Serena Williams Chris Evert US Open 2014

‘Welcome to the world of men and women!’ – Slam legend backs Serena Williams inequality claim

Chris Evert agrees that Serena Williams would have received a harsher punishment than Alexander Zverev and accuses tennis of having an inequality problem, saying “it’s a female and male issue.”

World number three Alexander Zverev was recently given a suspended eight-week ban after he was expelled from the Mexican Open for swinging his racket at the chair umpire’s stand a total of four times.

The ban will be enforced if Zverev receives another code violation for either verbal and physical abuse or unsportsmanlike conduct.

This comes after defending champion Zverev also received the maximum punishments for his offences. He was fined $40,000 (£30,000) for two code violations and was stripped of all prize money and rankings points earned at the event.

Zverev has apologised profusely on multiple occasions. First through an Instagram story in which he said he “regrets his actions” and is “only disappointed in himself.” He also called the situation the “worst moment of his life” ahead of the Indian Wells Masters.

Speaking to Eurosport, Chris Evert said “I will tell you exactly how I feel.¬†I think it was too lenient.

“I am not here to sit back and¬†make any judgments on Zverev as far as his behaviour or him as a person.

“From what I know and my contact with him, he’s always been very nice and very gracious.

“That punishment¬†or that consequence to me is too lenient. He should have been out for months. And that’s all I’m going to say about it.”

In response to Zverev’s suspended eight-week ban, Serena claimed she “would probably be in jail” if she committed the same violations.

Whilst Evert didn’t think Serena would go to jail, she agreed with the sentiment behind her claim, saying¬†“I wouldn’t go as far as saying she would go to jail,¬†but I think she has a point and I think that definitely her consequences would have been far stricter than Zverev‚Äôs.

“Welcome to the world of men and women. I think it is a female and male issue. I agree with Serena.

“There would have been stricter consequences if she would have done it. I think the WTA would have put stricter consequences on any woman who would have done this.

“The umpire looked like he was in harm’s way. And that’s serious.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.