Tennis Expert & Columnist
Serena Williams' sexism claims in US Open final are 'unjustified', says Greg Rusedski
"Serena actually owes Naomi Osaka an apology because she was the better player on the day, she would have won the match fair and square without all of the hoopla"
Last Updated: 10/09/18 8:33pm
Greg Rusedski says Serena Williams' suggestions she was a victim of sexism in her US Open final defeat are "unjustified".
Experienced Portuguese official Carlos Ramos has found himself at the centre of a storm involving accusations of sexism over the way he treated Williams during her defeat to Naomi Osaka at Flushing Meadows on Saturday.
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Williams was docked a game in the crucial second set of her match against Osaka for calling the experienced Ramos a "thief" having previously received two code violations - and she used her subsequent post-match press conference to call her penalty "sexist".
Her stance was swiftly backed by the WTA Tour's chief executive Steve Simon and US great Billie Jean King, both of whom also questioned the initial code violation handed to Williams for on-court coaching.
Having initially said it would not comment, the ITF, the world governing body, later released a statement in support of Ramos' decision-making.
I'd say Serena actually owes Naomi Osaka an apology because she was the better player on the day.
Former British No 1 Rusedski has made his feelings clear, telling Sky Sports News: "She was going after the umpire from the first game in the second set all the way through to when she was down a break 4-3, so from my point of view he did the right thing and you knew the referee was going to be very strong because of what happened with Nick Kyrgios earlier in the tournament.
"Umpire Mohamed Lahyani came down from his chair and gave Kyrgios a pep talk, telling him 'I want you to do well', 'don't tank' and all the players were upset with that, so there was a strict law put in force for the rest of the tournament where chair umpires were not allowed to talk to players as well as following the code and that's what Ramos did throughout the match.
"I think all these claims of sexism are just not justified and if I look at it in retrospect I'd say Serena actually owes Naomi Osaka an apology because she was the better player on the day, she would have won the match fair and square without all of the hoopla. I just feel sorry for Naomi Osaka."
Annabel Croft said that, while she had sympathy for Williams, her claim that she had been treated differently because she is a woman was wide of the mark.
"I definitely feel sympathy for her because I was actually commentating on the match and I witnessed the whole thing unfolding and it was incredibly dramatic," Croft told ITV's Good Morning Britain.
To add further evidence to our lively debate @piersmorgan which I enjoyed this morning - just for record Nalbandian was immediately defaulted from final of Queens in 2005 as was McEnroe from Aussie open in 1990 both for bad behaviour ! This is not about Sexism !— Annabel Croft (@Annabel_Croft) September 10, 2018
"But Carlos Ramos is not, I don't believe, sexist. He's a very strict, very decisive umpire, who takes nothing from any opponent whether they're male or female.
"I've seen him giving time violations to Rafael Nadal out there on the court many, many times, but he's someone who just plays it by the rule book."
US Open talking points
The 2018 US Open will be remembered as one of the most dramatic Grand Slam tournaments in history
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