Serena’s Blow-up

Sorry Serena, you have been foot faulting regularly; and it doesnt makeserena a difference that it was the end of the match, if you did it again (and i cannot really tell), the call is correct — and your behavior was not.

6 thoughts on “Serena’s Blow-up

  1. It was even worse than when she said she’s “really the #1 player” or when she said Henin was just “lucky” to beat her. It puts her in the same category of poor character and sportsmanship as Tiger Woods!

  2. I support the USTA officials who had the courage to hand Serena a penalty point on match point. No player is above the rules of the game. This should serve as an example to other players (pros and amateurs) who need to control their tempers.

  3. In my view, it was not the foot fault that was the issue, it was Serena’s completely unacceptable tirade at the line judge afterward. NOBODY should have to be subjected to that kind of language and what amounts to a verbal threat, let alone in the semi finals of the US Open and on national TV. I personally think Serena’s punishment of being awarded a point penalty (counting the earlier racquet abuse) and, thus, the loss of the match was not enough. I hope the WTA fines her — significantly. This kind of behavior gives the entire sport a very bad image and is simply unacceptable.

    Put another way, would you tolerate the kind of langugae being used against you if you made a call — it does not have to be a foot fault call — in an unofficiated match where the players are responsible for making their own calls? Would you????

    If Serena felt she had an issue with the call, the proper — indeed only — thing to do would have been to ask the chair umpire for an overrule. Granted, it would not be likely that would happen, but those are the rules. The instant replay system does not work for foot faults, I gather.

    As for whether the foot fault really happened, the TV replay, which was from an odd angle, was not conclusive. However, I note George’s comment that Serena has been foot faulting a lot lately and it seems logical, if not likely, that a player with that predisposition might tighten up at a critical moment like this in the match and actually commit a foot fault. So, I am inclined to give the benefit of doubt to the linesperson. After all, why would she possibly make it up?

    What is interesting to be, however, is the kind of fault that I believe it was. In my experience, pros are more often guilty of foot faulting with the back foot (i.e., the right foot if you are right handed) crossing or touching the line before the ball is struck. However, amateurs are more often guilty of touching the leading foot (i.e., the left foot if you are right handed) against the line or even stepping on the line or into the court itself when they foot fault. Here, based on the inconclusive TV replay, it appears that Serena probably foot faulted with her left foot — not the right. That usually happens because the player has started out too close to the back line to begin the serve — trying to be aggressive — or because the ball toss is a little errant and the server moves the front foot a smidgeon in the middle of tyhe service delivery to hit a toss that probably should have been dropped. In either case, the scenario fits logically with the notion that Serena was tense and tight given tne gravity of the point and, thus, the foot fualt probably did occur.

    – Marty

    Marty – during one of their doubles matches, Serena actually STEPPED into the court with her left foot (and was called on it). geo

  4. how would Venus have handled the same situation? quite differently I imagine. I feel badly for Serena, she’s a great player who really diminished her legacy.
    There is no question that everyone who has played competitive tennis for a long time loses it at some time or another. Maybe not in front of millions of people, but we’ve all made a fool of ourselves once (or twice) in our “careers”. In my opinion, Serena should have made a more apologetic statement than she did.

    Joe – i agree… her ‘statement’ included no “I am sorry” or any sense of remorse. geo

  5. Serena backed the USTA into a corner with few options. Fortunately, they had the courage to do the right thing. Her behavior was outrageous. Unfortunately, you see this type of behavior with alot of celebrities who feel they are above the rules. They surround themselves with people that patronize their everyword and as such feel they can do no wrong. I bet right now that most in her intercircle feel that she was singled out and taken advantage of. Kim would have won regardless of the call. It was unfortunate that this will taint her victory when in truth her comback was truly inspirational.

  6. I am training to be an official and obviously the Serena situation came up during training…!
    The trainee officials were told that Serena had already been awarded a Code Violation – warning, because she had slammed her racket into the ground at the change of ends earlier in the match. The next transgression – her tirade of verbal abuse was adjudged another Code Violation, this time a point penalty, which at 30-40 meant that the game was her opponent’s and taht was the end of the match.
    The Umpire actually wanted to default Serena for gross verbal abuse and unsportsmanlike conduct, but only the Referee can default a player. The Referee was aware of the commotion and was on his way to the court, missing most of what was said. He felt that he could not, therefore, default her and the match had already finished. That is where many official feel let down by the Referee in that tournament. Serena went on to play the doubles and was fined $10,500 by the USTA who were running the tournament. Her earnings were $350,000. The fine was derisory – she has probably paid more in parking ticket!
    The ITF considered the matter and her behavior and made a judgement of a suspended sentence which would invoke a fine of $85000 if she transgressed again.
    It was reported in Tennis Magazine that ahe has posted a blog on a web site indicating that she feels that the Line Umpire owes her an apology.
    Officials I have spoken to about the matter, generally, feel let down. Rules should be applied to all tennis players unilaterally and the top pros should be judged most severely as their actions are models for future generations.
    Interestingly in the same tournament Roger Federer was fined $5000 for his questioning of the umpire when his opponent was taking a long time and checking with his box before making a challenge to a call. The Umpire, wrongly, told Federer to ‘shut up’ and Federer reacted by telling the Umpire that he had no right to tell him to shut up. For that he received a fine half as much as Serena’s. Serena threatened ‘to stuff the F***ing ball down the line umpires throat’ – clearly heard on video’s posted on Youtube.

    Allan – tks for the insider’s view. geo

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