Serena got it wrong, says Navratilova

Sports | 12 Sep 2018

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova says Serena Williams was wrong in her outburst at the US Open women's final even though she agrees there is a double standard.

In an opinion article for the New York Times, the 18-time Grand Slam singles champion said a higher standard needed to be observed when Williams called chair umpire Carlos Ramos a "thief" and was penalized a key game in the second set of her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Japan's Naomi Osaki.

"We cannot measure ourselves by what we think we should also be able to get away with," wrote Navratilova, 61. "In fact, this is the sort of behavior that no one should be engaging in on the court."

Williams, who was aiming for a 24th Grand Slam title, said she was punished for saying something where men have said far worse without incurring such a penalty.

"Serena Williams has part of it right. There is a huge double standard for women when it comes to how bad behavior is punished - and not just in tennis," Navratilova said.

"But in her protests ... she also got part of it wrong. I don't believe it's a good idea to apply a standard of, 'If men can get away with it, women should be able to, too.'

"Rather, I think the question we have to ask ourselves is this: What is the right way to behave to honor our sport and to respect our opponents?"


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