Twenty-three-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams said she would have faced much harsher penalties if she had behaved in the same way as Germany’s Alexander Zverev, who was kicked out of a tournament last month for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The world No. 3 was kicked out of the ATP 500 event in Acapulco after repeatedly slamming his racket against the referee’s chair following a doubles defeat.
Zverev was later fined $40,000 for the incident, which took him dangerously close to hitting referee Alessandro Germani.
“There is definitely a double standard,” former world number one Williams told CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour. “I’d probably be in jail if I did — literally, no joke.
Alexander Zverev was out of the Mexican Open after an attack on the referee’s seat
“I was once on probation,” she added, but grinning, refusing to continue talking when Amanpour inquired about the incident.
In 2009, the Grand Slam Commission sentenced Williams to two years’ probation and fined her $175,000 for a “serious offense of aggravated conduct” during her semifinal against eventual champion Kim Clijsters at the US Open.
The American collided with a linesman after she was called for a foot foul on a second serve at 15-30, 5-6 in the second set after losing the first.
Serena during the interview added that she is still committed to chasing the elusive Grand Slam number 24 but did not sound as if she is desperate about it.