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.