Serena Williams' Fitness Coach Defends Her After Controversial US Open Outburst

Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios

All that pales in comparison to the furore surrounding Williams, who was given a game penalty for accusing chair umpire Carlos Ramos of being a "liar" and "a thief for stealing a point" from her in the women's final. When a man does the same, he's "outspoken" and there are no repercussions.

In a piece published today, Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston said yesterday's cartoon "had nothing to do with gender or race", and simply depicted an exaggerated version of the 23-time Grand Slam champion reacting to the controversial code violations doled out during her loss to Naomi Osaka.

The American's behavior has divided opinion, with Billie Jean King among the high-profile figures to come out in support of Williams in the face of fierce criticism from some quarters.

"Whether he is umpiring a men's match or a women's match, I think he treats [the players] as individuals equally. More voices are needed to do the same".

"I'm here fighting for women's rights and women's equality", Williams said at a news conference after the match.

Novak Djokovic, who won his third US Open title and 14th Grand Slam crown with a straight-sets victory over Juan Martin del Potro on Sunday, said he didn't agree with Simon's assessment.

Asked about whether sexism played a role in the match, King said that it was still an issue in the world of tennis.

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Also portrayed in the picture are a child's dummy and imagery reminiscent of racist depictions of black people in the USA during the Jim Crow era.

Keothavong does not believe Williams was treated differently than a male player, but acknowledged the incident highlighted there is a "bigger issue". "If he had said "I'm not attacking your character", everything would have been different".

Some tennis umpires are upset over the "verbal abuse" that Carlos Ramos received from Williams, and the amount of attention he's gotten after the final. "It's an unhappy situation but à la carte refereeing doesn't exist", the 47-year-old told Portugal's Tribuna Expresso.

The report also cited an anonymous source who said officials were considering a boycott of future matches involving Williams.

Ramos, who told the newspaper that he had avoided walking the streets of NY on Sunday to avoid any "complicated situations", confirmed that he would be back in the chair on Friday after the ITF appointed him to officiate the semi-final of the Davis Cup, the worldwide men's team event, between Croatia and the United States.

Ramos is now expected to umpire the Davis Cup semi-final between Croatia and the United States on Friday.

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