All I can say is, “What was she thinking?” Yesterday, Serena Williams was playing against Kim Clijsters in the semifinals at the US Open. On match point, a line judge made a horrible call and gave Williams a foot fault penalty. Williams foot was not over the line. I can understand the frustration and I imagine she was angry with herself as well since she was not playing as well as her opponent, but what happened after the erroneous call and led to a point penalty that gave the winning point to Clijsters even shocked John McEnroe. After the foot fault, Williams berated the line judge and hurled some insults. Then she returned to the line to finish her serve and again turned back towards the judge and laid into her some more with expletives and even telling her, “I’m going to shove this ball down your f**king throat!” Rumor has it that she also threatened the life of the judge. When the chair umpire called the judge over to see what was said, he gave Williams a point penalty. So she lost without swinging her racket.
I like the Williams sisters. They have done great things for getting people back to the sport of tennis and have been an inspiration for young girls, particularly those of color. What happened yesterday though makes me wonder what goes on in the mind of young phenoms. Tiger Woods recently lost it during a match and threw a club and has yelled at observers too many times to count. As if a person of his caliber cannot focus amid distractions. Players rountinely lose their cool in tennis and have “words” with the chair umpire, but this was beyond the pale. It brings disgrace to a sport that is known for its decorum. It brings disgrace to a sport I love. I grow weary of all these sport figures who are rewarded far more than they should be when they have their temper tantrums, commit criminal acts, sleep around and just become morally repugnate people. Kids are watching. Unfortunatley in our society, movie stars and sports figures are the ones kids want to be like.
Serena, we all know it was a bad call. Channel that frustration into aceing the next serve, not lowering yourself to the level of a street thug.