Ion Tiriac (left) called for Serena Williams to retire in January.
  • The son of the tennis mogul who called on Serena Williams to retire slammed Alexis Ohanian for defending her.
  • Alexandru Tiriac quoted Spider-Man in the strange letter, which he addressed to Ohanian on Wednesday.
  • "With great power comes great responsibility," he said.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The son of the tennis mogul who called on Serena Williams to retire has slammed her husband Alexis Ohanian for defending her in a bizarre letter in which he appeared to quote Spider-Man.

Ion Tiriac, a former Grand Slam winner who is now the director of the Madrid Open, said in January that Williams, 39, should retire because of her "age" and "weight."

Ohanian responded at the time by calling Tiriac a "racist/sexist clown" - a sentiment he re-iterated on Tuesday after Williams beat Simona Halep to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open.

"Good thing no one listens to that racist sexist [clown] Ion Tiriac," Ohanian tweeted after Williams' victory.

Following Ohanian's latest comments, Tiriac's son, Alexandru, posted a strange letter to Twitter addressed directly to Ohanian.

"To Mrs. Williams' husband," read the letter. "I read your tweet with a mix of disbelief and disgust.

"The name Tiriac has a 70-year tradition in the world of sports and the gentleman you are referring to has written a few important chapters that have contributed to the book of tennis along these decades.

"From the player, to the coach, to the manager, to the tournament promoter, the respected person you are bad wording in these derogatory terms has and still is, at the age of 82, one of the strongest advocates of this sport.

"The respect he has for Mrs. Williams is tremendous, as it should be. She is and will remain in history as one of the best 20-25 players who have highly contributed to this sport.

"She has a personality that has opened many doors for young generations of athletes, in all fields of sports and in all social walks of life. For that, we are very grateful to her."

Alexandru went on to call Ohanian's comments "unnecessary," saying that "free speech should not be wrongly replaced with inappropriate slander."

He then quoted Spider-Man. 

"In my humble opinion, and to use a well-known quote, "with great power comes great responsibility," he said.

The phrase "with great power comes great responsibility" was popularized by the Spider-Man comic books written by Stan Lee. 

"As Mrs. Williams' husband, you can no longer only represent your own views when you talk about sports, but also the voice of an icon," Alexandru continued.

"It would be a real shame to cast an erroneous image on her legacy through emotional baseless tweets.

"I hope that through these few sentences I can bring some wisdom toyour future misguided public declarations, and maybe some due respect to a self-made man who is a true lover and lifelong contributor to this sport."

Ohanian nor Williams have yet responded to the letter.

Williams faces third seed Naomi Osaka in the last four of the Open on Thursday. The winner of that match will play either Karolina Muchova of Czechia, or the US' Jennifer Brady in the final.

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