Serena Williams unfairly targeted in US Open final: Mike Tyson

Tyson’s most vocal comment was reserved for fellow American great Serena Williams, whose confrontation with chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, during the US Open final loss to Japan’s Naomi Osaka this month has divided opinion.

other sports Updated: Sep 29, 2018 01:59 IST
Ankit Kumar Singh
Ankit Kumar Singh
Mumbai, Hindustan Times
Mike Tyson,Serena Williams,US Open
FILE PHOTO: Serena Williams of the United States yells at chair umpire Carlos Ramos in the women's final against Naomi Osaka of Japan on day thirteen of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament.(USA TODAY Sports)

He made his name knocking out opponents in the ring, but the sport former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson follows the most in his retirement is tennis.

Part of Tyson’s love for tennis can be attributed to his young daughter being a budding player. Watching her play is something the boxing legend enjoys the most in his spare time.

“I am a tennis dad. I just love watching my daughter play tennis,” Tyson said on the sidelines of the launch of Kumite 1 League (K1L) here on Friday. He gave his take on tennis issues with the ease he showed taming rivals in his 20-year professional boxing career.

Tyson’s most vocal comment was reserved for fellow American great Serena Williams, whose confrontation with chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, during the US Open final loss to Japan’s Naomi Osaka this month has divided opinion. Williams was issued a warning for illegal coaching, then a point penalty for racquet abuse and finally a game penalty for verbal abuse.

“I thought it was a wrong call the chair umpire made. Serena was unfairly targeted. This said she should have kept her cool and not argued with him. Arguing with him would have never done her any good,” Tyson said.

Tyson praised Novak Djokovic, who has made a remarkable comeback from injury to win the 2018 Wimbledon and US Open.

“Djokovic is my favourite because the way he has come back from injury and beaten guys like Nadal and Federer is amazing. He is a true fighter,” he said.

FIGHTING SPIRIT

Tyson too fought various odds through his career, serving a three-year sentence between 1992 and 1995 for rape and facing bankruptcy in 2003.

“It was a tough phase when I became bankrupt. But I knew I made the money before and therefore I could do it again. I believe we should never get discouraged in our life.

“For me, playing competitive sport also helped because when you are a sportsperson, you know how to make a comeback after suffering defeat. Life is like sports only. You have to believe that you can make a comeback after facing an upset.”

Asked if he would have, given an opportunity, done things differently during his troubled career, Tyson said: “In hindsight I could say I could have done things differently. However, I had to go through that adversity and controversy to become the man I am now.”

FUTURE PLANS

The man called ‘Iron Mike’, ‘Dynamite Kid’ and ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ during his boxing days is currently busy with his marijuana business and happy. He wants to appear in more Hollywood movies.

“I have done some cameos in Hollywood films. Hopefully, I can do more of it in future.”

For now, he is looking forward to cheering fighters from India and UAE when they take to the ring in the opening fixture of the Kumite 1 League, a global team Mixed Martial Arts league.

First Published: Sep 28, 2018 23:29 IST