Who is saying what about Serena Williams’ US Open meltdown?

Serena Williams has a heated discussion with the match referee during her US Open final defeat at the hands of Naomi Osaka. (AFP)
Updated 09 September 2018

Who is saying what about Serena Williams’ US Open meltdown?

  • American ace called umpire a "thief" during her defeat in New York.
  • Serena now the focus of all the discussion after Osaka wins her first Grand Slam.

Serena’a US Open final meltdown: Who’s saying what after Naomi Osaka defeated the American in a stormy final on Saturday:

“Thank you @serenawilliams total class at the speech and you truly are the goat.” —Osaka’s coach Sascha Bajin, a former hitting partner of Williams, on Twitter.

“If it was men’s match, this wouldn’t happen like this. It just wouldn’t. — Two-time major winner and former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka on Twitter.

“The star of the show has been once again the chair umpire. Second time in this US Open and third time for Serena in a US Open Final. Should they be allowed have an influence on the result of a match? When do we decide that this should never happen again ?" — Serena’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou on Twitter.

“@espn just showed Serena and coach while he was “coaching.” She wasn’t even looking. Believe what you want.” — Former US men’s player Mardy Fish.

“Congratulations on winning the 2018 @usopen, @Naomi_Osaka_. This win is just the beginning of a bright future. Tennis is in an exciting place right now with players like you. #Champion #usopen“ — Billie Jean King.

“Serena is a champion & doesn’t deserve it — the same way that Naomi is a champion & doesn’t deserve this atmosphere for her first GS title!" — French WTA player Kristina Mladenovic.

“I also agree with what Patrick said that pretty much all players receive coaching on court. The first warning for me is the most questionable one. Also hard that coaching at WTAs and qualies of slams is okay but not MD slams.” — British player Liam Broady on Twitter

“It’s all on the umpire of course. I was sad to see that Naomi was crying like she lost this final, but she was just playing better today. And no doubt Serena is the greatest champion and GOAT, but that’s rules. It was really heartbreaking final.” — Russian tour player Elena Vesnina

“Mother of all meltdowns” — New York Post headline


Russia banned from Olympics, World Cup over doping

Updated 09 December 2019

Russia banned from Olympics, World Cup over doping

  • WADA's executive committee handed Russia the four-year suspension
  • Under the sanctions, Russian sportsmen and women will still be allowed to compete at the Olympics next year

LAUSANNE: The World Anti-Doping Agency on Monday banned Russia for four years from major global sporting events including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, over manipulated doping data.
WADA's executive committee, meeting in Lausanne, handed Russia the four-year suspension after accusing Moscow of falsifying laboratory doping data handed over to investigators earlier this year.
Not only will Russia be ruled out of the next Olympic cycle, but Russian government officials will be barred from attending any major events, while the country will lose the right to host, or even bid, for tournaments.
"WADA's executive committee approved unanimously to assert a non-compliance on the Russian anti-doping agency for a period of four years," WADA spokesman James Fitzgerald said.
Under the sanctions, Russian sportsmen and women will still be allowed to compete at the Olympics next year and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics but only if they can demonstrate that they were not part of what WADA believes was a state-sponsored system of doping.
It will be up to FIFA to stipulate how a team of Russian players can take part in the qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup.
Euro 2020, in which the Russian city of Saint Petersburg will host four matches, is not affected by the ban because it is not defined as a "major event" for anti-doping purposes.
"They are going to have prove they had nothing to do with the non-compliance, (that) they were not involved in the doping schemes as described by the McLaren report, or they did not have their samples affected by the manipulation," Fitzgerald said.
The independent report by sports lawyer Richard McLaren, released in 2016, revealed the significant extent of state-sponsored doping in Russia, notably between 2011 and 2015.
It led to the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) being suspended for nearly three years previously over revelations of a vast state-supported doping programme.
Full disclosure of data from the Moscow laboratory was a key condition of Russia's controversial reinstatement by WADA in September 2018.
RUSADA chief Yury Ganus told AFP Monday that his country had "no chance" of winning an appeal against the ban, dubbing it tragic for clean athletes.
"There is no chance of winning this case in court," Ganus said, with RUSADA's supervisory board set to meet on December 19 to take a decision on whether to appeal the ban.
"This is a tragedy," he added. "Clean athletes are seeing their rights limited."
The WADA decision was widely predicted, with the body's president, Craig Reedie, having made a presentation Saturday to the Olympic Summit, participants of which "strongly condemned those responsible for the manipulation of the data from the Moscow laboratory".
"It was agreed that this was an attack on sport and that these actions should lead to the toughest sanctions against those responsible," the IOC said, asking that the Russian authorities deliver the "fully authenticated raw data".
Positive doping tests contained in data leaked by a whistleblower in 2017 were missing from the laboratory data supplied in January 2019, which prompted a new inquiry.
Former WADA president Dick Pound, who chaired the commission that in 2015 made damning accusations of mass doping in Russian athletics, said Moscow had this time gone "too far".
"The IOC is a little bit tired about what Russia has been doing and so I see the IOC probably focusing more on athletes who are newer," Pound told AFP.
Pound acknowledged the influential role of Russia -- which in recent years hosted the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics as well as the football World Cup in 2018 -- "on many levels" in the sporting world.
"On the field of play, it is a big, important country. With China and the United States, it's among the sporting giants, so that's influential," he said.
"It's (also) influential because Russia hosts and is willing to host many competitions for international federations, especially those who don't have much money of their own, so they have a considerable influence among the international federations.
"And they've been quite strategic about making sure that they get Russians into positions on international federations. So they have an impact from inside as well as from outside."