Australian Newspaper Hits Back Over Controversial Serena Williams Cartoon - UBITENNIS
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Australian Newspaper Hits Back Over Controversial Serena Williams Cartoon

The national publication has rallied behind the creator of the image after widespread outrage.

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An Australian newspaper has defended their decision to publish a cartoon of Serena Williams earlier this week by publishing it once again on their front page.

 

There has been widespread anger over Mark Knight’s drawing of Williams that was featured in The Herald Sun following a dramatic US Open women’s final. The picture has been called by some a racist. Williams is shown as having a tantrum on the court and Naomi Osaka in the background speaking with the umpire. Knight decided to oversize Williams’ lips in his sketch and Osaka was white with blond hair. US Open champion Osaka has dark hair with blond highlights and is of mixed race.

“Well done on reducing one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes and turning a second great sportswoman into a faceless prop.” Author J.K. Rowling wrote on Twitter in response to the cartoon.

Despite the controversy, the newspaper has defended their cartoon. In a special front page on Wednesday, they uploaded a series of satirical cartoons, including Williams’ one, with the headline ‘Welcome to the PC world.’ Attacking the ‘self-appointed censors‘ who have deemed the sketch as offensive.

“If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new political correct life will be very dull indeed.” The newspaper wrote on their front page.

Damon Johnson is the editor of The Herald Sun. On Tuesday he backed Knight in a post uploaded to his Twitter account. Saying that the cartoon “rightly mocks poor behaviour by a tennis legend” and that Knight “has the full support of everyone” at the paper.

Knight has also spoken out about the issue himself. Saying that his drawing had no racist motivation at all. He is an experienced editorial cartoonist that has worked in the industry for more than three decades. He also designs the Herald Sun’s Australian Foot League’s (AFL) Premiership commemorative covers.

“The cartoon was just about Serena on the day having a tantrum.” He said.
“A few days beforehand I had actually drawn a cartoon of Australian Nick Kyrgios and his bad behaviour at the US Open, so I’m not targeting (Serena). Serena is a champion.
“I drew her as an African-American woman, she’s powerfully built, she wears these outrageous costumes when she plays tennis – she’s interesting to draw.
“I drew her as she is. As an African-American woman, so this whole business that I am some sort of racist, calling on racial cartoons from the past, it’s just made up. It’s not there.”

At the US Open Williams was slammed with a game penalty following an intense argument with the umpire Carlos Ramos. The former world No.1 received a total of three warnings during the match. The fallout from the controversy has triggered a debate about if sexism played a factor. Something that Ramos has denied and the International Tennis Federation has insisted that he correctly followed the rule book.

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France’s Lucas Pouille To Undergo Surgery

The 26-year-old has suffered another setback to his plans for a return to the Tour.

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Lucas Pouille (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Lucas Pouille says he is hopeful that he will be able to play tennis again this season after announcing plans to undergo surgery.

 

The world No.58 confirmed on Tuesday morning that he will be having an operation on his right elbow later this month in Paris. Pouille has only managed to play one match this year on the ATP Tour due to the injury, which was at the Indian Wells Challenger tournament where he lost in straight sets to Noah Rubin.  The issue has been bothering the Frenchman since last October when he shut down his season early after the Shanghai Masters.

“It’s never an easy decision to take, but I will get surgery on my right elbow this month in Paris. After new medical exams, it appeared it was the best solution in order to finally be able to play pain-free. I still hope to play before the end of the season.” Pouille said in a statement.

Pouille initially looked to be on track to making a return to action after participating in the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in June. An exhibition tournament created by Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou. However, he lost two matches to Feliciano Lopez and Elliot Benchetrit before being forced to withdraw from the competition due to his elbow.

In recent days the coach of the former world No.10,  Loic Courteau, said they will not be travelling to the US Open next month. Although it is unclear if Courteau’s comments were made before or after the decision to undergo surgery was made.

