Tim Henman calls for an end to illegal in-match coachingJanuary 14, 2019
Serena Williams returns tomorrow when she faces German Tatjana Maria in the first round of an Australian Open she has won seven times.
This is her first appearance on the circuit since her incredible US Open final meltdown, when she was reprimanded after French coach Patrick Mouratoglou admitted trying to coach her from the sidelines.
Williams, 37, who received three code violations for illegal coaching, racket abuse and verbal abuse, accused umpire Carlos Ramos of sexism and branded him a “liar and a thief”.
Wimbledon hero Henman wants more to be done to stop blatant lawbreaking at the majors.
He said: “I’m 100 per cent against it. One of the greatest traditions of tennis is it is an individual sport, you have to work it out for yourself.
“People say coaching does go on. I am sure it does. But there is a ruling to be implemented here.
“Carlos Ramos got it absolutely right. Patrick Mouratoglou admitted he was coaching and the fact Serena Williams wasn’t even looking is irrelevant.
“The WTA Tour had a trial for eight years with on-court coaching but I totally disagree with that.”
Henman, 44, has spoken with “players like Roger Federer and Andy Murray” and he claims the leading lights are both against on-court coaching.
He said: “Players at a young age have to work it out for themselves. They have to understand the tactics, they cannot rely on a coach coming on the court.
“If I could have one say in world tennis it would be on the tours, in the slams, absolutely no-court coaching.
“On the tours and in the slams, it’s a gladiatorial sport — so work it out for yourself."
Williams, a seven-time Australian Open singles champion, is aiming to equal Margaret Court's long-standing record of 24 Grand Slam titles.
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