Serena showed 'bad personality', says Thiem

PARIS, June 2 (Reuters) - Dominic Thiem accused Serena Williams of showing "bad personality" after he was asked to interrupt a post-match news conference to make room for the American following her French Open defeat.

The Austrian fourth seed was talking to the media after his third-round win on Saturday and Williams, who had just lost in straight sets to compatriot Sofia Kenin, was pushing organizers to give her a room right away.

"Put me in another room, a smaller one, but now," she said, without asking to be directed to the main room where Thiem was speaking.

Organizers made Thiem move out and the Austrian was fuming at being treated like "a junior."

"It's a joke," the 25-year-old Thiem told the ATP press officers after being told he had to go to another room.

"I have to leave the room because she's coming. What the hell, I don't care. I can also do whatever I want."

On Sunday, speaking to Eurosport Germany, Thiem added: "Actually, I wasn’t angry or frustrated. Maybe for a couple of minutes or so.

"It is just the principle. It doesn’t matter, if it is me who sits in there. I still made a wrong statement. I said that I am not a junior anymore.

"But even if a junior is in there, every player has to wait. It is a matter of course. It also shows a bad personality in my opinion. I am a 100 percent sure (Roger) Federer or (Rafael) Nadal would never do something like that.”

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Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts after missing a shot against Sofia Kenin of the U.S. during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday, June 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Switzerland's Roger Federer plays a shot against Argentina's Leonardo Mayer during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Spain's Rafael Nadal plays a shot against Argentina's Juan Ignacio Londero during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts after missing a shot and loosing her third round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Sofia Kenin of the U.S. in two sets, 2-6, 5-7, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday, June 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena )
Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts after missing a shot against Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena )
Switzerland's Roger Federer plays a shot against Argentina's Leonardo Mayer during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka screams after scoring a point against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena )
Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas falls after diving to return a shot against Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Sloane Stephens of the U.S. plays a shot against Spain's Garbine Muguruza during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka celebrates winning his fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in five sets, 7-6 (8-6), 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 8-6, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena )
Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays a shot against Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Monday, June 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro prepares to serve against Australia's Jordan Thompson during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday, June 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Germany's Alexander Zverev plays a shot against Serbia's Dusan Lajovic during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday, June 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Japan's Naomi Osaka gets up after slipping during her third round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday, June 1, 2019. Osaka lost her match in two sets, 4-6, 2-6. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Germany's Alexander Zverev is reflected in a window, left, as he plays a shot, right, against Serbia's Dusan Lajovic during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday, June 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
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Federer, a 20-times Grand Slam champion, said he understood Thiem's frustration.

"I think there is, with all the players, always a way to go that the one who is still in the tournament gets priority. Anyway, that's how I see it," he told reporters on Sunday.

"If I would have lost today against (Leonardo) Mayer, I would let Mayer go first or decide when he wants to go to press as he's got a next match.

"Now, there must have sure been a misunderstanding or maybe they should have kept Serena still in the locker room, not waiting here in the press center. I understand Dominic's frustration."

Thiem's reaction caused amusement in the locker room.

"For him it's just about how in the world did this happen? I don't think he's mad at Serena or anybody," said Federer.

"I just think it was an unfortunate situation that I thought was funny and we joked about it just before. That's why I'm very much aware of what happened, and that's why we are laughing in the locker room about it now." (Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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