Serena Williams has a ‘bad personality,’ according to Austrian player Dominic Thiem

Athletes compete at the 2019 French Open Tennis Tournament

On Saturday, Serena Williams lost in the third round of the French Open. She was defeated by a young Russian-American player named Sofia “Sonya” Kenin, who basically didn’t give Serena room to breathe for so much of anything in the match. That being said, Serena played badly and she knew she played badly – she hadn’t come into the French with enough match-time, and it showed. It was difficult to watch, but Serena said afterwards that she was thinking about playing a grass-court event ahead of Wimbledon, so here’s hoping.

It wasn’t enough of a story – I guess?? – that Serena lost. Certain tennis fans and sports journalists also had to make her sound like a diva and a sore loser, the kind of sore loser who would “demand” that another player leave the media room so she could give her press conference. First of all, these press conferences are required of players – they get fined if they don’t speak to the press after a win or loss. Second of all, this story got WAY out of hand online this weekend. The first version was “Diva/sore loser Serena single-handed throws Austrian Dominic Thiem out of the press room!” The reality seemed to be that Thiem – who is the ATP #4 and French Open ‘18 finalist – was in the larger main conference room, and Serena apparently requested another media room when she saw that Thiem was in the other room. French Open officials were the ones who tried to rush Thiem out of his presser, and he got pretty mad about it:

Thiem took issue with Serena being prioritized, and I understand that. It was rude. Serena agreed:

But I guess it didn’t occur to Thiem that there had been a misunderstanding and that French Open organizers screwed up, not Serena personally. Thiem gave an interview to Eurosport yesterday – a full day after the incident – and he said this:

Dominic Thiem has accused Serena Williams of showing a “bad personality” after his Roland Garros press conference was pulled to accomodate the American veteran. Thiem was addressing the media following his victory against Pablo Cuevas on Saturday when he was told to vacate the press room to make way for Williams, who had just lost to Sofia Kenin.

“Actually, I wasn’t angry or frustrated. Maybe for a couple of minutes or so. It is just the principle,” he told Eurosport Germany. “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. It is a matter of course. It also shows a bad personality in my opinion. I am 100 percent sure Federer or Nadal would never do something like that.”

[From Eurosport]

A “bad personality”? Come on. All because the French Open organizers screwed up and… like, prioritized a 23-Slam-winning legend of the sport over a… very promising player who hasn’t won a Slam? I’m not saying the French Open people didn’t legitimately screw up, but I do wonder if this was just an easy screw-up to make: Serena is a bigger name than Thiem. More people were interested in what she had to say after a loss than what Thiem had to say after a win.

TENNIS : Roland Garros 2019 French Open - 06/01/2019

Guests are seen at the French Open 2019

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red and Backgrid.

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163 Responses to “Serena Williams has a ‘bad personality,’ according to Austrian player Dominic Thiem”

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  1. aiobhan targaryen says:

    Uggh.. He should have just sat there and ate his food.

    At this point I dont even know what to say about the press when it comes to her. Most of the time it is over exaggerated or racist trash.

    • Xi Tang says:

      He really shouldn’t have called her that. Serena is a pretty easy target.
      The thing with players like Thiem is that whenever they are asked about things that should actually concern them (like doping and gambling in the ATP) they become very diplomatic. They’ll die before giving any opinion on these matters that are ruining tennis.
      But they do have an announcement ready whenever Serena is concerned. And you bet your ass he wouldn’t have said that about novak or nadal.

    • charo says:

      She is so big. Big talent. Big star. Big and bold personality. Big dark-skinned body. People like him are overwhelmed by her.

      Lizzo can get away with being an overwhelming big black woman, because people are just there to have fun, but somehow tennis is rougher. Maybe it’s the white, elitist history.

      The Pres. of the US just attacked Megan Markle verbally; always after the women of color.
      How did that work for people who went after Michelle Obama? The woman who called her an “ape in heels” got fired from her govt. job — and just got sentenced to prison for embezzling FEMA funds.

      Serena’s big, strong, and sometimes her own worst enemy, if she plays when she’s not ready to.

      But I’d rather watch her than anyone.

    • Snappyfish says:

      He is dead to me now

  2. Snowflake says:

    I don’t blame him for being upset. It was a big moment for him and they tried to rush him out like he was unimportant. But it wasn’t Serena’s fault. I hope he gets told that if he doesn’t know it by now.

    • hindulovegod says:

      It was a day later when the truth was well known. Thiem decided to make a little name for himself off of Serena, like the pundit whose lie started this mess. Thiem showed us all how putrid his personality is. Vamos, Rafa!

    • Mikaela says:

      Yes it was Serena’s fault. She IS a tennis player just like him, she has already been through this, she understands what it means. Even if the organisers screwed up she could have said, no it’s ok, i can wait 2 secs. Come on, this “the people we like are perfect the others are ALWAYS wrong” is a sad mentality. And very widespread here.

      • Des says:

        Can you read? Let me put it in simple terms:
        1. Serena has to give a press conference and asks that she do so sooner than later.
        2. Organizers try to rush Thiem out.
        3. Serena realizes what is happening and says she would rather have another room.
        4. Thiem has already left.
        5. Serena gives press conference.
        6. Reporter in search of clicks says it’s all Serena’s tantrums.
        7. Truth emerges.
        8. Thiem decides to blame Serena after truth emerges.
        9. CB writes about it.
        10. Mikaela comes on CB and decides to reveal s/he can’t read.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        excuse me? SHE REQUESTED ANOTHER ROOM. how is it “her fault” if she had NOTHING to do with the event officials asking him to leave?

        and the truth of what happened is out, and he is STILL perpetuating the rumor that it was her “diva request”.

        so, yeah…HE is wrong about what happened, and SHE did nothing wrong. has nothing to do with “the people we like are perfect”.

