Slammin’ Sam shows Serena how to act like a lady
Talented, graceful Gold Coaster Sam Stosur has won her maiden grand slam title against probably the most ill-tempered so-called sportsperson ever to play any game.
Stosur beat Williams 6-2 6-3 in an incredible display of power tennis, launching blistering forehand after forehand, as Serena Williams resorted to umpire abuse in a vain attempt to disrupt her opponent.
Incredibly, on America’s day of national mourning, the Williams antics backfired and the New York crowd turned against one of its own. The Big Apple knows a bad apple when it sees one.
The Williams outburst, which was yet another in a long line of equally foul tirades, should not overshadow the outstanding sportsmanship and even more impressive ground strokes of Stosur.
Today should be, and is, all about Australia’s latest world beater, who is a champion in every sense of the word.
But it’s hard to get past Serena’s latest hissy fit, if only to remind us of everything we hope we never see on a sporting field, and everything we hope our young sports stars don’t become. (You reading this, young Bernie Tomic?)
Here’s what happened today. Early in the second set, Serena yelled “c’mon” as Stosur went for a baseline shot. You can’t do that in the middle of a point. It’s called “intentional hindrance” in tennis speak, and you lose a point for it.
Chair umpire Eva Asdaraki duly docked Williams a point for her deliberately off-putting tactics. That point happened to be break point, and Stosur won the game. That’s when Serena went a little hysterical.
First she accused the umpire of being the one who screwed her over last time, in a reference to her last major US Open meltdown in 2009. She was wrong, by the way. But then, perhaps all umpires look the same to Serena.
Then came the really bad stuff. “If you ever see me walking down the hall, look the other way,” Williams told the official, whose only crime was enforcing the rules.
“You’re out of control. You’re not only out of control, you’re a hater, and you’re just unattractive inside. Who would do such a thing? And I never complain. Wow!”
There was more, none of it attractive inside or outside, and none of it doing much to bolster Serena’s claim that she never complains. Unless by “never” she meant “all the time and especially when I’m losing”.
Fact is, Serena has a history of both bad-mouthing others and of big-mouthing herself. And that history is as long as her hemline is short.
There is an argument, flimsy though it is, that the behaviour of both Venus and Serena Williams has often been misconstrued by white folk. African-American culture is all about bluster, bling and bravado. Taken in context, these things are valid cultural traits, rather than incredibly offensive egotism.
But there’s a much better argument that what belongs in the rapper’s ghetto has no place on the courts of Flushing Meadows.
Rapper Lil Wayne has a song called “I’m me” with the following highly revealing lyrics.
Yes I’m the best and no I ain’t positive I’m definite
I know the game like I’m reffin it
So in rap speak, Lil Wayne expresses his self-worth unapologetically, to the point of declaring that he is his own referee in the game of life. Fine.
Not so fine on the tennis court, where it just makes you look like an ungracious brat. Of course, Williams tried to make things better at the presentation ceremony, where she gave credit to Stosur, sort of.
But she couldn’t resist one last swipe at the ref, when she said “I hit a winner but I guess it didn’t count”. No Serena. You broke the rules and were punished.
After the match came something even more distasteful on the Serena Williams Twitter feed. First she spelled her opponent’s name wrong. “Congrats to Sam Stoser”, she tweeted.
Then she said “As for me next time”, adding the hashtag #serenapower. For those that don’t know, a hash tag is a way of directing tweets on a particular topic.
So by using the unbelievably immodest hash tag #serenapower, Williams was fishing for acclaim, even as she half-heartedly congratulated our Sam. Sorry to spoil the party, sister.
Meanwhile, Sam Stosur did her best impression of two famous Aussie tennis Pats. First she emulated Pat Rafter, whose good-nature and great sportsmanship won the hearts of New Yorkers in his dual US Open triumphs in 1997 and ’98.
Then she copied Pat Cash’s famous ascent into the stands at Wimbledon in 1987. Great stuff. She’s now world number seven and in a wide open field, the top spot beckons.
Crisis in Australian tennis? What crisis? The real crisis is in the behaviour of the Williams tennis family.
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