Several weeks ago, Russian Tennis Federation head Shamil Tarpischev appeared on Evening Urgant and proceeded to degrade Venus and Serena Williams, two of the sport’s most successful athletes.
After calling the pair the “Williams brothers,” Tarpischev proceeded to explain his disturbing reasoning:
“Look at our athletes, elegant and beautiful. I have tremendous respect for them [Williams sisters], but once one of the sisters passed next to me, and I found myself in her shadow for about forty seconds. They are so physically powerful. Weren’t you afraid to play against them?”
Since then, the President of the Kremlin Cup has been fined the maximum penalty of $25,000 and suspended for one year for his comments.
However, following her victory over Eugenie Bouchard at the WTA Finals in Singapore, Williams revealed that she received a written apology from the Russian Federation.
“Yes, I have received ‑‑ he has reached out to apologize to both myself and my sister,” Williams explained. “It was written. No, I did not speak to him,”