Commentator sues after being sacked over ‘guerilla’ remark

Venus Williams

Venus Williams was beaten by sister Serena in the Australian Open final

Sacked tennis commentator Doug Adler is to sue broadcaster ESPN, claiming he compared Venus Williams’ tactics to a “guerilla”, rather than a “gorilla”.

During Williams’ Australian Open second-round tie with Stefanie Voegele in January, Adler said: “Venus moved in and put the guerilla effect on.”

Adler apologised after viewers complained, but was dismissed by ESPN.

An ESPN spokesman told BBC Sport: “We have not been served and are declining further comment.”

Adler’s lawyer David M Ring said that “guerilla tennis” was a common phrase in the sport to describe an aggressive match, citing a Spike Jonze-directed advert featuring Andre Agassi and Peter Sampras that was named after the term.

Adler had worked for ESPN since 2008 and was a professional tennis broadcaster for six years prior to that.

He claims he suffered “emotional distress” after accusations of racism.

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