Serena Williams of the United States hugs the championship trophy after defeating Victoria Azarenka of Belarus to win the women's singles final match on Day Fourteen of the 2012 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 9, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood, of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USTA)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams says Lance Armstrong let all athletes down by doping and lying about it for so long, while No. 1-ranked Victoria Azarenka says the disgraced cyclist “deserves everything he gets.”

Williams and Azeranka, speaking Saturday after their third-round wins at the Australian Open, said Armstrong’s confession after such vehement denials cast doubt over other sports.

“I think a lot of people now look and are like, ‘OK, if somebody (is) that great, what about everyone else in every other sport?'” Williams said.

“As an athlete, as someone that works really, really hard since I was 4 or 3, I think it’s a sad day for all athletes in general. Overall, it’s even more disappointing for the people that were adversely affected through everything. You can only just hope for the best for them.”

Azeranka said “everybody works so hard to be the best.”

“You cannot be a hero in the end of the day,” Azeranka said. “You cannot lie. You cannot cheat. Everybody works so hard to be the best, and you have to respect that.”

On Friday, Novak Djokovic said, “I think it’s a disgrace for the sport to have an athlete like this” and that he should “suffer for his lies.”

In the second half of his televised interview with Oprah Winfrey on Friday in the U.S., Armstrong said he lost $75 million in sponsorship deals after his doping use was revealed.

In the first part, broadcast Thursday, Armstrong admitted using performance-enhancing drugs when he won seven straight Tour de France titles.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.