Biggest moments of 2011 #14 Serena spats, Sam slams
On the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, you wouldn’t have thought an American would be booed by their own crowd at a major sporting event in New York City. Yet Serena Williams achieved exactly this.
In normal circumstances, the story of the day would have been Sam Stosur’s straight sets US Open victory, which made her the first Ausralian woman in to win a Grand Slam event since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won Wimbledon way back in 1981.
But Williams changed the whole tone of the event with a foul outburst at the umpire. Among other filth she said “You’re out of control” and “You’re a hater, and you’re just unattractive inside.” We just wish the umpire had returned serve with that old schoolyard taunt “I know you are but what am I?”
The outburst came after Williams was docked a point for yelling while the ball was still in play. Such antics are deemed to be deliberately off-putting to an opponent. Sam Stosur’s press conference, perhaps laced with just the faintest dose of irony, included the line: “Serena, you are a fantastic player, great champion and have done wonders for our sport.”
The wonders will never cease.
What happened next
Williams received the world’s smallest reprimand, a $2,000 fine which represented just 0.002 per cent of her $900,000 runners-up cheque. Meanwhile, Stosur rocketed to number seven in the world, and finished the year at number six. She didn’t win another tournament in 2011 and has still won just three in her career. At least she won the one that mattered.
What we learned
We learned that even the cynical New York crowd has a threshold for the level of idiotic behaviour on display. We also learned that Kyle Sandilands has a soul mate. Above all, we learned that Australian tennis will always produce one or two players every decade capable of mixing it with the world’s best. That said, there is no one within cooee of Sam in the women’s rankings. The junior production line remains very, very broken.
How The Punch covered it
This was an event we were able to cover live, as the final played out on a Monday morning here in Australia. We watched it live, chewed a few fingernails, let out a few whoops when Sam won, then published a lunchtime update entitled Slammin’ Sam Shows Serena How to act Like a Lady. Which she did.
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