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Sports

Serena tantrum sparks calls for clearer rules on coaching

media Serena Williams of the USA argues with tournament referee Brian Earley while playing Naomi Osaka of Japan in the women’s final on day thirteen of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Australian Open Director Craig Tiley has called for tennis to adopt clearer rules when it comes to coaching after accusations of sexism from 23-time grand slam singles champion Serena Williams.

"The sport really has to get itself sorted out when it comes to coaching," Tiley said Tuesday, following a tantrum by tennis star Serena Williams at the US Open Saturday.

"It has to be clear. Are we going to have coaching, are we not going to have coaching and what is it going to look like," he added.

Williams was told off for mid-match coaching, then docked a point for smashing a racket during her final to Naomi Osaka, that she went on to lose.

She claims that, had she been a man, the umpire would have reacted differently.

WTA backs Serena

The WTA backed Williams saying that umpiring is more lenient towards the bad behaviour of men on tour.

"We believe that there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men vs. women," a WTA statement after the match said. "We are committed to ensure that all players are treated the same. We do not believe that this was done."

"You're talking to a coach here," continued Tiley. "And the view is that there has to be a certain element that needs to be allowed in the sport. So the sport needs to get together and really sort that out.”

Cartoon accused of racism

Meanwhile, a cartoon of Serena stomping  a broken racket sparked accusations of racism Tuesday. In it, Williams is is depicted with large, exaggerated lips and nose reminiscent of racist depictions of black people in the US during the Jim Crow era.

The newspaper that published the cartoon, the Herald Sun, defended itself and cartoonist Mark Knight in a tweet.

Knight's twitter account is no longer functioning.

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