By Perry Green, AFRO Sports Editor
Roger Federer recently came to the defense of fellow tennis star Serena Williams on the U.S. Tennis Association banning her from wearing the all black catsuit she sported during the French Open.
According to the Sunday Times, Federer said the association should leave Williams’ desired attire alone, while also speaking to the defense of pro tennis player Alize Cornet, who was issued a code violation during the U.S. Open for changing her shirt while still on the court.
Serena Williams of the U.S. clenches her fist after scoring a point against Krystina Pliskova of the Czech Republic during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Tuesday, May 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
“What was the problem with taking the T-shirt off or the catsuit?” Federer told the Times. “Serena has worn crazier stuff in the past. Guys have worn crazier stuff. … For me, it was a bit of nonsense. Just chill out for a second. I was totally on the women’s side. Leave them alone.”
But Federer also criticized Williams in the same interview for blowing up on the game umpire during her finals match in the U.S. Open back in September.
“She went too far,” Federer said, per the Times, explaining how he believed Williams should have just walked away, although he did mention the umpire may have pushed her to a boiling point. “She should have walked earlier. It’s a little bit excusable. The umpire maybe should not have pushed her there. It’s unfortunate but an incredible case study.”
Williams had got into an on-court argument with game official Carlos Ramos during the middle of the Open Finals after the umpire issued multiple code violations, claiming the 37-year-old Williams was illegally receiving in-match coaching. She was seen emotionally shouting at Williams that she would “never cheat” before smashing her tennis racket and calling Ramos a “thief” and a “liar.” She was issued code violations for that, as well.
She later explained after the match to reporters how she felt Ramos had “never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief.’”
“I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things,” Williams said, according to reports. “I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff.”