“I will not be in New York, for the good reason that Lucas… is not going to play the tournament,” he told French television.

Pouille has won five ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $7 million in prize money. He is currently the eighth highest ranked French player on the ATP Tour.

Pouille’s ATP titles breakdown

2018 1 Montpellier (Indoor/Hard)
2017 3 Vienna (Indoor/Hard)
Stuttgart (Outdoor/Grass)
Budapest (Outdoor/Clay)
2016 1 Metz (Indoor/Hard)

 

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Jannik Sinner and Roberto Bautista Agut start their campaign with convincing wins in Berlin

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Last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner beat German veteran Tommy Haas 6-4 3-6 10-8 in the opening match at the Bett1 Aces, a grass exhibition tournament at the Steffi Graf Stadium. This event features ATP and WTA players and is played in front of a limited number of fans.

 

Sinner converted his only break point in the fifth game of the first set with two return winners and held on his service games to win the first set 6-4. Sinner converted his third break point to take a 3-2 lead in the first set. Haas broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. The German player broke for the second time in a row and won 12 of his 16 rallies to win the second set 6-3. Sinner bounced back in the match tie-break and raced out to a 5-2 lead. Haas clawed his way back to 7-8, but Sinner earned two match points with a forehand passing shot. The young Italian player sealed the match tie-break 10-8 on his second match point setting up a semifinal against Dominic Thiem.

Roberto Bautista Agut battled past Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 3-6 10-7. In the first set Bautista dropped his serve to go down 0-2 in the opening game and faced two break points on his serve, but he came back by breaking serve twice in the sixth and eighth games to win the first set 6-3.

Struff won the second set with a break in the sixth game, but Bautista Agut took the 10-7 edge to win the match tie-break 10-7. Bautista Agut set up a semifinal against Matteo Berrettini.

Anastasja Sevastova was leading 6-4 4-3, as Julia Goerges was forced to retire injured from the match in the seventh game of the second set.  Sevastova got two breaks in the third and ninth games to win the first set 6-3.

In the final match of the day two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova cruised past Andrea Petkovic 6-4 6-1. Kvitova earned the first break in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Petkovic broke straight back in the fifth game for 2-3. Kvitova converted his second break point in the 10th game to win the second set 6-4. Kvitova broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the second set 6-1.

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Jannik Sinner dreams to win the US Open and beat Roger Federer on Centre Court at Wimbledon

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Last year’s Next Gen Finals champion Jannik Sinner revealed that his dream would be to beat 20-time Grand Slam champion and eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer on the Centre Court at the All England Club at Wimbledon.

 

Sinner was bidding to make his debut at Wimbledon last year, but he lost in the first round of the qualifying round.

Many fans predict that Sinner has the chance to win a Grand Slam title and become world number 1.

Sinner advanced to Antwerp ATP 250 semifinals last October at the age of 18 after beating Gael Monfils. He became the youngest ATP Tour semifinal since Borna Coric, who reached this stage in Basel at the age of 17. He saved one match point against Steve Johnson in Masters 1000 debut in Rome. He got through to the qualifying round to reach the main draw at the US Open before losing to Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

This year Sinner beat world number 10 David Goffin in Rotterdam second round for the biggest win of his career. The Italian teenager coached by Riccardo Piatti earned his first Grand Slam main draw win at the Australian Open before losing to Marton Fucsovics.

“I know that I am only 18, but I like to play. The more I play, the more I like it. My goal is to win the US Open but I have the dream of beating Roger Federer on the Centre Court at Wimbledon”, said Sinner.

Federer underwent second arthostocopic knee surgery and announced that he will make his comeback in 2021. The Swiss player was sidelined by injury for six months in 2016 and made a successful return in January 2017 by winning an epic five-set Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal. He went on to win Wimbledon later that year and another Australian Open trophy in 2018.

“I hope Roger will play again next season”, said Sinner.

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