Following one of the most controversial Grand Slam finals of all time, the UK sports community have given a resounding condemnation of modern-day tennis great Serena Williams’ behaviour at the 2018 US Open.
A new SMI poll showed that 81% of sports fans believed the 23-time Grand Slam Champion's behaviour in the final was inappropriate, with only 7% of the opinion that her actions were warranted and 11% remaining undecided.
Serena’s justification for her outbursts came in the form of post-match claims of gender discrimination, however only 20% of respondents thought her claims had merit. Though this figure was considerably higher among female sports fan at 34%.
In a similar vein, 60% of men who participated in the poll deemed both her behaviour and claims to be inappropriate and / or unfounded compared to 45% of women.
While there were no major variations across age groups, it was the youngest (18-24) and oldest (65+) age groups who disapproved most of both Serena’s behaviour and discrimination claims at 70% and 68% respectively, over 15% higher than those aged between 35 and 54.
Despite the controversy, Naomi Osaka dominated the match and went on to claim a deserved maiden Grand Slam; the first ever won by a Japanese tennis player.
SMI are specialist market researchers for the sports industry. For more information about our polls, surveys, online communities and sponsorship solutions, visit the SMI services page or contact our dedicated team.