Annabel Croft believes Serena Williams 'crossed' the line in her US Open final loss to Naomi Osaka. The American player will return to competition in a few weeks at the Hopman Cup in Perth, but her controversial behaviour in New York is still on many people's minds.
'It was very, very unfortunate circumstances,' said Croft in an exclusive chat to Tennis World USA. 'She ended up not being able to control herself and I think we all understood the enormous pressure Serena was going under in that particular moment because she was trying for her piece of history but she felt that the umpire claimed she was coaching by alleging her of coaching, which the coach admitted to do, and she was doing the same with the umpire by questioning his integrity calling him a thief.
Sport is such a great lesson for every young players, because in difficult moments you have to come with a solution to the problems. But unfortunately she crossed the line and she has not set a good example to the younger players in the sport.
I didn't believe for one moment that it was a sexist problem because that chair umpire is a man of integrity and I have seen him being very, very tough with the male players.' Croft was also doubtful about Maria Sharapova's comeback to the top.
Asked if the doping ban influenced the Russian's career, Croft replied: 'What happened, happened. She cannot look back having regrets. That's a very well documented story. Life on the Tour is very tough, a lot of young competitors like Osaka are coming up and you have to be at the very top of your game.' ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title