Serena Williams is known as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, if not the greatest. However, according to EuroSport, fellow tennis ace Dominic Thiem is saying that Meghan Markle’s friend has a “bad personality.” Thiem’s comments come after he was forced to leave his press conference to make way for the American athlete during the French Open.
After each tennis match, the players are expected to answer questions from the press. Thiem, who was in the finals of last year’s tournament, was talking to reporters about his advancement to the round of 16. Thiem is currently ranked as the fourth best tennis player in the world, behind tennis greats Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer.
However, in the middle of his conference, Thiem was told that he needed to clear out — to make room for Williams. In a video of the incident, one provided via Twitter, Thiem is vocal in his frustration.
“I don’t really get it, seriously. I mean, what the [heck]? No, but it’s a joke, really… I have to leave the room because she’s coming?”
When asked about the press conference at a later time, Thiem emphasized that his statements were less about his ego, and rather about “the principle” of ending another player’s conference for Williams.
“It doesn’t matter, if it is me who sits in there. I still made a wrong statement. I said that I am not a junior anymore. But even if a junior is in there, every player has to wait,” he told a reporter in German.
Thiem also slammed the “personality” of the younger Williams sister.
“It also shows a bad personality in my opinion. I am 100 percent sure Federer or Nadal would never do something like that.”
Some outlets, however, have come to Williams’ defense, saying that tournament organizer Roland Garros was more to blame than the player. According to Fox Sports Asia, Williams had told event organizers that she wanted an immediate press conference following her shock loss to Sofia Kenin. The tennis star explained that if she had to wait, she would leave. The report also claims that Williams was under the impression that there was an empty room available.
It was the organizers that then ushered out Thiem in order to accommodate Serena Williams. A source told the newspaper that when Williams learned out the press conference shuffle, she said, “it’s rude.”
In the aftermath of the incident, Williams has not made any public comments — either to reporters or on Twitter. In addition to participating in the French Open, the tennis champ recently visited her friend — the Duchess of Sussex — to see Markle’s newborn son, Archie.