Alexis Ohanian, husband to American tennis great Serena Williams has hit back at comments made about his wife’s age and weight by the director of the Madrid Open, Ion Tiriac.
Tiriac made the controversial comments while appearing on a TV station in Romania, where he is quoted by Eurosport as having accused Williams of lacking decency because of her insistence to continue playing at the age of thirty-nine.
He further went ahead to suggest that Williams is overweight and incapable of regaining the ability she possessed in tones at her peak. “At her current age and weight, she does not move as well as she did fifteen years ago. If she had a little decency, she would retire.”
It is not the first time Tiriac has attacked Williams having made similar criticisms three years ago in the build-up to the 2018 edition of the Madrid Open. On that occasion, she responded by calling Tiriac’s words ignorant and sexist and suggesting that he was an ignorant person.
This time though, she has chosen to remain silent and has ignored the comments. Instead, it’s been her husband Ohanian who has come out to William’s defence declaring through his Twitter account that, “Safe to say that no one gives a damn what Ion Tiriac thinks.”
Ion Tiriac has on several occasions made outrageous comments against Serena Williams
“Serena was a sensational player. If she had a little decency, she would retire! From all points of view,” said Tiriac while appearing on Romanian television.
Fans also slammed Tiriac’s unprovoked criticism as Twitter user ‘Loy Rab’ called Tiriac a ‘disgusting person’ for his second tirade at Williams.
Williams, who is still chasing a 24th Grand Slam which would tie her with Margaret Court on top of the list of women with the most-grand slam titles has not played at a major tournament since withdrawing from her second-round match with Tsvetana Pironkova at the French Open with an Achilles injury.
She intends to make her comeback at next month’s Australian Open, an event she has won a record seven times. Williams is the third-oldest player on the WTA tour, at 39, and is ranked World No.11. Since 2018, she has reached four Grand Slam finals.
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Author: Timothy Ainebyoona
Timothy is a dynamic analyst passionate about news and all things sport.