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Federer bemused that Thiem’s news conference was cut short

June 2, 2019
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Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates winning his fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Argentina's Leonardo Mayer in three sets, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PARIS (AP) — Roger Federer found the whole thing worthy of locker-room joking: 2018 French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem’s news conference was abruptly stopped to make way for the sudden arrival of Serena Williams following her loss at the tournament.

With a grin, Federer said Sunday: “I thought that was funny.”

Williams was so eager to get her media obligations over and done with Saturday evening that she met with reporters a little more than 10 minutes after her match ended — much sooner than usual.

So Thiem, who was supposed to speak about his third-round win, was told to make way . He called that “a joke, really.”

“I don’t know what went wrong, but something went wrong for this to happen,” Federer said after beating Leonardo Mayer in straight sets. “Maybe they should have kept Serena still in the locker room, not waiting here in the press center. I don’t know exactly what happened. I understand Dominic’s frustration.”

For Thiem, “it’s just about, ‘How in the world did this happen?’” Federer said. “I don’t think he’s mad at Serena or anybody.”

Thiem, too, was finally able to laugh about the incident.

“We joked about it,” Federer said. “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.”

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