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With Serena In A Hurry After French Open Loss, Thiem Gets Booted Out Of His Press Conference

Dominic Thiem of Austria plays Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan during their men?s second round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 30 May 2019. EPA-EFE/JULIEN DE ROSA
Dominic Thiem of Austria plays Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan during their men’s second round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 30 May 2019. EPA-EFE/JULIEN DE ROSA

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

Dominic Thiem being involved in the first truly notable incident of the 2019 French Open is surprising. More surprising, even, than Serena Williams’ third-round loss to Sofia Kenin on Saturday evening.

 

What’s even more shocking is that the Thiem incident and Serena’s loss were directly related.

 

It started when Serena’s 6-2, 7-5 setback against Kenin wrapped up at 8:17 p.m. Around 8:20 p.m., Thiem began his press conference in the main interview room. Before the 2018 French Open runner-up could get through more than three questions and answers into the English part of his interview, Serena was already outside the door waiting to get in.

 

Serena Williams of the USAreacts as she plays Sofia Kenin of the USA during their women?s third round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 01 June 2019. EPA-EFE/SRDJAN SUKI

Serena Williams of the USAreacts as she plays Sofia Kenin of the USA during their women’s third round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 01 June 2019. EPA-EFE/SRDJAN SUKI

Waiting not patiently, either.

 

It is true that Serena, upon her arrival at the interview area just a few minutes after storming out of Court Philippe Chatrier, volunteered to take interview room 2 since Thiem was in the main room. Tournament officials decline that offer, presumably thinking that a smaller space would not be able to accommodate all of the reporters–especially not on the heels of such a newsworthy result.

 

With that option now off the table and room 1 the lone option, Serena was not about to wait around. With a scene already being made in the lounge directly outside the door to the room in which Thiem was currently residing, the ITF chose to prevent things from escalating out of control–telling the world No. 4’s moderators to end it right then and there in order to make way for Serena.

 

Just like that, Thiem was out and Serena was in.

 

But it did not end there, as the 25-year-old–“I am not a junior player anymore,” he declared–was moved from 1 to 2 for the continuation of the press conference. However, there ended up being no continuation.

 

“I don’t really get it, seriously,” a disgusted Thiem quipped as he plopped down in the chair of room 2. “I mean, what the hell? No, but it’s a joke, really…. I have to leave the room because she’s coming?”

 

When he learned that the resumption of his presser may be delayed for a few minutes as everyone got settled into the new venue, Thiem had had enough.

 

“I’m leaving also then. I’m not standing around. I can also do whatever I want.”

 

And just like that, Thiem was gone. But this from-out-of-nowhere incident won’t soon be forgotten. His next presser following Monday’s fourth-round match against Gael Monfils should be an interesting one. Stay tuned….

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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