Hours before Serena Williams made her return to the Indian Wells finals on Sunday, tournament CEO Raymond Moore made some incredibly sexist comments regarding women players in the WTA, saying they should drop to their knees and thank Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and other prominent players of the men’s game for elevating the level of the women’s game.
“In my next life, when I come back, I want to be someone in the WTA because they ride on the coattails of the men. They don’t make any decisions and they’re lucky. They’re very, very lucky. If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born because they have carried this sport,” Moore said. “They really have.”
He continued, “[The WTA has] a lot of very attractive players. And the standard in ladies has improved unbelievably.”
Watch Serena’s response next page:
It didn’t take long for Serena to respond, “Obviously, I don’t think any woman should be down on their knees thanking anybody like that … [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 is 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 exciting to watch. I think it definitely goes both ways.”
Serena went on to mention the 2015 U.S. Open, in which the women’s championship round sold out before that of the men’s.
“I’m sorry, did Roger play in that final?” Williams asked, rhetorically. “Or Rafa, or any man, play in that final …? I think not.”
Moore has since resigned as tournament director.