      • Mikaela says:

        @Des so glad i got to meet you here 🙂 during my big reveal. You see that I can write, though.
        I can only hope you’ll be here for my next faux pas so that you prove to with me how wrong I am with another 10 point list. Sure does put things in perspective.

      • Anonymous says:

        @Mikaela …“prove to with me”? Nope, you can’t write either.

      • Julie says:

        The other room was also being used. There was no empty room for her to use and she knew that, so she was asking the organisers to clear a room for her. That means kicking someone out.

        If that’s not what she wanted, when she saw that both rooms were in use she’d have said she’d take the fine instead and THEN LEFT. By hanging around telling she needed to do the press conference now she was letting the organisers know she expected them to accomodate her. The only way for them to do that was to cut someone else short. She knew what she was asking for.

      • i totally agree, she could have just waited

      • charo says:

        Whatever she does she’ll get slammed for. If she waits, she’ll get blamed for being a diva. If she asks for another room, she’ll get blamed. She can’t win at this point.

      • otaku fairy... says:

        What Des said. It’s being blown out of proportion and really doesn’t seem like it’s her fault.

      • Not a snowflake says:

        Micaela – +1000, also the descent into the gutter of personal insults when one disagrees with a point

  3. ByTheSea says:

    And I wonder if he would’ve pitched that fit if it had been Federer or Nadal…

    • TQ says:


    • Eleonor says:

      So this.

    • HK9 says:

      There would have been silence and we all know it.

    • babco says:


    • whatWHAT? says:

      yeah, this. he probably would have invited the dude in to sit with him at the table.

    • snazzy says:

      Exactly this. Thing is when I read “Serena has a bad personality” My first thought was who cares? We don’t love her for her personality, we love her because she kicks a** and takes names. We have to stop hating on women because they are not nice or whatever. She wants (and we want her) to play tennis and win, not run an energy healing yoga retreat. Pfft

      • Hoot says:

        I agree with Kaiser, the blame lies with whoever was in charge, lack of communication, timing of events, etc. Sheesh. Look at the situation (NOT speaking to the fallout the next day) fairly from both athletes’ perspectives and you can understand, if you have competed at a high level, the reaction of each.

        Williams is feeling bad/frustrated about her defeat after working her *ss off since giving birth, has baby/husband in the back of her mind, absolutely hates losing (as most ppl at the top do) in the sport she has mad passion for, and just wants this over and done with.

        Theim having just experienced a great victory to move on in the tournament feels he is being chased out of his “shining moment,” interview (that he is entitled to have), gets indignant when asked to move and reflexively misspeaks. So at the time this happens I understand both players’ reactions. NOT saying I agree, saying I understand.

        The problem is that Theim’s statement the following day reflects poorly on him.
        1) He cannot be 100 percent sure of two other athletes’ reactions in an emotional situation, and 2) he shows a lack of empathy for a (top) fellow athlete. (Plus, I think Nadal and Federer would’ve rather been left out of THIS conversation.)

  4. vinfobox says:

    Can’t blame Thiem for being upset, it is extremely rude to be kicked out of the room in the middle of the interview regardless or who caused it. Poor form for RG to not own up to their mistake and explain what happened to Thiem.

    Agree that reporters are just fishing for controversy though.

    • Megan says:

      Serena is the GOAT. His behavior was disrespectful and immature. Further trash talking her is just gross. He needs to grow the eff up.

      • The Dot says:

        Serena is phenomenal, hands down one of the best. That doesn’t mean everyone and their sister needs to make way for her. It sounds like that was the scenario presented to this dude, and he reacted badly, but in a way many of us would. It was rude to rush him out of his interview, full stop. We know now that wasn’t Serena’s fault. It really seems like she tried to get the other room. But we also don’t know what’s been said to him (correctly or incorrectly) behind the scenes to make him issue this statement.

      • Megan says:

        Maybe we should be asking the question of how Serena would be acting if the tables were turned? Do you really think she would trash talk another player to the press?

  5. TQ says:

    Yep, as said above, it’s unfortunate that he got pushed out of the room. But he wouldn’t have pulled this on Nadal or Federer. Even when he knew the truth he still carried on a day later going down that stereotype road of framing this as a Black woman’s anger/diva behaviour. His thinly coded ‘bad personality’ language shows where he’s at. Screw him and his racist stereotypes.

    • whatWHAT? says:


      preach it.

    • babco says:

      And I m clapping too.

    • Col says:

      Actually he said Nadal and Federer wouldn’t have done what Serena did. She did pressure the officials and said she didn’t want to wait. The other room was too small and had no cameras. This story was misrepresented but Serena played her part. Roger said he always gives priority to the player who won as they have another match to prep for, whereas if you lost you are not in a hurry. Dominic has always had a rep for being as super nice guy so imo he should be given more credit. He didn’t have to say she had a bad personality, but when comments like this are made by normally fair, easygoing people it’s bc they are actually difficult behind the scenes sometimes. Serena is the goat but she’s not mother Theresa.

      Her opponent may have irritated her too, calling all the lines and strutting around like she owned the place.

