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Serena Williams’s US meltdown was handled badly all round, says McEnroe

Sports2018-12-07

Serena Williams has “nothing to apologise for” after her meltdown at the US Open, according to John McEnroe. The man who probably had more than most to be sorry about during a stormy career reckons his compatriot was at fault for the way she verbally abused Carlos Ramos in the final at Flushing Meadows in September but “so was the umpire”.Speaking at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Thursday before what he says will be his last appearance at the annual Champions Tennis tournament, McEnroe said Williams’s emotions probably got to her. He did not, however, think the incident, which cost her the title, would unsettle her at the Australian Open, where she will return for the first time since winning her 23rd major there two years ago while seven weeks pregnant.“This isn’t the first thing that’s happened with her,”McEnroe said. “She’s been there. I doubt that’s her major concern right now. Let’s state the obvious. She is trying to tie Margaret Court [at an all-time record 24 majors], so that automatically makes it more interesting than all the other subplots.”As for Williams’s tirade against Ramos in the second set of the final against Japan’s Naomi Osaka – after the American’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, had been caught on camera coaching from the stands – McEnroe said: “She was wrong and so was the umpire as far as I was concerned. We all know that people coach all the time, right? And this guy suddenly decides to call her on it in the final of the US Open? Really?“She was upset about it, she got a point penalty, she broke her racket, there is no question about that. And then she went after the guy later in the set and obviously was venting. I think it was badly handled by all concerned … not that I have any experience in that.”Ramos should have had a quiet word with her, the one-time scourge of officials added, rather than penalise her a whole game after her final outburst.As for McEnroe’s playing activities they are entering their autumn days as a senior on the nostalgia scene. The 59-year-old was due to partner Greg Rusedski in his first doubles match on Thursday night, against Thomas Enqvist and Tim Henman, then he switches on Friday night to play with Henman against Enqvist and Goran Ivanisevic.McEnroe said it was sad his fellow American champions Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras, both more than a decade younger, did not consider playing, but reckoned the leading older players of the current generation – specifically Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – may be tempted when their days on the ATP Tour are over.(THE GUARDIAN)

Serena Williams has “nothing to apologise for” after her meltdown at the US Open, according to John McEnroe. The man who probably had more than most to be sorry about during a stormy career reckons his compatriot was at fault for the way she verbally abused Carlos Ramos in the final at Flushing Meadows in September but “so was the umpire”.

Speaking at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Thursday before what he says will be his last appearance at the annual Champions Tennis tournament, McEnroe said Williams’s emotions probably got to her. He did not, however, think the incident, which cost her the title, would unsettle her at the Australian Open, where she will return for the first time since winning her 23rd major there two years ago while seven weeks pregnant.

“This isn’t the first thing that’s happened with her,”McEnroe said. “She’s been there. I doubt that’s her major concern right now. Let’s state the obvious. She is trying to tie Margaret Court [at an all-time record 24 majors], so that automatically makes it more interesting than all the other subplots.”

As for Williams’s tirade against Ramos in the second set of the final against Japan’s Naomi Osaka – after the American’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, had been caught on camera coaching from the stands – McEnroe said: “She was wrong and so was the umpire as far as I was concerned. We all know that people coach all the time, right? And this guy suddenly decides to call her on it in the final of the US Open? Really?

“She was upset about it, she got a point penalty, she broke her racket, there is no question about that. And then she went after the guy later in the set and obviously was venting. I think it was badly handled by all concerned … not that I have any experience in that.”

Ramos should have had a quiet word with her, the one-time scourge of officials added, rather than penalise her a whole game after her final outburst.

As for McEnroe’s playing activities they are entering their autumn days as a senior on the nostalgia scene. The 59-year-old was due to partner Greg Rusedski in his first doubles match on Thursday night, against Thomas Enqvist and Tim Henman, then he switches on Friday night to play with Henman against Enqvist and Goran Ivanisevic.

McEnroe said it was sad his fellow American champions Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras, both more than a decade younger, did not consider playing, but reckoned the leading older players of the current generation – specifically Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – may be tempted when their days on the ATP Tour are over.

(THE GUARDIAN)

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