Dominic Thiem was not happy (Picture: Getty Images)Dominic Thiem ensured his saga with Serena Williams will rumble on by claiming the American great has a ‘bad personality’ after he was booted out of press conference in order for her to get on with her media duties quickly, while audio has emerged of the 23-time Grand Slam champion calling a French Open official ‘very rude’.
At the time, Thiem was visibly furious at being forced to leave the main room.
He raged: ‘I don’t really get it, seriously. I mean, what the hell? No but it’s a joke.
‘What’s my point of that? I have to leave the room because she’s coming. Well I’ll leave also then. I can also do whatever I want.’
Roger Federer had earlier attempted to diffuse the situation and claimed he didn’t think Thiem was ‘mad’ at the 23-time Grand Slam champion, but the Austrian world No. 4 didn’t appear to be too impressed by her behaviour in an interview with Eurosport.
‘Actually, I wasn’t angry or frustrated. Maybe for a couple of minutes or so. It is just the principle,’ he told the broadcaster.
‘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.
‘It is a matter of course. It also shows a bad personality in my opinion. I am a 100% sure Federer or [Rafael] Nadal would never do something like that.’
Audio has now emerged of Williams telling a member of staff attempting to resolve the situation that they were ‘very rude’, while threatening to cut her forthcoming press conference short.
Serena Williams called a tournament staff member ‘very rude’ (Picture: TPN/Getty)‘You’re very rude,’ Williams, who had bolted down to the media centre a matter of minutes after her match had concluded, fumed at the tournament official after being kept waiting for around two minutes. ‘I’m now cutting my interview short.’
Williams, in fairness, did readily answer questions thrown in her direction but it is clear she was certainly a big mover behind the scenes in getting Thiem chucked out.
Federer had earlier admitted the situation was handled poorly by all involved and that ‘superstar’ Thiem shouldn’t have been put in that position.
‘I mean, something must have happened, you know, that this situation happened,’ Federer said after his straight sets win against Leonardo Mayer. ‘You know, I don’t know what went wrong, but something went wrong for this to happen.
‘I think there is, with all the players, always a way to go that, you know, the one who is still in the tournament gets priority. Anyway, that’s how I see it. If I would have lost today against Mayer, I would let Mayer go first or decide when he wants to go to press as he’s got a next match. My next match is far, far away. So that’s just the way you go about it.
Roger Federer weighed in on Thiem’s snub (Picture: Getty Images)‘Now, there must have sure been a misunderstanding or maybe they should have kept Serena still in the locker room, not waiting here in the press centre. I don’t know exactly what happened. I understand Dominic’s frustration. ‘For him it’s just about how in the world did this happen?’
While Federer could see why Thiem was so annoyed, he revealed he had found the whole scenario rather humorous.
‘Now, there must have sure been a misunderstanding or maybe they should have kept Serena still in the locker room, not waiting here in the press centre. I don’t know exactly what happened. I understand Dominic’s frustration.
‘For him it’s just about how in the world did this happen? I don’t think he’s mad at Serena or anybody. I just think it was an unfortunate situation that I thought was funny and we joked about it just before. That’s why I’m very much aware of what happened, and that’s why we are laughing in the locker room about it now.
‘But in the moment I’m sure I understand his, like, “What is going on? It’s a joke.” How he said it, it was great. I love his accent. In German, too, by the way, not just in English. And he knows that.’