      • buensenso says:

        everything you said. I can’t believe people are hating on thiem just because he criticized serena.

      • Elisa says:

        Well said. Thiem is one of best players on clay and I hope he makes it to the finals. I have been following him for a while and he is usually extremely polite and has excellent manners, on court and in interviews. He was right to criticize her, he shouldn`t have made the “bad personality” comment, though.

      • elsbeth says:

        Col: Well said! So much better, concisely expressed than what I wrote! Thank you!

      • Not a snowflake says:

        Preach it louder for those at the back🗣🗣🗣🙌🏾!

  6. Chisey says:

    They talked about this on The Tennis Podcast yesterday. From what they said, Serena told the organizers that she wanted to go straight to press without waiting, or she would just leave without doing press and pay the fine. I guess she thought the smaller room was available when she said this, although the podcast commentator said there actually was a small conference going on in the room, it was just so small and weirdly organized that it was hard to even see on the monitor. So booting Thiem was definitely the organizers’ call and their fault, but they were also dealing with Serena threatening to leave without press if she had to wait, which is probably not something Fed or Nadal would do. However, she probably thought she was just requesting the empty (or so she thought) smaller room instead of booting someone. So like a lot of Serena drama, it’s so complicated that it makes my head hurt.

    • The Dot says:

      So it sounds like it WAS a little pushy on Serena’s part but also a failure to explain the situation on behalf of the organizers. Now his statement makes more sense.

  7. Sally says:

    Tennis twitter is pretty toxic, but that NYT guy Ben Rotherberg who started this nonsense is just the worst. It’s not the first time he f-s up and he always skates by. Like it was obvious that the organizers were at fault in how they went about it.
    And so what if she’d have left. These press conferences are some of the most asinine things out there. Like what pearl of wisdom would we have missed if she didn’t stick by the conference. “I played badly, she played good, she’s a promising talent”.
    It’s ridiculous that a venue like the Roland Garros doesn’t have more media rooms available.

    And Thiem can sit down with his racist dog whistles.

    • elaine says:

      For God’s sake, how is he a racist? He has the right to be upset because he hot thrown out of his press conference. The organisers screwed up, Serena threw one of her queen, goddess shenanigans once again, and that’s it. She should have just left and paid the fine like Venus has done many times. I respect Venus’ no-nonsense attitude.

      • MrsBanjo says:

        Except she was going to. The organisers pushed him out because THEY didn’t want her to leave. And she stated when she found out they did that, that it was rude of them. Even a day later when the truth was known, he blames her and uses tropes to do it. That is racism and misogyny 101. You’re blaming her when it wasn’t her doing. Blame Roland Garros.

      • Sally says:

        @ Elaine: You people are showing your racist faces all over this thread. What was the point of saying she has a bad personality 24 hours after the fact when the mess was cleared and it was obvious that the organizers were at fault. Why didn’t he criticize the organizers for booting him out. Just because he used a dog whistle from the Angry Black Women vein doesn’t mean it didn’t have a racist undercurrent.

      • elaine says:

        @mrsbanjo It is mainly RG’s fault. Thiem probably knows only what he was told by the organizers. But she could have waited a bit longer like all other players do. And if they don’t feel like going through a press conference they leave and pay the fine. But of course everyone has to turn this into yet another cause for Rena’s army. In my opinion, Thiem said nothing racist.

      • elaine says:

        @sally Of course, I was waiting for that. Just because I dare to say that she could have waited a little longer and don’t fawn over Serena I am automatically I racist. She’s the GOAT, but not above criticism. Could you be less predictable?

      • whatWHAT? says:

        “Serena threw one of her queen, goddess shenanigans once again”

        except that she didn’t. and that’s been made public knowledge.

        but tell us again how you’re not racist.

      • Megan says:

        Serena is a global brand. When she wins it’s news, when she loses it’s even bigger news. Roland Garros knows whose presser will be broadcast in major international markets and whose will not. Keeping the world interested in tennis directly impacts their bottom line. Thiem needs to understand that he is part of an industry that will prioritize profit over his feelings.

      • bonobochick says:

        Whew… the misogynoir just jumps out!

      • buensenso says:

        elaine, of course it wasn’t racist. what he said could be applied to a white person, if that was the case. but people can’t seem to grasp the fact that not everything is about race. people get into conflicts all the time, misunderstandings happen, somebody gets angry, somebody gets hurt…if this happened between thiem and azarenka, if he said she had bad personality, I wonder what people would say then.

      • Megan says:

        @ buensenso Where I live, everything is about race.

      • Jadedone says:

        I don’t see what he said as racist, petty perhaps, but not everything is about race when it comes to Serena. Some people on this thread are making it seem like if you say anything bad about Serena then it’s racist, some times people have opinions about people based on their interactions with them, end of story.

      • ADS says:

        “For God’s sake, how is he a racist?… Serena threw one of her queen, goddess shenanigans once again, and that’s it. She should have just left and paid the fine.”

        This how he and you are both racist. Always assuming the worst of a black woman. Just taking a moment to google would reveal to you that she did say she would just pay the fine and go. She did not throw a “queen goddess shananigans” fit. You are just ASSUMING she did. Why?

    • Gingerbee says:

      💯 correct Sally. I have seen how Serena and Venus were treated throughout the years on the tennis circuit.

