U.S. tennis player Serena Williams has confirmed the receipt of written apology from Shamil Tarpishchev, the president of the Russian Tennis Federation, for his TV joke, the USA Today reported on Thursday.
Tarpishchev was a guest at the Vecherny Urgant (Late Urgant) show on Russia’s Channel One last week. He remembered that Serena Williams was Maria Sharapova’s tennis rival at the 2012 Olympic Games. Recalling that match, he incidentally referred to Serena Williams as to “one of the Williams brothers”(Serena Williams has a sister called Venus who is also a tennis player). Serena Williams described the joke as “sexist” and “racist”. Tarpishchev later apologized for his words.
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) disqualified Tarpishchev for a year for his joke last Saturday. He was also fined for 25,000 U.S. dollars.
Serena confirmed that Tarpishchev had apologized to her and her sister in writing. She, however, did not say whether she had accepted the Russian tennis functionary’s apology.
World number one Serena Williams is 18-times Grand Slam winner. Her sister Venus has won seven Grand Slam titles.
Serena is currently defending her champion’s title at the 2014 WTA Finals that kicked off on