Martina Navratilova slams Serena Williams' US Open outburst saying she should consider 'what is the right way to behave?'

Tennis great Martina Navratilova has come out in criticism of Serena Williams, following her outburst in Sunday's US Open final.

Williams, 36, was given three separate code violations in her loss in New York, resulting in Naomi Osaka being awarded a crucial point penalty which gifted her game seven of the second set, then an even more crucial game penalty to gift her the next game, and a 5-3 second set lead.

After the point penalty, Williams unleashed a furious outburst towards the match officials, delaying play for several minutes, culminating in her calling chair umpire Carlos Ramos "a thief".

Williams quickly stated that sexism was the reason for her punishment, claiming that male players get away with much worse.

Writing in the New York Times, Navratilova - an 18-time Grand Slam winner herself - pointed out the flaws in Williams' argument.

"We cannot measure ourselves by what we think we should also be able to get away with," she wrote.

"There have been many times when I was playing that I wanted to break my racket into a thousand pieces. Then I thought about the kids watching. And I grudgingly held on to that racket."

Navratilova added that she agreed that there is a double standard involving officiating between men's and women's matches, before also stating that:

"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 honour our sport and to respect our opponents?"

Williams was fined over $25,000 for her role in the controversy.

Serena Williams, right, talks with referee Brian Earley during the women's final of the U.S. Open
Serena Williams, right, talks with referee Brian Earley during the women's final of the U.S. Open Source: Associated Press


Topics