    • Surly Gale says:

      To discern racism, is it fair to ask: would he have said this about a white player, specifically a white, female player? Would he have said this of (oh, dear, I don’t know tennis all that well…sorry, not current) of Martina of Billie Jean? Because I somewhat suspect not, I’m going to somewhat believe this incident is hallmarked by ‘white privilege’ mentality. And because she’s a woman, it was even easier to slam her as a ‘bad personality’ so ultimately I see this as ‘white, male privilege’ which comes under the ‘war on women’ mentality. To say: “I’m disappointed not to be able to enjoy my moment” is one thing. To say: “you have a bad personality; it’s your fault my moment is spoiled” is pretty damn rude, for all the reasons.

      • buensenso says:

        I am completely sure it had nothing to do with her being black. if it was sharapova, he’d be as angry as he was now. because it feels bad to be humiliated and thrown out of a conference because somebody thinks you are less important than somebody else.

  8. Karen2 says:

    I like her outfit a lot. Also leaving & holding the ball boys hand despite her probable disappointment says a lot about her GOOD personality.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      she is a kind person, and she DOES have a good personality.

      what so many characterize as “diva” behavior, or “bad personality” is her competitiveness, which most professionals at her level have an abundance of. the difference is HOW it’s characterized…if it’s a man, it’s encouraged, praised, etc.

      when it’s a woman…well…she’s a “diva”, she’s “difficult”, she’s “not likable”, she’s “demanding”… add to this that Williams is a POC, and that just adds to the discrepancy.

    • Col says:

      They only hold hands with the kids on the way in.

  9. Biggles says:

    Well, I disagree on this particular topic and will stick up for Thiem. While this whole incident is entirely on the tournament directors and organisers, who behaved extremely poorly during and have done since, it could all have been avoided if Serena had been willing to wait the 20 minutes or so for Thiem to finish, as is pretty customary for all players post match press. I think she tried to throw her weight around a little because she didn’t want to wait, and unfortunately it wasn’t handled well and backfired, even though that wasn’t Serena’s intention. And Thiem was completely in the right to be annoyed at how he was treated: regardless of the fact that he should be treated with respect anyway, he is a big clay court star, last year’s runner up at this very event, and had just fought his way into the second week – it was his moment too. Just very poorly handled all round, and of course the press are having a field day and making the players pay.

    I don’t judge Thiem for his comment either. He didn’t call Serena herself a bad personality, only that her actions were indicative of a bad personality – and it was only afterwards that it came out that Serena thought it was impolite to move him and had been happy to go to media room 2 instead, to give it a little context. Plus he is widely regarded as one of the nicest people in tennis, is one of the relatively few mens players that hits with the women, and has always had a very sweet and down to earth personality on and off court, so any true animosity towards Serena herself, rather the instance itself, would be very unlikely and wildly out of character.

    • Sally says:

      But how is it her fault. She was willing to leave and take the fine. And let’s be real, other players have also done this and no one said of them that they have a bad personality.

      • Biggles says:

        Not particularly – a very similar situation happened with Djokovic at the French just last year, except that he just walked straight into the other, smaller room for his conference, as Serena should have done. I don’t think it’s her fault as she wasn’t to know how the organisers would react to her request, but I think she was a little immature in basically saying “it’s now or I’m leaving” over very routine (if very unappealing) situation that all players have to go through.

      • The Dot says:

        Doing those press conferences are literally part of the job. That’s why the get fined if they don’t do it. So when a big, big, big star like Serena threatens to walk, organizers are going to accommodate her. She knows it and so do they. They know there’s press that wants that conference to happen, and tennis fans want to hear what she has to say too. I think if the shoe were on the other foot, and this guy demanded a room or he would leave, we would all rightfully give him shit for throwing his weight around and being disrespectful of another athelete’s time.

      • Sally says:

        @Biggles: But as others have pointed out, that’s exactly what she wanted. She requested the smaller room and then the organizers made a mess of things.

      • Sally says:

        @The Dot: Yeah, I don’t think so because there have been ALL the other instances where players have skipped and we didn’t make a big deal of it.

      • Gingerbee says:

        Yep, Serena will get blamed for this too, even though it was the organizers fault. SMH.

      • Megan says:

        @Biggles – I used to have a cat named Biggles. She was a medium coat exotic tortie.

      • Julie says:

        If she wanted to leave she should have just left. That’s what players do if they want to take the fine, they just skip it altogether, no discussion, no suggestion they’ll stay if their demands are accommodated.

        If you’re a big player and you hang around threatening to leave if you don’t get into a press conference right away, then you’re asking the organisers to get you into a press conference right away, and the only reason you wouldn’t already be in one is because other people already are (the smaller press room was also being used). Serena knew exactly what she was asking here. Both rooms were being used and she was threatening to leave if one wasn’t made available immediately. The only way that was possible if is someone was kicked out. Maybe she thought the organisers would handle it better or something, but she’s not stupid, she knew she was asking for someone else’s press conference to be cut short.

    • Beach Dreams says:

      Plenty of other top players have thrown their weight around after a loss. Just last year, Djokovic pushed his way into the smaller conference room after losing early at the French Open. Thiem felt the need to speak again and denigrate Serena’s character even after things were clarified, which tells me all I need to know about him when he doesn’t have his ‘polite’ face on.

    • Elisa says:

      Thiem IS one of the nicest and kindest players on tour, he hardly ever makes a fuss and plays extremely fair.
      I’m rolling my eyes at all the nasty comments on here, maybe some people should actually watch his next match to see what he is like.

      • buensenso says:

        great point. people who never watch tennis and had never heard of thiem until now are judging him just because he dared to criticize the popular and beloved serena.

