An odd-but-enduring tradition at the Australian Open is to ask odd, even suggestive questions to tennis stars during post-match interviews. But Serena Williams wasn't comfortable when a commentator asked her to twirl in her tennis outfit.
The world's No. 1 female player has drawn plenty of attention for her daring neon tennis outfit, including from fellow players. But Williams wondered if her male counterparts would have been asked to twirl for fans.
After the match, she told The Guardian what was going through her mind in that moment.
"I wouldn’t ask Rafa [Nadal] or Roger [Federer] to twirl," she said. "Whether it’s sexist or not, I don’t know."
But she did make it clear she wasn't comfortable with complying with the commentator's request. Many would characterize such a public solicitation of a suggestive action as being the textbook definition of sexism, but Williams wanted to move past the issue.
"I didn’t really want to twirl because I was just like, you know, I don’t need all the extra attention. But, yeah, it was fine," Williams said.
Other female tennis stars have not shared her unhappiness with the post-match treatment. Fellow tennis star Eugenie Bouchard found the request shocking and a little embarrassing, but she was happy to comply:
Bouchard did make it clear, though, that Williams' wardrobe was the true gem of the tournament. Other than the expert athleticism and world-class competition, of course.