Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem didn’t back down as he aired his views on the controversial press conference issue with Serena Williams on Saturday.
He said that the incident showed Williams’ “bad personality” after his Roland Garros press conference in the bigger interview room was stopped to make way for the American who lost her third round match.
“Actually, I wasn’t angry or frustrated. Maybe for a couple of minutes or so. It is just the principle,” he was quoted as saying by Eurosport.
“It is a matter of course. It also shows a bad personality in my opinion. I am a 100% sure Federer or Nadal would never do something like that.”
Thiem, the 2018 runner-up, was conducting his post-match press obligations after reaching the last 16. However, he was then informed that the main interview room was needed by American superstar Williams who had just suffered a third round loss to Sofia Kenin.
“It’s a joke,” said 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.”
There was no indication as to who had decided to shift Thiem mid-flow.
In his later statements to Eurosport, he said that all players should have to wait.
“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,” he is quoted to have said.
However, there was another angle to the story French sports daily L’Equipe claimed that Williams had no preference over where she carried out her press conference.
“Put me in another room, a smaller one, but now,” she was reported to have said.
With Williams reportedly becoming increasingly impatient, officials looked to rescue the situation by moving Thiem to another room.
“That’s really impolite,” she was heard to say.