Brad Simmons

Williams' outburst judged too harshly

Posted September 14, 2009
Updated September 15, 2009

Much has been made of Serena Williams’ outburst in her semi-final loss at the US Open. I really don’t see what the fuss is about.

There were a lot of factors that fueled emotions to boil over.

Both Williams and her opponent Kim Clijsters sat around all day waiting to play a match they didn’t know would even be played.

Clearly Clijsters outplayed Serena for much of the night. Williams was on the ropes and the match was all but over.

Then it happened…Serena serves, foot fault called by the lines woman and the bottom falls out. Many have characterized this as a meltdown. She felt she had been wronged and clearly was upset and let the lines woman know she wasn’t happy about the call.

Should this be any surprise? Sports are emotional. Athletes pour every bit of themselves into getting to the professional level. When you put your heart and soul into something and it doesn’t pan out, then something’s going to give. That’s just competitive nature.

Only one person knows if it was a foot fault and clearly Serena Williams disagreed. Unfortunately there was no camera angle that confirmed the fault. So who’s to say who was right and who was wrong?

The commentators, Dick Enberg, Mary Carillo and John McEnroe, had their opinions on the outburst. Enberg saying something to the effect of Champions don’t act like that. Hello, Dick, do you realize who is sitting beside you? Only one of best tennis players of all-time in McEnroe and a person who clearly knows how give somebody the business.

I’m sure looking back everyone involved would have liked to have avoided the situation, but the fact is the human element was in full swing, whether it be the lines woman erred in her call or Serena thinking she didn’t fault or the ensuing emotional outburst.


 

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  • kmcne91 Dec 1, 2:10 p.m.

    I agree with Simmon's comments. The punishment doesn't fit the behavior. I think the judges are trying to make an example out of Serena Williams. In all the history of tennis, a punishment of this magnitude has never been given to any other player for their behavior. I think it needs to be overturn.

  • kmcne91 Nov 30, 8:28 p.m.

    I agree with Simmon's comments. The punishment didn't fit the behavior. I think the ruling was totally ridiculous. I have seen worse behavior on the tennis court, but didn't receive such punishment. The ruling needs to be consistent with other behavior.

  • kmcne91 Nov 30, 8:00 p.m.

    I totally agree with Simmon's comments. It's looks as though the league has come up with their own rule and regulations--depending on who violates them. The fine did not fit the behavior.

  • Objective Scientist Sep 18, 9:58 p.m.

    Simmon's view on this is unbelievable. How anyone could make light of such a blatant display of poor sportsmanship and a loss of self-control of at least 98% (loss of the other 2% and Williams would have done what she threatened to do.) Nothing... NOTHING! No amount of pressure or "desire to win" justifies such behavior. That anyone would fail to see that is indicative of reasons why the national shouting match we see over every issue is as vitriolic as they are.

  • Sauras69 Sep 17, 8:48 p.m.

    Old story. New topic needed.

  • goBRO Sep 17, 4:28 p.m.

    I understand where this writer is coming from. He knows about Serena Williams and tennis. And a writer...you people need to take it easy on the Cobra. He can write and watch tennis...at the same time.

  • kennywalters Sep 17, 9:40 a.m.

    Ah, so "it goes on everywhere" and "double standard" make it ok? There are a number of reasons why this is looked at differently. I think the biggest is this. Serena Williams, previously, has not behaved in this manner. McEnroe, and Ilie Nastase before him, got to the point where it was expected and, frankly, became part of the show. McEnroe yelling "you cannot be serious" is not anywhere close to threatening to shove the f'n ball up the judge's f'n rear.

  • packfn321 Sep 16, 8:13 p.m.

    "And this is what happens when non-writers write---sheer idiocy. This might be the dumbest opinion piece I've yet to read on this website. Honest"

    Thank goodness the world has you angels who never get mad or have a harsh word to say to people! My bad billy goat, its ok for you to criticize as long as you dont curse right? Dont hurt yourself falling off your high horse.

    There is a big difference in saying and doing...do you really think Serena Williams would shove the ball down the the throat of that lines person?

    What this article should really touch on is the double standard in sports.

    People wanted to see John McEnroe play tennis and part of that was his blow ups at officials...so its ok for him to do it but not Serena Williams?

    Take any other sport in America and tell me that the athletes in those sports dont go after the refs and officials in the same manner Serena did. That's right...you cant.

    The only difference between Williams' outburst and those in others sports is that you could actually hear hers as opposed to other sports where 20 to 100 thousand fans are screaming the same vulgarities at the officials that the players are.

    Point being is it goes on in every sport so dont be blind to that.

  • UNC81 Sep 16, 9:05 a.m.

    It's a shame that this controversy is playing down the fact that Serena got beat down by her unranked opponent. Everyone in the media is making it seem like Serena would have won, if not for her classless tirade.

    The punishment has been very slack by the USTA.

  • Sauras69 Sep 15, 3:26 p.m.

    She deserved to lose. This is totally unprofessional for anyone who makes milions from fans in the stands, and on TV. No excuses.

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