While it should be clear to all of us that Serena Williams is a boss, one journalist’s casual sexism (aka failure to acknowledge her accomplishments as a woman) suggests otherwise. Thankfully, British tennis star Andy Murray was there to remind him. (Watch the clip at the bottom of this post for the real deal.) Murray had just lost the Wimbledon quarterfinals to American Sam Querray when a journalist started a question with:
“Andy, Sam is the first American player to reach the semi-final of a Slam since 2009...”
Murray slid in real quick. “Male player,” he corrected him.
“I beg your pardon?” the journalist asked.
“Male player,” Murray repeated.
“Yes, first male player, that’s for sure,” the reporter backtracked, before continuing the question.
Because, although it has been eight years since an American male made it to the semi-finals at a Grand Slam (last one was Andy Roddick in 2009), Serena Williams has advanced to a major semifinal (or beyond) 20 times since 2009, winning more than 10 major titles. Venus Williams has advanced to a major semifinal (or beyond) 5 times since 2009. And CoCo Vandeweghe, Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens have also reached major semi-finals since 2009. So no, Sam Querray wasn’t the first American to reach the semifinal of a Slam since 2009. He was just the first American male. Meanwhile, the American women are killing it. Andy Murray’s mom, a tennis coach, tweeted support for her son’s correction, quoting the exchange.
This isn’t the first time that Murray has addressed sexism in the world of tennis. In addition to arguing alongside Serena Williams for equal pay - regardless of sex - in the past, he recently joined Venus Williams in advocating for Wimbledon to schedule men’s and women’s matches equally (two women’s and two men’s per day) rather than the status quo of two men’s and one women’s.
In 2016, he corrected a BBC commentator when he asked Murray, “You’re the first person ever to win two Olympic tennis gold medals, that’s an extraordinary feat, isn’t it?” Murray clapped back, “I think Venus and Serena have won about four each...” Which they have, thank you very much. A world record, thank you very much.
And when he chose a female coach (two-time Grand Slam champion Amelie Mauresmo, who worked with Murray from 2014 to 2016), he supported her and his choice despite significant backlash for this decision, one that's rare for male tennis players. “I realized it would create a feeling of suspicion, mistrust and perhaps even negativity,” he wrote in the French newspaper L’Equipe in 2015 (via Buzzfeed). “I didn’t realize, however, that Amelie would find herself up against such criticism and prejudice. The staggering thing was that she was slated every time I lost, which is something my former coaches never ever experienced. It wasn't right."
“Have I become a feminist?” He mused on his website. “Well, if being a feminist is about fighting so that a woman is treated like a man then, yes, I suppose I have.”
Watch him give the journalist a dose of feminism in the clip below:
Photo: Instagram, @SerenaWilliams
This post was published on July 13, 2017
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Hannah Rose, historically just Hannah, naturally tried to change her name upon moving to NYC from Austin, Texas (but keeps forgetting). Originally from North Katy, Texas - the wrong side of the tracks. Will defend Kanye until the day she dies. Batshit crazy. Overall bae.