Williams slams Indian Wells chief executive for controversial comments


Serena Williams has slammed Indian Wells chief executive Raymond Moore for his controversial comments regarding women's tennis, stating he has done a "disservice to all women".

Speaking ahead of the BNP Paribas Open final on Sunday, Moore claimed WTA players "ride on the mens' coattails" and they should "get down on their knees and thank God" for the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who he claimed have carried the sport.

Williams - who suffered a 6-4 6-4 defeat to Victoria Azarenka in the final - criticised the Indian Wells executive for his comments, suggesting they were an attack on every female on the planet.

"Obviously I don't think any woman should be down on their knees thanking anybody like that," said Williams.

"If I could tell you every day how many people say they don't watch tennis unless they're watching myself or my sister, I couldn't even bring up that number, so I don't think that's a very accurate statement.

"I think there are a lot of women out there who are very exciting to watch. I think there are a lot of men out there who are very exciting to watch. I think it definitely goes both ways.

"I think those remarks are very much mistaken and very, very, very inaccurate. We, as women, have come a long way. We shouldn't have to drop to our knees at any point.

"I'm still surprised [there is sexism] especially with me and Venus [Williams] and all the other women on the tour that have done well. Last year the women's final at the US Open sold out well before the men.

"I'm sorry, did Roger play in that final, or Rafa, or any man play in that final that was sold out before the men's final? I think not.

"I mean, you look at someone like Billie Jean King who opened so many doors, not only for women's players, but women's athletes in general.

"It is such a disservice to her and every female, not only a female athlete but every woman on this planet that has ever tried to stand up for what they believed in and been proud to be a woman."

Moore has since apologised for his comments in a statement: "At my morning breakfast with the media, I made comments about the WTA that were in extremely poor taste and erroneous.

"I am truly sorry for those remarks, and apologize to all the players and WTA as a whole. We had a women's final today that reflects the strength of the players, especially Serena and Victoria, and the entire WTA. Again, I am truly sorry for my remarks."