Melbourne - World tennis chiefs need to clarify their
position on in-match coaching to prevent another incident after Serena
Williams' US Open meltdown, the head of the Australian Open said on Monday.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion was warned for receiving
coaching from the players' box during Saturday's final, triggering a row with
the chair umpire in her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Naomi Osaka.
Williams was docked a point for smashing a racquet and she
called umpire Carlos Ramos a "thief" and a "liar", an
outburst for which she was sanctioned a game at a critical juncture in the
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said
coaching, which is allowed a Women's Tennis Association events but not at men's
or Grand Slam tournaments, remained a grey area.
"It all centred around coaching... the sport has to
really get itself sorted out on what it does with coaching," he told
"Are we going to have coaching? Are we not going to
have coaching? What is it going to look like?
"The sport needs to get together and sort it out. Once
that's sorted out, we don't have the issue."
Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou admitted that he was
coaching - although it was not clear if she saw his gestures - and insisted the
practice was common.
"Yes, I was coaching just like everybody else. We have
to stop this hypocrisy," he said.
WTA Tour chief executive Steve Simon has also said the sport
should examine the rules on coaching, noting that his organisation allows
on-court coaching during regular tour events if a player requests it.
Despite the furore, Tiley said it should not overshadow the
emergence of Osaka.
He called her performance "unbelievable" and
forecast a major boon for the Australian Open, which bills itself as the Grand
Slam of the Asia-Pacific.
"For us as the Grand Slam in the Asia-Pacific, to have
a player from Japan, the first time ever a player from Japan to win that title
in the fashion that she did, is particularly exciting," he said.
"We all see how the Japanese fans flock to see Kei
"It's going to have a significant positive impact on
our Open, on our fans."