Serena Williams’ third-round loss at the French Open also had a big impact on Dominic Thiem.
The Austrian, fresh off a Round of 32 win, had his post-match press conference cut short after Williams made her earliest Grand Slam exit in five years at Roland Garos in a loss to Sofia Kenin.
Thiem was fuming after being told to move his presser to a smaller room so Williams could be accommodated.
“It is just the principle,” Thiem told Eurosport German. “Even if a junior is in there, every player has to wait.
“It also shows a bad personality in my opinion. I am 100 percent sure (Roger) Federer or (Rafael) Nadal would never do something like that.”
Federer and former player Boris Becker were among those who came to Thiem’s defense at being moved.
“I think the one who is still in the tournament gets priority, that’s how I see it,” Federer told reporters at his presser after reaching the quarterfinals on Sunday. “There must have been a misunderstanding or maybe they should have kept Serena still in the locker room, not waiting here in the press centre. … I don’t know exactly what happened. I understand Dominic’s frustration. I don’t think he’s mad at Serena or anybody. I just think it was an unfortunate situation.”
According to French outlet L’Equipe, Williams didn’t seem to care where her press conference took place, offering to go into another room, though she made it clear she wanted to get it over with. She also seemed to not agree with moving Thiem, being overheard saying, “That’s really impolite.”
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