Friday 22 September 2017

'It is a complete disregard for a reporter doing his job' - Paul Kimmage hits out at Serena Williams' press conference behaviour

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 28: Serena Williams poses with the Daphne Akhurst Trophy after winning the Women's Singles Final against Venus Williams of the United States on day 13 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 28: Serena Williams poses with the Daphne Akhurst Trophy after winning the Women's Singles Final against Venus Williams of the United States on day 13 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Serena Williams earned plenty of praise over the weekend after winning her 23rd Grand Slam at the Australian Open early on Saturday morning, but Paul Kimmage has taken exception to one aspect of the champion's behaviour during her two weeks in Melbourne.

Williams delivered a classy victory speech after beating her sister Venus in the final but earlier in the tournament, she struck a different note in a post-match press conference.

Read more: Comment: The nauseating reaction to Federer vs Nadal was the perfect showcase for sporting snobs

After a straight sets win against Lucie Safarova in the second round, a journalist asked a question that implied Williams had struggled at times.

The seven-time Australian Open champion took issue with the question and asked the journalist to apologise.

"I think that's a very negative thing to say," she began.

"Are you serious? Well, you should have been out there. That wasn't very kind. You should apologise. Do you want to apologise?"

Speaking to Matt Cooper on The Last Word on Todayfm this evening, Kimmage explained why he didn't care for Williams' treatment of the press, both in this case and in others.

"Can you believe that? Is it any wonder that tennis players treat reporters with complete contempt when they put up with that sort of nonsense?," Kimmage asked after the clip was played.

"Maybe this guy read it all wrong. That's not the point. It is a complete disregard for a reporter doing his job. She has previous in this, she does it all the time. There is a great clip on Youtube, she was asked about the leak of TUEs over the summer. She was named and her sister was named. She is asked the question and says she isn't answering that, gets up and walks away. How can they get away with this?"

Kimmage also took the tennis media in general to task, in particular for how tennis journalists have handled the issue of doping in the sport.

"She goes to the Australian Open and there are three of them - Serena, her sister and Nadal - that have been outed for using TUEs," Kimmage said.

"Not one question to any of them about the Fancy Bears leak, the problems in tennis, why they were using TUEs. Not in any way the same level of scrutiny that is asked of the cyclists and Bradley Wiggins. There's my problem."

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