ANYONE confusing the petulant, ill-tempered antics of Serena Williams with those of an activist campaigning on behalf of women’s rights should perhaps consider some points first.

Wasn’t her young tennis opponent in the US Open final a woman, and did the veteran American player accord her opponent any consideration apart from doing everything she could to beat her? Her all-out effort included breaking the rules about receiving coaching instructions during a match and the umpire Carlos Ramos would have been failing to do his job if he had not imposed a penalty.

As for the abuse he was subjected to as a result of this, Williams should consider herself lucky she was not subject to a ban of some kind. The idea she was behaving as she did for some high-principled reason doesn’t wash. She has been a desperate-to-win competitor on the courts and has been commented on for trying to intimidate her opponents when both players are receiving instructions at the net before the start of matches, by swinging her racquet in full overhand mode. In my view her antics last weekend were those of a poor loser who let her disappointment possess her. Nothing else puts the jigsaw together.

Ian Johnstone

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