“Tennis-Tired of the Trash Talk”
It’s been a week since the sleazy ending of the US Open Tourney in Flushing Meadow, the tourney where the Serena Williams temper tantrum overshadowed the huge victory of Japanese sensation Naomi Osaka.
Serena was slapped with 17,000-in fines, besieged with a cavalcade of boos from the fans, and created such an uproar that Osaka broke into tears at the trophy presentation.
Williams outrage at penalties imposed by the chair came as a result of ‘her’ violation of the rules, taking instruction from her coach during the finals match.
She went into full throated screeching, calling the chair judge a thief….demanding an apology for the insinuation she was cheating.
More points after she smashed her racket in anger after line calls and poor play.
And it went on and on, as Osaka piled up points in the straight set win.
Then the uproar during the Osaka trophy presentation, which triggered an overflow of boos,…followed by another tirade in the post match press conference.
It’s one thing to criticize the chair, hell that was a common sight during the Jon McEnroe-Ilie Nastase era.
But then to insinuate it was gender related, guys get away with more than women on the court…and then infer had something to with white-vs-black. Penalty points everywhere.
And to finish it off, she decided to pull out the ‘woe-is-me’ …’I am the mother of a young baby’ card as if that has anything to do with the game itself.
Credit Serena with a spectacular bounce back to form, to get to the finals of Wimbledon and the US Open, just 9-months after a tough birth-delivery.
But she’s not the first athlete to struggle to regain form after childbirth. And how many times do we have to list to the sad song of how tough it was. Mother and baby are fine.
Mother’s tennis game is still pretty good too.
But Mom’s attitude has gone into double-fault status.
And the New York Times did a research piece on Grand Slam events going back two decades, who was penalized for what in scraps with the chair judges.
Fines by Gender at Grand Slam Tournaments
All Fines, 1998-2018 Men Women
Racket Abuse 646 99
Audible Obscenity 344 140
Unsportsmanlike Conduct 287 67
Coaching 87 152
Ball Abuse 49 35
Verbal Abuse 62 16
Visible Obscenity 20 11
A bad display of sportsmanship has become a growing concern for Serena Williams. She has carried the sport as a superstar for so long. Why sully the reputation.
She’s greater that Steffi Graff, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Billie Jean King.
Serena needs to get back to that style, not just on the court, but with her public image.
The only thief on the court, the only cheat on the court, was Serena, for what should have been a breathtaking moment for the young Japanese star, that instead turned into a crying session.
Serena stole the moment, and cheated her competitor out of a memory for a lifetime. That’s a double fault on Williams reputation.