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Many tennis fans and players are still debating whetherin her confrontation with an umpire during the U.S. Open final. Williams was and went on to lose the championship to Japan’s .
The CEO of USTA, the governing body of tennis in the U.S., was asked if she believes female players are held to different standards than men.
“In my opinion, right now, yes, and it probably always has been,” Katrina Adams said on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday. “We shouldn’t have to carry that extra weight on our back in anything that we do. I think that’s probably the context of the conversation.”
Williams’ defeat came after she was issued a code violation for receiving coaching, a common practice in the sport. She was then docked a point for a second violation after smashing her racket, followed by a penalty in which she lost a game because of “verbal abuse” of the chair umpire.
Adams said both Williams and umpire Carlos Ramos could have handled things a little bit differently. In Ramos’ defense, Adams said he was “following the code” but noted he could have issued a soft warning for coaching instead of a penalty off the bat.
“At the end of the day, Serena could have handled it a little bit differently. She’s passionate. She was speaking out and I think for Ramos, he was a little defensive at that point, and was fed up as opposed to saying, ‘Okay, let’s get back to business,'” Adams said.
Williams was fined $17,000 in total: $10,000 for verbal abuse, $4,000 for the coaching violation, and $3,000 for racket abuse. Players can be fined up to $20,000 for each of those offenses. Asked to address the disparity in Williams’ fines and Roger Federer’s $1,500 fine for an expletive-laden outburst during the 2009 U.S. Open men’s final, Adams said the fines are up to the discretion of the grand slam administrator, not the USTA.
Adams also clarified her comments during the trophy ceremony in which she appeared to imply Williams’ loss wasn’t the outcome they wanted.
“It’s unfortunate. My words were misconstrued. When I was talking about the outcome, I was really talking about the behavior of the audience, of the fans. Not about the outcome of who won. This is the biggest moment of your life. You are the U.S. Open champion. You’re a grand slam champion for the first time. You are the best player at the end of this event and because of the turn of events with the crowd and the booing and everything, it wasn’t the way – that was the outcome I was referring to. I have since texted her coach to make sure she understands that she is celebrated and how proud I am of her.”
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