“I think the umpire did what was within his rights,” Murray told BBC Sport on Thursday ahead of the U.K.’s Davis Cup.
“Coaching is common, a lot of people are doing it, some people aren’t getting called for it,” Murray continued. “To get called in a Grand Slam final was perhaps a bit tight, but I think the reaction was pretty overboard.”
Williams sparked a heated debate about sexism and racism in tennis after chair umpire Carlos Ramos docked her for a few questionable code violations during the U.S. Open women’s tennis final on Saturday. After Ramos docked Williams for receiving coaching instructions during the match, the tennis star broke her racket and berated the umpire, resulting in two more violations.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion said Ramos’ decision to dock her was sexist, noting that male players who lose their tempers on court are not always penalized as harshly. Many people, including tennis icon Billie Jean King, expressed support for Williams over the controversy.
Murray, however, told BBC Sport that Williams’ accusations of sexism are “a bit far-fetched,” adding: “I’ve seen a lot of people get called for coaching before, and you might have a grumble and stuff, but you get on with it.”
Murray’s comments differ starkly from those of his brother, fellow British tennis star Andy Murray, who has continually called out sexism in tennis. Last year, Andy Murray published an essay in BBC Magazine about the importance of gender equality in all sports.
“I have been asked about women’s equality and I would find it hard to look any of the top female tennis players in the eye if I did not speak my mind,” he wrote. “People often underestimate the amount of work that it takes to become a top tennis player. And that work ethic is the same whether you are a man or a woman.”
“Anyone who has spent any time with any of the top women will know that they make those same sacrifices and are as determined and committed to winning as any of the top men on the tour,” he added.
Ramos’ next umpiring gig will be at the Croatia vs. U.S. match in the Davis Cup this weekend.