Not many tennis fans will forget this image of a belligerent Serena Williams at the 2009 US Open semi-final match with Clisters
Belligerent in a lost cause entirely of her own making. She was losing the tennis match and she lost her tennis focus when she was called on a foot fault by a linesperson a point away from Matchpoint for her opponent, Kim Clisters.
I have often felt put off by her excessive “exuberence” when she scored a big point or won a big match. Her in your face manners didn’t seem to fit the game of tennis. But then the game today is marked by very vocal grunts/groans and a lot of excessive on court celebration. That’s part of the “winner take all” culture we live in. So be it.
But I don’t think many will interpret Serena‘s manifestly violent gestures and words to that linesperson in a very friendly way. Her mother and coach apparently felt that it was OK for Serena to say what she had to when she thought something wrong was happening to her. I think that in a week when a white Congress Rep shouted “You lie” during a presidential speech, it is very sad and very regrettable that a black tennis player should misbehave so badly in full public view and earshot.
Racism has all kinds of sides, doesn’t it. Did Serena’s highly vituperative reaction to this linesperson’s call on her have anything to do with the fact that she was manifestly an Asian American? Go figure!
Related articles by Zemanta
- Nancy Snow: Serena Williams Loses It (huffingtonpost.com)