Fierey player, passionate player, entertaining player, ll adjectives that I’ve heard applied to the likes of tennis bad asses John McEnroe, Jimmie Connors, Jennifer Capriati and others over the years; but not Saturday night in the case of American Serena Williams while playing her semifinal match at the 2009 U.S. Open against Belgium’s Kim Clijsters.
According to Commentator Dick Enberg, “champions don’t act like that.” Now, according to Wikipedia, Enberg was born in 1935, which suggests to me that he has witnessed some of the most outrageous on court shenanigans that have been displayed by champions and non-champions alike.
Earlier in the day, prior to the Williams vs. Clijsters match, CBS was ironically showing one of Jimmie Connors matches because of the rain delay. Connors was acting a stone, cold, fool! But this match was worthy of repeating to fill rain delay time.
The WTA, ESPN, CBS and whomever else owns and broadcasts women’s tennis currently enjoys the silence of a multitude of tennis fans who support both Venus and Serena Williams among other tennis players and want peace, while irreverent commentators speak of them as if they are not in the room or on the court; well not on this issue. On this one I’ve already seen fans bringing the noise and the funk!
All implications from the commentary booth on Saturday evening were as if Serena Williams had initiated a new standard of bad behavior. Serena can’t even begin to touch the behavior of some other tennis players who have built their careers on the backs of those whom they have lambasted and treated like dirt while on court.
With regard to this incident, while serving at 5-6, 15-30, the line official called a foot fault on Serena on her second serve, thus awarding Clijsters double match point, 15-40. However, Serena became upset with the call and began jawing at the official. To her misfortune, she had already been given a warning earlier in the match; which now combined resulted in a point penalty, thus costing her the match.
Post match Serena said, “I said something and they gave me a point penalty. Unfortunately, it was on match point. You know, today was a tough day. I didn’t play my best. I think I had more errors today than all of my other matches combined. It was really tough for me out there.”
“I think Kim played really well, and I think she came out with a really big plan. I saw her play in Cincinnati and she played incredible. It’s really good to have her back on tour. Maybe we can get together and have some calming lessons.”
With regard to the foot fault call, Serena said “I’m pretty sure I did. If she called a foot fault, she must have seen a foot fault. I mean, she was doing her job. I’m not going to knock her for doing her job.”
It’s going to be interesting to see and hear how this shakes out over the next six months or so. I’ve got a pretty good idea what it’s going to look and sound like.
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