Trouble in Tennis

Serena Williams has faced recent controversy over her tennis career.


Louis Lanzano/Tribune News Service

Serena Williams has won 23 grand slams, the most of any tennis player ever.

Lately, it seems tennis is against Serena Williams. She has been in and out of the news recently for issues that started in August of this year at the French Open and more recently in September at the U.S. Open.

In August, She wore an all-black catsuit to the French Open and was later told her outfit was disrespectful to the game and it would not be allowed in the future. French Open Federation President Bernard Giudicelli released a statement saying a dress code was to be enforced and singled her out.

“[When it comes to players’ outfits,] sometimes we’ve gone too far,” Giudicelli said according to, “The combination of Serena this year, for example, it will no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place.”

What infuriates many of Williams’ fans is that the catsuit was worn primarily for medical reasons. Williams has a blood clot disorder that she has battled for many years and has been more of an issue since the birth of her daughter.

Williams was yet again the face of controversy at the U.S. Open in September. In the finals, she played in the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center against newcomer and fan favorite, Naomi Osaka from Japan.

Osaka led the match 6-2 when the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos issued a warning to Williams for receiving coaching. She instantly went to Ramos and defended herself.

“You know my character,” Williams said according to, “This is not right. To lose a game for saying that, it’s not fair. I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose”

Ramos then docked a game from Williams in the second set for verbal abuse. She began to lead in the second set, then fell behind. Frustrated with the sudden loss, she smashed her racket and received a penalty from Ramos.

“Serena shouldn’t have acted the way she did, smashing the racket on the court was not appropriate for the sport,” senior tennis player Sam Burnes said.

Osaka won the finals with 12-6. At the awards ceremony, Osaka pulled her visor down to hide as she broke down into tears while the crowd booed her. Williams embraced Osaka and told the crowd to stop booing. Later, Osaka repeatedly apologized for winning and said she still respects and idolizes Williams.

She was fined $17,000 by the U.S. Tennis Association and her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, later admitted to signaling for her to move up. She continued to deny coaching and went on to call Mouratoglou “confused’, according to

Williams made a difficult return to tennis because of complications that occurred after the birth of her daughter, leaving fans asking why she would withdraw from the China open and end her 2018 season. As a new mom and the face of controversy, fans are left wondering what is next for Williams and how next season will play out.