Becker, Cash back Thiem in row with Serena

Dominic Thiem (AP)
Dominic Thiem (AP)

Cape Town - Tennis legends Boris Becker and Pat Cash have come out in support of Dominic Thiem in his row with Serena Williams, as the press conference controversy rumbles on.

After her defeat to Sofia Kenin on Saturday, Williams forced Thiem to end his press conference prematurely, insisting she wanted to take his seat in the media room, with French Open officials bowing to the demands of the 23-time Grand Slam champion and forcing Thiem to make way.

Former French Open finalist Thiem has been highly critical of Williams' behaviour, and said her refusal to wait for her turn in the interview room reflected badly on the American.

"It shows a bad personality in my opinion," declared Thiem. "I am 100 percent sure Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal would never do something like that."

Becker has expressed his sympathy with Thiem, as he suggested Williams was wrong to assert her influence in such a forceful manner.

"I am with Dominic Thiem on this one," declared Becker. "He is a Roland-Garros finalist. He's mature and one of the main players on the men's tour and if he's giving an interview in a press conference and he hasn't finished then everyone else has to wait, including Serena Williams.

"I think it was unfortunate for the organisers to put both players in this situation - they should know Dominic Thiem is having a press conference, when he's finished it's Serena's turn. It was awkward for the players and poor organisation."

Becker's fellow Eurosport expert Pat Cash agreed with those sentiments as he stated: "The way Dominic Thiem reacted was 100% spot on, good on him.

"Everyone has screwed up there, he's not some junior, he's a guy that got to the French Open final last year, semi-final the year before, he's top 10, he's one of the favourites here. For Serena to say, "I'm going in no matter what..." or the organisers to decide to move Thiem on was really wrong, really disrespectful."

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