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Serena Williams’ husband, Alexis Ohanian, has criticised retired tennis player Ion Tiriac for saying that Williams should retire due to her age and weight.
Speaking to Romanian journalist Irina Pacurariu, the 81-year-old Mr Tiriac, who was ranked the eighth-best tennis player in the world in 1968, said Williams, 39, should take a step back from the sport.
“At this age and the weight she is now, she does not move as easily as he did 15 years ago,” he reportedly said. “Serena was a sensational player. If she had a little decency, she would retire.”
Ohanian, who has been married to Williams since 2017, responded to Mr Tiriac’s comments on Twitter.
“Safe to say no one gives a damn what Ion Èiriac thinks,” he tweeted.
It’s not the first time that Mr Tiriac, who owns the Madrid Open competition, has criticised Williams.
In 2018, he told Sport Bild, a German publication, that she should retire.
“With all due respect, 36 years old and [198 pounds],” MrTiriac said.
Williams responded at the time by calling Tiriac “ignorant” in a statement given to the New York Times.
“I always say people are entitled to their opinion. Clearly there’s more to women’s tennis than me. There’s a lot more, but I’ll have words with him, believe me, I’ll have words with him.
“It’s an ignorant comment, and it’s a sexist comment, and maybe he’s an ignorant man.”