Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Rant

I have a rant. I am completely bewildered as to why our media has such a love affair for Serena Williams.

I've been playing and watching tennis since the Old Folks decided that I needed an introduction to "polite" human society. (There were also ballroom dancing lessons, but that is another story.)

Two years ago at the US open, Serena threatened to kill a line judge. She did it in front of millions of people and was pretty clearly recorded. Then, last year, she bailed on the US open with, what I believe was, a totally fabricated excuse. She claimed she was injured from stepping on broken glass. . . but between the glass incident and bailing on the US open, she successfully played in an exhibition match, seemingly uninjured.

This weekend, I was dismayed to see how she reacted to winning the match that put her in the finals. She jumped around and pointed to the sky and acted as if this were her first time to make it to the big match. I dislike it when any player, who has a history of championships, acts as if beating a less experienced player is some kind of miracle. I think it's unsportsman like and undignified. Frickin' act like you've been there before.

Then, today, during her match she called out just as the opponent who was handily beating her was about to hit the ball. It was a clear noise violation, and according to the rules, was an automatic loss of the point. During the change over, Serena berated the chair umpire and demanded to know if she were the same umpire who "screwed" her last time, and then ran her mouth during the whole change over.

Thing is, the reaction from the folks covering the match were to excuse Serena's behavior and demonstrate a total lack of understanding of the rules.

Now, tonight, with a bit more distance from the ugliness, commenters are pointing out that she was, in fact, in violation of the rules, the chair umpire was right, and Serena's behavior afterwards was unacceptable. And, it is suddenly being recalled that Serena is still on USTA probation for the threats the last time she played the US open.

Serena isn't some doe-eyed teenager who got caught up in the moment of her first big tournament. She is a seasoned veteran who has been playing majors half her life. She is an adult. She knows better.

Frankly, she isn't good for the game. Perhaps now would be a good time for her to retire.

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