      • ADS says:

        No, he is not. Sorry. White people who are nice and polite to other white people, but are comfortable mischaracterising and villianising people of colour are not nice. They are unpleasant people who happen to behave pleasantly to those who are like them.

      • Pamela says:

        Ugh w people making everything about Serena about race. I’m sure if it was a white woman making this to Thiem they would criticize her. Just bc it’s Serena, doesn’t mean it’s right. All the players wait, it doesn’t matter how many grand slams she has, it doesn’t matter if she’s upset, it doesn’t matter if she’s a woman, if she doesn’t want to wait, pay the fine, not threat to leave. Thiem never said anything racist against her, he’s one of the nicest guys in the circuit to EVERYONE. Anyone that follows tennis knows this. And I’ve never heard of anyone being asked to cut their press conference short for another player, but when it’s about Serena everyone makes excuses.

  10. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Whew the coded anti-blackness and misogyny is on FULL display.

    • ADS says:

      Seriously. And the gymnastics that certain commenters are engaging in in order make this Serena’s fault, despite the fact that it obviously was not her fault, could win some olympic medals.

      • Hoot says:

        It all IS pretty funny though, because I can picture Serena right now shaking her head at people making fools of themselves continuing this conversation, while she is playing with her baby after having an awesome massage on her tortured muscles. She is already onto her next thing (hopefully avoiding ANY media).
        The comments here are showing me that most have not competed at a high level of sport – and that’s ok, I understand. But I think Serena WAS being gracious enough, considering how she must’ve felt after losing. I would’ve left. Screw’em.

  11. Beach Dreams says:

    Please. Fed and/or Nadal absolutely would do the same (they’ve both been very crabby after their losses) and Thiem wouldn’t have said a damn thing if it was one of them. He wanted more attention off of this stupid incident and he certainly got it. Here’s hoping that he suffers a quick loss to Monfils today.

  12. MrsDeAndre says:

    Actually haven’t we heard consistently over the years that she really isn’t pleasant after a loss especially? I’m not either and I’m just a regular sis! She is the GOAT and has earned everyone respect but she is the biggest player in the building and of Course the organizers are going to scramble and rush out the little guys if she ask, that’s not her fault. What she could have just said though is laugh and say “look y’all screwed up the schedule it’s cool let the boy have his 90 seconds and I’ll speak in a minute.” The press is gon wait for her, everyone is, and a few min isn’t ruining the rest of her day schedule. To me, that would have been the right and best way for a superstar like her to handle it. And yeah I do think Murray would have done that.

  13. TheOriginalMia says:

    I had to unfollow a guy who was spouting Serena is a diva bs on my timeline. Bye bye. Tired of white men bagging on Serena. She’s not your punching bag. A mistake was made. It wasn’t the end of the world. No need for the histrionics. Win a slam or 23, Dominic. I hope Rafa wipes you off the court in straight sets.

  14. anp says:

    Perhaps Thiem was just telling the truth about her.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      A “truth” that no other player has seemed to experience with her but go off.

      • Cindy says:

        Thiem is definitely NOT the first person to say Serena acts very salty and bratty after her losses.

      • Col says:

        Did you watch the us open final last yr VV? Naomi was beyond mortified.

    • ADS says:

      He was not telling the truth. She did not ask that he be removed from the room. She said it was rude that he was turfed out. And by the time he did that second interview he had apparently been told that. It was certainly public knowledge.

  15. LadyLaw says:

    I’d have a bad personality too if I was criticized every time I took a breath.

  16. HK9 says:

    Why does she have to be pleasant all the time? We know this was handled badly by the organizers and had nothing to do with her. He did this because she’s a black woman and he knows he can get away with this. He’d never do it to anyone else, let’s not play here.

    • stephanie says:

      thats what I’m saying. Why does she have to play nice all the time? Why can’t she throw her weight around? She’s earned it and Men do that all the time.

      Double standard in tennis. I don’t know how she deals with that culture

      • ADS says:

        The fact is she didn’t even throw her weight around! She said it was out of line that they threw him out of the room! This is what irks me; it is common knowledge that she had no hand in how he was treated. Yet she still gets the blame!

    • Elisa says:

      The same applies to Thiem who always plays nice. Why does he have to be pleasant all the time (which he actually is)? Double standards, much?

      • stephanie says:

        personally i think this whole thing is a big “Who cares?!”.

        Serena is GOAT, literally one of the most famous athletes on planet earth and this is just some sour grapes from a lesser known, lessor famous and less talented Thiem.

      • Elisa says:

        Thiem beat Monfils today and his tweener is shot of the tournament:

      • kerwood says:

        Perhaps he should be unpleasant to the people who actually did something to him. His lashing out at Serena, who is blameless, shows that he’s a bit of an asshole. But I guess he knows who he can lash out at and get away with it. He wouldn’t dare do it to Federer or Nadal because he would be put in his place. This guy is attacking one of the greatest athletes of all time and nobody (other than the people on this site) seem to be telling him to take a seat. Serena Williams is one of the easiest targets on earth. A lot like her friend, the Duchess of Sussex.

    • Col says:

      HK9 & Stephanie, if she’s going to throw her weight around, pressure people and threaten to leave, there’s going to be people who don’t like it. There’s a code of conduct players adhere to, and she didn’t. And no, the men on tour don’t do it all the time. It didn’t have “nothing to do with her” The organizers are at fault but she put them in an uncomfortable, stressful situation.

