The US Open may have come to a close, but still a hot topic is the controversial incident during the women’s finals match between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka.
After receiving a warning for “coaching” and a point penalty for “racket abuse”, she was cheated out of a game for calling the umpire, Carlos Ramos, a “thief” after accusing him of stealing a point from her.
This incident has since raised a lot of discussions over the double standards of men and women’s tennis.
Many tennis players, including the likes of Billie Jean King and Chris Evert have taken to internet to voice their opinions, with many backing Serena in her claim of men being treated differently.
“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,” King said in a tweet. “Thank you @serenawilliams, for calling out this double standard.”
Men often say considerably worse things that “thief” to umpires, and suffer less consequences, and many have been asked to come forward and admit the simple fact.
“I will admit I have said worse and not gotten penalized. And I’ve also been given a ‘soft warning’ by the ump where they tell you to knock it off or I will give you a violation,” former pro James Blake said in a tweet.
Much of the public, mainly not-tennis fans, have been criticizing Williams across social media, many labelling her actions as “disrespectful” and “unacceptable.”
An Australian newspaper went as far as to publish a cartoon criticizing Williams. The cartoon made fans furious with the depictions of Williams and Osaka, with many people labelling the cartoon “racist” and “offensive.”
This incident is one of the many at this year’s US Open that is sparking controversy over the fact that women are treated differently in the tennis world.
Almost 2 weeks before the final, an incident took place in the first round when French player Alize Cornet noticed her athletic top was backwards, and took it off to switch it around. She received a warning, prompting massive backlash from tennis fans and players alike.
God forbid women take their shirt off for a couple seconds while men take their shirts off during breaks and, many times, on the court.
One incident that occured and got little coverage was Ashleigh Barty and Coco Candeweghe’s women’s doubles victory. The match was very close, and therefore, very long. Following the match, which was both Barty’s and Vandeweghe’s first grand slam title, the duo got robbed of a chance to speak to the crowd and their coaches, because, in the words of Barty, “the men needed to start.”
Because the men’s singles final had to take place in the same stadium as women’s doubles final, two first time grand slam winners got robbed of a proper award ceremony.
These incidents are the reason Serena and other players are speaking out. The strong women of the WTA are taking a stand to recognize and get rid of the double standards in the tennis world.