Tuesday, August 20, 2019 | ePaper
Thiem blasts Serena 'bad personality' in Roland Garros press conference row
AFP, Paris :
Dominic Thiem blasted Serena Williams for a "bad personality" Sunday as the bizarre row over him being booted out of his own press conference so that Roland Garros organisers could accommodate the American star took another twist.
Austria's Thiem, the fourth seed in the men's event and the 2018 runner-up, was conducting his post-match press obligations after reaching the last 16 late on Saturday.
However, he was then informed that the main interview room was needed by Williams who had just suffered a third round loss to Sofia Kenin.
It was the 23-time Grand Slam title winner's earliest exit at a Slam in almost five years and she was eager to be away from the tournament site as quickly as possible.
"It is just the principle," Thiem told Eurosport German on Sunday.
"Even if a junior is in there, every player has to wait."
He added: "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."
There was no indication as to who had decided to shift Thiem mid-flow on Saturday night.
"It's a joke," fumed the 25-year-old Thiem to media officers after being told he should finish his interviews in a smaller room.
"I have to leave the room because she's coming. What the hell, I don't care. I can also do whatever I want."
Roger Federer, meanwhile, leapt to the defence of Thiem, describing him as "a superstar, a male superstar".