      • Xi Tang says:

        @Col you’re all over this thread talking outta your ass. We don’t know that any of these things actually happened. Who did she pressured and threatened?
        Also your comment from above about Naomi being “mortified”…the hell? The crowd was booing and it’s Serena’s fault? You don’t like her we get ot. Just stop lying.

      • HK9 says:

        @ Col
        She was prepared to take the fine, and the organizers bungled the rest period. This was not her fault. There are several seats you can take….

      • Not a snowflake says:

        Col, really pleased you’re out here speaking facts, irrespective of Serena’s status. You can admire Serena as a GOAT and still find some of her behaviour questionable. The two aren’t mutually exclusive!

  17. Patty says:

    I love Serena but let’s be real here, she can be a brat and a sore loser. Same with Federer, same with Nadal, etc. There’s no need to try and act like our faves are saints because they’re not. That being said, what happened with the presser is mostly the fault of the organizers. But the initial narrative made it seem as though it was mostly on Serena.

    • Cindy says:

      I agree. A bad story comes out about a celeb that’s disliked in this site, everyone takes it at face value and accepts it. When it’s a celebrity that’s liked, it’s over analyzed, discredited, and the people standing against the celeb are called all sorts of things.

    • ADS says:

      “I love Serena but let’s be real here, she can be a brat and a sore loser.”

      Nope. The overt and disgusting racism she has dealt with her whole career has led to her toughened exterior. She is not a brat and a sore loser, she is an exemplary once in a generation athlete. She got there by being a perfectionist. And she did it despite the dispiriting and unearned vitriol that follows her everywhere she goes. Please let’s not pretend like she is some spoiled little girl who acts like the world owes her something simply for breathing. She has been through the wars and still keeps going. That is what makes her the GOAT.

  18. Snowslow says:

    This is ports after all, with lots of emotions and money at stake.
    Serena tried to skip the press because she played really poorly and wanted to go home, the organisation made a bad decision, Thiem thought it was Serena pushing him out and was a bit annoyed. All fine, it’s a misunderstanding and a bit of bruised ego stuff going around. Everyone has their moments.
    But saying someone has a “bad personality” is not very… elegant, let’s say.

  19. Jane says:

    Yeah , I’m Serena been known to be a sore loser. It’s not like this is inconceivable. She threatened to leave if she had to wait and the organizers knew people were interested in her the most. So they tried to accommodate by removing a lesser known player. Serve may have been okay with a diff room but she knows bigger rooms are needed because the press is there for her. People are forgetting that if the staff didn’t accommodate Serena and the press , they would have heard it from management above. Do I think Thiem woulda done this if it was another man? Nope. There def is sexism at play. But this was also Serena being a sore loser. She just needed to wait

    • ADS says:

      Nope. She said he should not have been turfed out. It is not on her that the organisers wanted him out. She wanted to go in a smaller room. These are all known facts. Why are people so determined to paint a different picture?

      • Pamela says:

        The smaller room was also occupied by Khachanov. It didn’t show in the monitors, but several reporters confirmed this. All 3 rooms were occupied, one by Djokovic, one by Thiem & one by Khachanov. Yes, there was a problem of organization, but this happens in all the tournaments & the players wait. She could have waited. It was also reported that she didn’t say that it was “rude” that Thiem was kicked out, what it was rude was that they were making her wait. I get people stan Serena, you can stan someone & still consider they make mistakes.

      • ADS says:

        I’m not a ‘stan’ I’m a black woman who knows these moves only too well. For me this is a race issue pure and simple.

        Please read an article on the matter:

        PLEASE NOTE: Serena was overheard saying “it’s really rude” as the switch was happening.

        Those reporting on this – who were there and know what happened are charactersing this as a clear error on the part of the RG people. There is no basis for characterising her as a ‘bad person’ in this instance. The only reason I therefore can see is racism. Pure and simple. And that is why I am aggravated.

    • Pamela says:

      Yes, and I’m a Latina & it’s not all about race. Bc you’re a black woman, you identify w Serena & that’s ok. I identify w Hispanic players too & I want them to win & when they make mistakes, I don’t make excuses. Not everything is about racism, and yes I understand in US there’s a big history in the treatment to black people. Second, you guys acuse the media twisting things against Serena. They also are twisting things against Federer & Thiem. Some people are saying Federer said that the whole thing was funny, he never said that, he said Thiem english accent was funny bc they both are native german speakers & even in german Thiem has an accent. Also, Thiem never said Serena had a bad personality, he said & here’s the link instead of reports of he said or she said, in the video he says he should have never mentioned the junior thing bc “it’s about respect, the whole thing its about not showing a bad attitude”. He never mentioned Serena & he was speaking in German. But whatever, grasp for straws to defend something that shouldn’t be defended

      • ADS says:

        So which is it? Was it all a big misunderstanding and he never accused her of having a “bad personality”? Or is that she was responsible for getting him kicked out and she does indeed have a bad personality? Because you appeared to be saying the latter in your previous post and now you are falling back on the former.

        You have also conflated another issue: my being black was cited by me because I recognise this unjustified anger that often gets directed at black women even when we have done nothing wrong – especially when we dare to be successful in a field that white men feel they should dominate. I.e. Serena did not have him kicked out and she stated that it was rude that he was kicked out. It clearly was not on her that it went down the way it did. And by the way, they put Thiem in a smaller room. So there actually was a smaller free room that they could have put Serena in – as per her specific request. My guess is that they wanted to accommodate more press because she is a much bigger star and they didn’t really spend much time thinking about Thiem or Williams preferences.

