A news conference snafu Saturday at Roland Garros left Dominic Thiem claiming that Serena Williams has "a bad personality."
Thiem was midway through his post-match news conference in the main interview room when he was told he had to move to a smaller room to make way for Serena Williams, who had just lost to 20-year-old Sofia Kenin.
According to French newspaper L'Équipe, Williams saw Thiem and instructed WTA officials to "put me in another room (then), smaller, but now." They instead decided to displace Thiem and give Williams the larger interview space.
Thiem was visibly agitated when he arrived at a different interview space moments later.
"I don't really get it. Seriously," Thiem said. "I mean, what the hell? It's a joke, really."
Dominic Thiem was midway through the German-speaking section of his press conference when he was told he had to leave the main interview room and switch to a smaller one in order to accommodate Serena Williams after her loss to Sofia Kenin. He was furious. Understandably.#RG19pic.twitter.com/KyzOAuh8mm
When asked about the series of events Sunday by Eurosport, Thiem said, "it is just the principle" of the matter.
"Even if a junior is in there, every player has to wait. It is a matter of course," Thiem told the news outlet. "It also shows a bad personality, in my opinion. I am 100% sure (Roger) Federer or (Rafael) Nadal would never do something like that."
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Williams has not publicly commented on the matter, though L'Équipe reported she was overheard saying "it's really rude" as the news conference switch was occurring.
BBC reported that tournament director Guy Forget later apologized to Thiem.
The 25-year-old Austrian, who was No. 4 in the most recent ATP rankings, defeated Gael Monfils in straight sets Monday to advance to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros.
Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.
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