tourney chief slammed for derisive comments about wta
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — The tournament director of the Paribas Open criticized the WTA Tour on Sunday, saying women's pro players "ride on the coattails of the men" while describing them as "physically attractive and competitively attractive."
Raymond Moore, a 69-year-old former touring pro from South Africa, oversees the $7 million tournament featuring the men's and women's tours. He made his comments in a session with reporters before Sunday's finals, and they quickly appeared on social media. After that, Moore apologized in a statement, saying his comments were "in extremely poor taste and erroneous."
During the media session, Moore was asked if the WTA Tour should change its designation for the Indian Wells tournament, which is a premier mandatory event, to raise its status even higher.
"In my next life when I come back I want to be someone in the WTA because they ride on the coattails of the men. They don't make any decisions and they are lucky. They are very, very lucky," he said. "If I was a lady player, I'd go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport."
Serena Williams, said after she lost the final 6-4, 6-4 to Victoria Azarenka, called Moore's comments a disservice to Billie Jean King, one of the co-founders of the WTA Tour, female athletes and "every woman on this planet that has ever tried to stand up for what they believed in and being proud to be a woman."
King later said on Twitter that Moore was "wrong on so many levels. Every player, especially the top players, contribute to our success."
Djokovic wins, Serena loses at Indian Wells
Novak Djokovic rolled past Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-0 to win the Paribas Open for a record fifth time while improving to 22-1 in matches this year. It was Djokovic's third straight title at Indian Wells, Calif., breaking a tie with four-time champion Roger Federer, who skipped this year because of a knee injury.
In the women's final, Victoria Azarenka defeated error-prone Serena Williams 6-4, 6-4 to return to the world's top 10 for the first time since August 2014.
Djokovic needed one hour, 17 minutes to dispatch Raonic, whose big serve got broken five times. "I'm just glad to be able to raise the level of my game as the tournament progresses," Djokovic said.
Williams ended her final with three straight errors. "Just unexpected nerves, maybe. I definitely didn't expect to be on that stage again," said Williams, who returned to Indian Wells in 2015 after a 14-year boycott.
High school hockey: Mitchell defeated Manatee 6-4 in the semifinals of the USA Hockey Tier II National High School Championships in Virginia. Mitchell plays Boulder/Monarch, Colo., in the tile game at 10:15 this morning. Lucas Sowder had a hat trick for Mitchell, and Jacob Serpe had 17 saves. Manatee's Dom Tmej had 36 saves.
Soccer: Marcus Rashford, the 18-year-old striker plucked from Manchester United's youth team to answer an injury crisis last month, took his tally of goals to five in a 1-0 win over Manchester City in the English Premier League. Leader Leicester is five points clear of Tottenham, which won 3-0 win against Bournemouth. Liverpool's hopes of making the top four were hit with a 3-2 loss at Southampton.
track and field: High school senior Vashti Cunningham, the 18-year-old daughter of former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham, became the youngest high jump champion ever at the world indoor championships, clearing 6 feet, 5 inches at Portland, Ore. The United States finished the event with a record 23 medals, including 13 golds.
Times staff, wires