NEW YORK: Serena Williams has accused anti-doping authorities of “discrimination” because of the frequency with which she has been selected for random drug tests. The 23-time Grand Slam winner had previously described her treatment by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as shocking and raised questions about the number of times she had been tested this year. Williams expressed her frustration again on Tuesday after a visit from doping officials. “…and it’s that time of the day to get “randomly” drug tested and only test Serena,” the 36-year-old wrote on Twitter.
“Out of all the players it’s been proven I’m the one getting tested the most. Discrimination? I think so. At least I’ll be keeping the sport clean.” A report published by website Deadspin in June revealed Williams had already been tested on five occasions in 2018 while other American players had been tested once or not at all. Williams, who gave birth to daughter Olympia 10 months ago, is working her way back on tour and her remarkable run to the Wimbledon final ensured she returned to the world’s top 30 in the WTA rankings this month.
In another development, veteran Russian tennis star Mikhail Youzhny said on Tuesday that he would retire from the ATP Tour following the St Petersburg Open tournament in mid-September. The 36-year-old from Moscow made the announcement after winning his first round match at the Atlanta Open 6-2, 6-0 over American Emil Reinberg. “The time is over,” the former world No 8 said. The 10-time ATP singles title winner said he is looking forward to competing in a final grand slam at the US Open late next month, then wrap things up at the St. Petersburg Open which begins September 17. “I was so nervous this evening because I can announce I finish my tennis career after US Open and one more tournament. I will play my club tournament …. and this will be my last tournament.”
Youzhny, who is ranked 105th in the world, still has some work to do at the Atlanta Open. He advances to the second round for a clash with German seventh seed Mischa Zverev with the winner likely meeting top seed John Isner in the quarter-finals. Youzhny crushed Reinberg in just 73 minutes, winning a perfect 17 of 17 points on his first serve and breaking the American’s serve five times. Youzhny competed in several Olympics and also won nine doubles titles. His best result in a grand slam was reaching the semi-finals of the US Open twice in 2010 and 2006 where he upset second seeded Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.- Agencies