," Ings wrote in The Sydney Morning Herald.
"The decisions made by Ramos had nothing to do with sexism or racism. They had everything to do with observing clear breaches of the grand slam code of conduct and then having the courage to call them without fear or favor."