‘You’re not going home to a screaming baby’
With tennis season underway, Serena Williams was interviewed by Inside Tennis reporter Bill Simons this week, ahead of her match against Maria Sharapova.
It’s safe to say the interview didn’t start well, with Simons telling the Grand Slam champion, ‘We’re in this together baby’.
’No we’re not,’ Williams was quick to point out. ‘You’re not going home to a screaming baby’.
And if you think that was cringe-worthy enough, it only gets worse, as the reporter went on to ask the 36-year-old athlete the burning question he had waited over a decade to ask.
Spoiler alert – it was sexist, anticlimactic, and made things very awkward.
‘I have been waiting about 14 years to ask you this question,’ Simons informed the sporting icon. ‘After the 2004 Wimbledon match with Maria, I had the opportunity to interview Donald Trump on his L.A. golf course, and he said that Maria’s shoulders were incredibly alluring and then he came up with his incredible analysis: that you were intimidated by her supermodel good looks.’
He continued: ‘My question is: Have you ever been intimidated by anyone on a tennis court, and what are you thoughts about that occurrence?’
Yes. Bill Simons had a sit down with a Grand Slam champion and Olympic gold medalist, and that was his choice of interview question.
‘I honestly don’t have any thoughts about that,’ Serena replied cooly. ‘I can’t say I have been intimated by anyone. That’s all. That’s it.’
While Serena has yet to speak out about the awkward interview, someone who has had their say is her husband, Alexis Ohanian Sr., who took to Twitter to dress down the interviewer.
‘Waited 14 years… for this?’, he captioned a screenshot of the interview transcript. ‘Pro-tip: wait at least another 14 more years before asking another question.’
Simons has since apologised for his ‘awkward question’, explaining he didn’t intend to ‘empower Trump or attack Serena’, two things he is being accused of doing.
‘I apologize if my awkward ques seemed 2 empower Trump or attack Serena,’ he tweeted, before emphasising. ‘I SO admire her/I’ve spent lifetime fighting racism/sexism/homophobia.’
The tweet continued: ‘Started campaign 2 name US Open Stad 4 Ashe/Lobbied long 2 get Serena 2 return to I. Wells/Called out police violence vs Blake/I’m so sorry’.
Serena was forced to pull out of the French Open due to a pectoral injury after the interview on Monday, hours before her fourth-round match against Maria Sharapova.
Get well soon Serena – at least you won’t have to answer any more interview questions like this any time soon.