The coach of world number six Petra Kvitova has sparked debate over sexism in tennis after comments made at the Australian Open . “Last year I was thinking about for sure in women’s tennis they help them,” he said. “In men’s tennis they are more stronger, more tougher maybe like on the court,” said former professional player Jiri Vanek when asked about the broadening of on-court coaching. When Petra is on fire shes on fire bye Melbourne, moving on with a positive feeling! @Petra_Kvitova @australianopen pic.twitter.com/kqgGHf5Yak — Belinda Bencic (@BelindaBencic) 18 January 2019 <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!--\n\n\n//--><!]]> Varek was speaking after Kivtova’s fourth round victory over Amanda Anisimova in Melbourne, which hands the eighth-seed a meeting with home favourite Ashleigh Barty on Monday. The Czech star, who has twice won Wimbledon, has been coached by Vanek since 2016. Vanek previoulsy coached Karolina Pliskova from 2014 to 2016. On-court coaching is banned at grand slam events but allowed by the WTA. Under current WTA rules, players are permitted to call a designated coach to court once per set or during their opponent’s medical break. Serena Williams’ outburst at the US Open final was a misguided way to tackle sexism in tennis Serena Williams was given a code violation for coaching during last year’s US Open final in October, which resulted in accusations of sexism over the punishment of male and female players. Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou wrote on Twitter that the “vast majority” of coaches break on-court coaching rules. Wimbledon bosses have said that they are willing to look into on-court coaching. Serena Williams may have highlighted sexism in tennis, but what do three-set matches say to young girls about inferiority?