        By the by, if you read my post and your take away was that I’m black and she is black and so I just want her to win everything then you have really missed not only the whole point of this debate, but several elements of the whole problem of racism. Either way, considering your rate of goalpost movement, Latina or no, I suggest you you sincerely re-examine your own conscience around this issue.

  20. buensenso says:

    I don’t know what exactly was on serena’s mind or thiem’s for that matter, but what I do know is that it’s very mean and inaccurate to say he’s racist because saying somebody has a bad personality is not a racist statement.

    • Col says:

      Exactly. No one here can read his mind or know what he’s experienced. Imagined if it was the other way around and he was in Serena’s position. He would be called racist and sexist for trying to push a black woman out like his time is more valuable than hers.

  21. Starkiller says:

    Dominic Thiem can eat sh1t. Even if this actually happened (and I’ll need receipts from someone other than that embarrassing excuse for a “reporter” Ben Rothenberg that it did), that’s on the tournament organizers. They should never have allowed it. What’s really bad is that Dominic Thiem has literally never been known to raise his voice before now—he’s known to be one of the most low-key, even keeled players on tour. But look out, a black American woman wants in his seat and he’s suddenly hulking out. He’s revealed himself to be a racist, a misogynist AND a xenophobe in one fell swoop. Well done, asshat!

    • Col says:

      And you are making too many assumptions without knowing his intentions. Players follow a protocol and agree to an interview time. Unless you think threatening/pressuring people to get your own way is a cool way to treat people. Look, I like Serena, I understand she was upset. So is every player after a shitty loss. Doesn’t mean she’s always a peach to deal with.

    • Cindy says:

      “he’s suddenly hulking out”

      Huh? He was kicked out of his own press conference, and then he said she has a bad personality after literally being asked about this incident in an interview.

      Funny how people here are so willing to give Serena the benefit of the doubt despite her reputation as a salty loser, but they don’t think 2 seconds before stamping the “racist and mysoginist” stamp on Thiem despite his reputation as a nice guy.

      Just to clarify I’m not blaming Serena here, I just think people are making some pretty extreme assumptions about Thiem because he dared say something negative about a celebrity you like. That sort of stan-like behavior is really disturbing.

      • Col says:

        Well said.

      • TheOriginalMia says:

        Has Serena ever done anything to Dominic Thiem that would warrant him calling her “a bad personality”? I’ll wait. She’s done nothing to him. He was asked to move by officials with Roland Garros. Not her. I could see being upset initially but a day later after the truth comes out and he still double downs and maligns her. You darn right people are going to call him racist and misogynistic.

      • Elisa says:

        Very well said, Cindy.
        Also, he experienced quite some mismanagement when playing in Rome this year and he was very vocal about it so he obv. speaks up when things are amiss.

      • The Dot says:

        But Mia, he was asked to leave because Serena told organizers she wouldn’t wait to do her press conference otherwise. She could have just taken the fine instead of issuing that ultimatum. Being GOAT, she knew what would (and did) happen: she was accommodated at his expense.

      • Cindy says:

        What The Dot said, and I’d also like to add I think people are being pretty touchy about what Thiem said. I think being kicked out of your own press conference after winning a match is much more insulting and demeaning than being told your actions “showed a bad personality”.

      • ADS says:

        “Just to clarify I’m not blaming Serena here, I just think people are making some pretty extreme assumptions about Thiem because he dared say something negative about a celebrity you like. That sort of stan-like behavior is really disturbing.”

        This is disingenuous. Go on twitter, go on instagram, go on any forum with a general readership and look at the comments section in respect of any black woman. It is shocking. This is why he is being called out. The abuse that she and other women of colour are subjected to constantly for being alive is incredible. You don’t have to be a stan to call out the type of unjustified attacks and malignment of character that feeds to trolls and the hatred.

  22. Lisa says:

    He needs to have several seats.

  23. Karin says:

    Dominic, take a Sessel….
    and zat is what i have to say about zat

  24. Robinda says:

    If you’re going to go into every grand slam without being match ready, you shouldn’t get all grumpy when you lose. The days are over when Serena could waltz in at the last minute, underprepared, and still beat everyone with her superior talent. Serena is like other aging greats, you have to figure out how to prep without wearing yourself out. Brady has a method, Tiger has recently admitted that it’s something he’s trying to work on, Federer, etc. The current system isn’t working for Serena.

    The screw up was by RG, perhaps aided by Serena’s unwillingness to hang out for a few extra minutes, but Thiem clearly shouldn’t have doubled down on his comments. Badmouthing the GOAT is never a good look, even if there wasn’t any racial component.

    • ADS says:

      “If you’re going to go into every grand slam without being match ready, you shouldn’t get all grumpy when you lose. The days are over when Serena could waltz in at the last minute, underprepared, and still beat everyone with her superior talent.”

      Now this sounds like legitimate criticism to me (even if off topic!). She needs to be training and playing more. Or she should retire. She will only continue to get beaten if she does not change her approach.

      • Robinda says:

        Not really off topic as the losing is the centerpiece in why Serena gets involved in these situations. The rest is ripples on a pond.

      • ADS says:

        “…as the losing is the centerpiece in why Serena gets involved in these situations.”

        I don’t agree. When she was winning people still always found reasons to have a go at her. In fact it was arguably worse back in the day. Unfortunately her blackness and her uncowering and unapologetic presence in the public eye will always rile some people.

