Barbora Strycova
Barbora Strycova criticized Serena Williams' behavior during the US Open women's singles final. In his picture, Strycova of Czech Republic reacts during her women's singles second round match against Lara Arruabarrena of Spain on Day Three of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Aug. 29, 2018, in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Elsa/Getty Images

Barbora Strycova launched a scathing attack on Serena Williams over her meltdown during the 2018 US Open women’s singles final against Naomi Osaka where she accused chair umpire Carlos Ramos of sexism after he penalized her on three occasions.

The American tennis legend was first pulled up for on-court coaching early in the second set, which was her first code violation on the night. She then received a second after she smashed her racket after losing her serve while being 3-1 up, which resulted in an automatic point penalty.

Williams argued the first code violation for coaching was wrong because “she never cheats” and demanded an apology from the chair umpire. Her tirade of abuse continued, with her calling Ramos a thief and a liar, which resulted in a third code violation for verbal abuse and led to an automatic game penalty.

It was then she completely lost the plot and demanded to speak to the tournament referee and then went on to accuse Ramos of being sexist, with her argument being male tennis players would not have suffered the same fate for the comments she made.

The controversy got the attention of the sporting world and opinion has been divided with many criticizing her for her actions, while there has also been praise for raising the issue of discrimination.

Strycova, who is a regular on the WTA Tour, however, did not take kindly to Williams’ outburst and labeled it “bull****.” The Czech Republic player backed the umpire for his actions and also pointed to Rafael Nadal, who has been in the penalized by the same official, for not acting like the American did on the night.

The world number 25 also pointed to the fact that Williams only began her tantrum when she was losing the match. The former world number one’s accusation and meltdown overshadowed Osaka’s historic night as she was deservedly crowned Japan’s first singles Grand Slam champion.

“This is a bulls***, for umpires being women or men doesn’t matter,” Strycova told Czech website Sport.CZ, as quoted on Tennis World USA. “In comparison, I never saw (Rafael) Nadal shouting like that with an umpire.”

“Ramos is tough, one of the best umpires in the world. He did what he had to do in that match, because she overstepped the limit. Did she have to behave differently only because she was Serena Williams? I find it interesting that she did it only when she was losing.”

In the immediate aftermath of Williams’ meltdown the American’s claims of differential treatment for men and women were backed by the USTA president Katrina Adams and surprisingly for Strycova the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).

The Czech star was surprised by their defense of the former world number and she admitted concern about the possibility of the 23-time women’s Grand Slam champion being treated differently compared to the rest of the women players on the tour.

“Me, as a woman, take a lot of warnings,” the world number 25 added. “The WTA defence surprised me. Will rules change in Serena’s matches? If it’s like this, let me know.”