Romanian former tennis star turned tycoon Ion Tiriac has launched a new attack on Serena Williams, saying that it is time for the 23-time Grand Slam champion to step away from tennis due to her age and…weight.
Tiriac, aged 81, told the Romanian public broadcaster TVR that, if Williams ‘had any decency’ she should retire from tennis.
“At this age and the weight she is now, she does not move as easily as he did 15 years ago,” Tiriac stated.
“Serena was a sensational player. If she had a little decency, she would retire! From all points of view.”
However, Tiriac’s comments have been very promptly rebuked by Serena Williams’ husband, Alexis Ohanians, who tweeted that “safe to say no one gives a damn what Ion Tiriac thinks”.
It is not the first time the chief of the Romanian Tennis Federation is criticizing Serena Williams.
In 2018 Ion Tiriac said the sport needs new personalities in the sport other than Williams before making a reference to her weight.
“With all due respect, but Serena Williams is 36 and 90 pounds I would like to see something else, I would like to see a player like Steffi Graf,” Tiriac told a German newspaper. In retort, Williams labelled Tiriac’s statements as sexist during an interview with The New York Times.
Serena Williams is currently the third oldest player on the WTA Tour at the age of 39. Despite her age, the world No.11 has still managed to feature in four Grand Slam finals since Wimbledon 2018 and reached the semi-finals of the 2020 US Open. Although she has only won one title since giving birth which was at the ASB Classic almost 12 months ago.