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Serena Williams Breaks Her Silence on US Open Controversy

Serena Williams continues to dispute comments that she received coaching during her matchup with Naomi Osaka at the US Open final on Sept. 8.

In an interview with an Australian talk show, The Project, scheduled to air next Sunday, Williams refutes the remark her coach Patrick Mouratoglou made about gesturing to her from the stands. She denies cheating.


Mouratoglou told ESPN, following the match, that he was attempting to give her instructions, but Williams wasn’t even looking in his direction.

“[Mouratoglou] said he made a motion,” Williams says, in a teaser of the upcoming interview. “I don’t understand what he was talking about. We’ve never had signals.”

Williams also doubled-down on her statements that sexism played a role in the calls by chair umpire Carlos Ramos, and her comments she made during the post-match press conference.

“I don’t understand,” Williams says in the interview. “If you’re a female you should be able to do even half of what a guy can do.”

Last week, umpires reportedly discussed a boycott of Williams’ matches because of what they feel is a lack of support for Ramos by tennis associations.

Related Story: Tennis Umpires Reportedly Discuss Boycotting Serena Williams’ Matches

But Ramos continues to be unaffected by the US Open controversy. Meanwhile, Williams incurred a total of three code violations for alleged on-court coaching, smashing her racket, and “verbal abuse” for calling Ramos a “thief.” The US Open fined her a total of $17,000.

Andy Roddick and James Blake said on social media that they’ve said worse things to umpires, but were not penalized.

In regard to the claim that women are punished more often than men, The New York Times produced a study that has been slammed by Williams’ husband, Alexis Ohanian Sr.

The study, published on Friday, concluded that in the four Grand Slam events over the past 20 years, men have been penalized significantly more often than women.

Ohanian, co-founder and executive chairman of Reddit, pointed out that there was an error in the data set, and the statistics are misleading.

He tweeted on Sunday that Williams’ “argument is that women are punished more often *per incident* than men are.”

“These data only show there are more penalties for men *total*,” he wrote.

Ohanian offered the example that if “men were punished 344 times out of 3440 audible obscenities (10 percent enforcement), but women were punished 140 times out of 700 audible obscenities (20 percent enforcement) that would mean women are penalized two-times more often than men for the same violation.”

Statistics guru Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight agreed with Ohanian’s assessment of the Times’ study when debating the author of the article.

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