  25. Karin says:

    I‘m an Austrian. So if you don‘t like zat I say zat, schleich di.

    • Jane says:

      Zat is what you say when English is your second language. But you speak it. You don’t write in accents, you only speak it. You were obviously making fun of his accent.

  26. Fanny says:

    Serena’s position as GOAT and elder stateswoman is something that also comes responsibility.

    She knows at this point that she can force the powers that be to rearrange the whole schedule to accommodate her if she threatens to leave. She also knows that a whole lot of people are going to be inconvenienced in order to make that happen – including less powerful players. She didn’t need to personally kick Thiem out of the room to know that somebody was going to get kicked out of somewhere. It was inconsiderate to everyone.

    It wasn’t a huge deal, but her colleagues absolutely have the right to be pissed off at her if she’s inconsiderate towards them, and they have the right to say so.

    I once went to a tennis exhibition where Ivan Lendl’s “meet and greet” consisted of him jogging one lap through the room with his arm in the air. (As compared to Pete Sampras, Marat Safin and Andy Roddick, who were generous as heck to everybody. Most especially Roddick.) Lendl is now in my book as a bad personality. That’s what happens when you are a legend and you act like a jerk, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

    • Polly says:

      Entitled much? So he didn’t stop to philosophize with you. Uuuuu, sure sign of a bad personality.

      • Fanny says:

        No, he was advertised as participating in the Meet and Greet. It was included in the ticket price, which wasn’t cheap. (People like me also traveled a good distance to get there.) He didn’t participate in the meet and great – he did the bare minimum to qualify as having shown up. He had handlers all around him forcing his way through the crowd at a speed that could have been clocked on an odometer.

        Roddick talked to everyone and signed autographs. Pete Sampras did the same and played the tennis video game with people that was being demo’d. All of the players were paid big money by the sponsors to do this exhibition and Lendl is the only one who thought he was too good to waste his time doing what he was paid for.

  27. Karin says:

    Yes, I was making fun. Because the whole thing is high-larious to me. Dominic acting like a big, old baby, because he thinks someone slighted him by being a big baby. His temper tantrum is pathetic-funny to me. And to hear all his „bad personality“ phrasing and austro-accent just bumped it all up. We, Austrians, laugh at our accent. It‘s great not taking one‘s self so seriously…unlike Domiiii

    • Elisa says:

      So… you are not taking yourself so seriously (unlike Domi) but you are telling others to f*** off (=schleich di) when they call you out on your unfunny comments? Yeah, right…

    • The Dot says:

      Yikes. Not funny Karin.

  28. Desolee says:

    He’s cute and has a cute accent!
    She’s probably rude sometimes, we have seen her be rude. That’s ok, women should not have to be polite 100% of the time. She can be admired without being super sweet and docile

  29. ytmer says:

    Serena is a black woman, she also has a bad personality; these things are not mutually exclusive. Personally I lost all respect for her when she ruined Osaka’s (another WOC) day at the US open last year.

  30. Nunyabidness says:

    I can drown in all these white tears!

  31. karin says:

  32. karin says:

    schleich dich exactly means get lost.
    elisa/dot : look it up before you put nasty words in my mouth. how rude!
    domi is a man baby; his temper tantrum was funny.

    • The Dot says:

      You’re, like, oddly committed to doubling down on your unfunny statements. And to say “how rude!” after what you’ve been posting, lmao.

      Pro tip…that “Reply” button on the comments, if you use it, your reply goes under the comment you’re responding to.

  33. Ol' Miss says:

    All I can say is that this is the second time I know of that her and/or her presence completely ruins somebodies parade. You know how hard players work to get to the level of Thiem and Osaka, and she ruined moments for both of them!! Not good!

  34. Raina says:

    Unlike Trump and his minions, I support fair media, the truth and freedom of speech.
    Allow everyone their turn no matter their rank.

  35. JByrdKU says:

    Ugh, this is the crap I can’t stand. A guy can be temperamental, moody, strong-willed, dominant, and everything under the sun. A woman just get’s a flat “bad personality”, such bullsh**.

  36. TPOE says:

    I don’t think she has a bad personality or anything like that, and I don’t think she went out of her way to disrespect or be rude to this guy. But I do think that she isn’t used to losing and like any GOAT who is starting to lose bouts to Father Time she is probably having a hard time accepting it.

    Maybe it affects the way she carries herself after a loss. Just body language or a look. But people pick up on that. Its happened to lots of athletes as they age. Some just roll with the fact that the youngsters are surpassing them, but the greatest players are the most competitive, and they really have a hard time aging gracefully.

    • Hoot says:

      Yes, and at 37 she’ll have to change her approach to training in order to keep winning. It can be done. Not very often, but possible.

      Perhaps in her next great victory we may see Serena decide she’s going out on top and retire. I love seeing how strong she still looks – obviously she’s worked hard in her comeback. A woman after my own heart. The best.

  37. SKF says:

    She hasn’t always been the best loser – it’s not a secret. She herself admits it. But it is something she has worked on – as we all need to work on our weaknesses. In any case, she is so well-liked and respected by other major players. She clearly has a bloody fantastic personality. This was a misunderstanding and I can understand his initial frustration; but by the next day it was clear it wasn’t her fault and he is so far out of line.

    • ADS says:

      I agree with your whole comment. But particularly this:

      “I can understand his initial frustration; but by the next day it was clear it wasn’t her fault and he is so far out of line.”