Cape Town: Months after the bitter-sweet memory of the US Open, former world number one John McEnroe is ‘surprised’ that American tennis ace Serena Williams didn’t refer to his name to strengthen her case of alleged gender disparity.
Williams drew widespread support and criticism for her dramatic meltdown at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, as she labelled umpire Carlos Ramos a “liar” and a “thief” and claimed sexism after she received three code violations. Japanese counterpart Naomi Osaka defeated the American 6-2, 6-4 to deny latter from registering her 24th major Grand Slam.
“She (Williams) was absolutely right to say men have got away with worse. I am surprised she didn’t invoke my name there. I wasn’t disappointed just surprised!” Sport24 quoted McEnroe, who was famously disqualified from the 1990 Australian Open after a meltdown of his own.
While responding to Williams’ meltdown, McEnroe said: “If thief is the worst word she used, I have got some bad news for you. There are a lot of other players, including myself, in a lot of other sports that have done far worse. Come on.”
“If I use a four-letter word and say that you are a “blanking blank”, which let’s say hypothetically I have used in the past, do you think that would be worse than saying that you are a thief? The way it panned out with Serena, she was wrong and so was the umpire. Maybe she just wanted it too bad. In the end, she shot herself in the foot,” he added.
Williams is slated to defend her title when she will participate in the 2019 edition of the Australian Open.