Sports

Serena and Maria blast Tarpishchev

There were admiring gasps at the Marina Bay Sands' ArtScience Museum yesterday when Serena Williams walked into her press conference ahead of today's start of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. 

Decked in a tight white tank-top over a mini-skirt and wedge-sneakers, 33-year-old Williams was all feminine curves. 

But she did not mince her words in response to Shamil Tarpishchev's comments on a chat show last Friday, describing her, and her sister Venus, as the "Williams brothers".

Calling the Russian Tennis Federation president's statement "extremely sexist, as well as racist...and bullying", Williams hailed the swift action taken by the Women's Tennis Association, who fined Tarpishchev US$25,000 ($32,000) and banned him from the Tour for a year. 

She said: "I think the WTA did a great job of taking initiative and taking immediate action to his comments. 

"​I've done the best that I can do, and that's all I can say. So I just wasn't very happy with his comments. I think a lot of people weren't happy as well."

"In this day of age, 2014 for someone with his power, it's really unacceptable to make such bullying remarks," added the world No. 1. 

One rung below Williams in the tennis rankings is Russian Maria Sharapova, who was equally critical of her countryman. 

"I think they (his comments)were very disrespectful and uncalled for, and I'm glad that many people have stood up, including the WTA," said the 27-year-old Sharapova. 

"It was very inappropriate, especially in his position and all the responsibilities that he has not just in sport, but being part of the (International) Olympic Committee (IOC)."