September 12th, 2011
07:09 PM ET

Has Serena Williams been judged too harshly?

Serena Williams was furious after being penalized during the U.S. Open women's final on Sunday. (Getty Images)
Serena Williams was furious after being penalized during the U.S. Open women's final on Sunday. (Getty Images)

Only hardened Australian tennis fans gave Samantha Stosur a chance of beating Serena Williams in the final of the U.S. Open.

It seemed the rest of the world felt sure that the American, a 13-time major champion, would romp home just as she had done through six rounds at Flushing Meadows and two hard-court tournaments before that, but the 27-year old Aussie clearly hadn't read the script.

This was supposed to be the fairytale ending of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, and the clear favorite seemed destined to win, just like her sister Venus had in New York in 2001. But, perhaps for the first time in her professional career, she was overpowered.

Stosur has arm muscles that a dedicated bodybuilder would be proud of, and told me after Sunday's final that they are the combination of good genes and a lot of hard work in the gym.

But this impressive victory wasn't only about physical strength - it was mental too. Stosur passed the test with flying colors, something she's not been able to do in the past.

This was a new Sam, not the one who lost in the 2010 French Open final when expected to win her first major - or crashed out in the first round at Wimbledon this year. This was one who truly believed she could beat the overwhelming favorite, and subsequently put in one of the best individual performances I have ever seen.

The women's tour needs a dominant number one, at least for a little bit, and perhaps the affable Aussie is the one they've been waiting for. If she can remain at that level, multiple majors beckon - even with Serena back in the fold!

Some of Sam's remarkable achievement was overshadowed by Williams' outburst at the start of the second set, which clearly wouldn't have been such a big deal if not for what happened two years ago at the same tournament.

In 2009 Williams was fined heavily and given a suspended sentence for threatening a line judge in her semifinal defeat by Kim Clijsters - a probation which lasted through this year's final major.

This time, Serena was given a code violation for arguing with the umpire after being given a point penalty for "intentional hindrance." She called out after hitting what seemed to be a certain winner to save a break point against her serve, but her cry of "Come on" came before the point had ended. Was it intentional? Probably not.

At first it seemed as though umpire Eva Asderaki agreed and would ask them to replay the point, but she then decided it had been intentional after all and gave the point to Sam, as per the rules.

Serena argued and was given a code violation. Later, at a change of ends she called the Greek official a "hater" and "unattractive inside."

The crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium were clearly unhappy with the initial decision, letting their feelings known with loud jeers and whistles, and though this helped Serena and hindered Sam at first, normal service was soon resumed - another impressive example of the Australian's strong mental strength.

After the match, Serena did not shake the umpire's hand but did go over to the champion to offer extra congratulations.

Neither player wanted to dwell on the earlier incident in their post-match press conferences; my colleagues in the media will, until Serena offers something of an apology.

It was a shame this will be remembered rather than her terrific run to the final, which not even she expected after being close to death's door earlier this year after blood clots formed in her lungs.

So now the debate rages - was Serena within her rights to say what she did? Or has she not learned from her mistakes of the past?

But I think a more intriguing question is, would this even be an issue if Serena was male? Tennis players are usually fairly cool and collected, but it's not that unusual for them to say unpleasant things to match officials.

Andy Roddick is one who delivers tongue lashings from time to time, but we don't often focus on what he said or how he said it. He's never been put on probation and probably never will be.

So, has Serena been judged too harshly?

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Filed under:  Tennis
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. J. R.

    Yes, she has been judged too harshly. If she were a man this would not be an issue. The call was silly. Should have been a let.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  2. ant

    many americans recognize the racial component in serena's tirades.against judges hopefully, the american media will be brave enough to report on that one day.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  3. Dan

    Not nearly harshly enough!

    What a disgusting outburt. She should have been thrown out of the match.

    Igrate, spoiled, B*&^%!

    September 12, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  4. Dan

    Only CNN would ask if the spoiled brat was treated "too harshly".

    What a joke. She should have been dismissed from the court.

    What an embarrassment to America.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  5. Andy

    No way is Serena being judged too harshly. You have to bear in mind how we got here. You left out some important details about Serena's 2009 tirade when she threatened to stuff a ball down the line judge's mouth or throat. According to the line judge in 2009, Serena's threat also included use of the word "kill". Which male players exactly have threated to do bodily harm to a line judge or umpire?

    So this is why Serena is on probation. And while on probation she has another tirade yesterday. Granted, no clear threats to do bodily harm this time, though Serena did say something about the umpire had better not be coming towards her in a hallway in the future. But she still was on probation for threatening to do bodily harm and yesterday, at a minimum, she verbally bullied the umpire. Serena could have mitigated the situation by at least apologizing in her remarks to the crowd after the match but, nope, Serena just said with a smile that she thought she had won the point in question but apparently she had not. Serena needs help.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  6. Chris

    Another Ugly American tennis incident. Not as bad as some of McEnroe's tirades, but very bad sportsmanship. Appropriate that an Australian won the title match, as the Aussie's have been #1 in tennis sportsmanship for a long time.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  7. Boz

    No, she hasn't been judged too harshly. What she did is unacceptable and poor for the sport. Think of her opponent and the three games after her rampage. Plus, who could say those things to an umpire? They are personal and she (umpire) was doing what she's supposed to do, levy fines for things outside the rules. Serena is an embarressment to the sport and is just plain classless, like her father.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  8. Storm

    She yelled out before a point was over. Her opponent had a play on the ball. Even after the point was over, when she clearly knew she had interfered, she gave no indication that she regretted her poor form. She did all of this on probation after having told a lineswoman she would shove a ball up her ass. When has Roddick behaved this badly?

    September 12, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  9. vic

    It doesn't matter if she was are judged by your peers...maybe she is just the pioneer of disrespect from female tennis players towards officials...but for now, her comments are sooo way out of line...

    And it doesn't matter either if she was male. Those comments are disrespectful no matter what. Once it becomes "normal" to disrespect officials in such a blatant manner, then it becomes a sad time.

    Sure, I can understand an immediate anger outburst...and then maybe some lingering feelings later (a la Aggassi) ... but she did not keep quiet ... she just kept on whining...

    And then to say afterwards all "smiling and girly", sucking up to the press, saying she blames it on the heat of competition and can't remember anything...that is just an excuse ...

    I love American tennis, but she's just a two-faced terrible person right now ...

    September 12, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  10. anon

    No, she hasn't been charged harshly. She has been harsh with people. She's due for some kind of ban.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  11. Lindie

    Although I believe the umpire erred in not allowing a replay of the point, Serena's behavior was totally unacceptable. Her argument to defend her case was not the issue, it was the way she behaved towards the umpire that caused many of us Americans to cringed. That it was 911 ten years anniversary made it even worse. The world was watching and the American reinforced why many foreigners don't have much respect for Americans. What a shame considering how talented and what a force she still is in tennis.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  12. jerry tanenbaum

    Not too harshly and not because she is female. Some of the over the top commentary from the public is likely more because she is black, but I see no special treatment against her from the tennis officials. When she went after the defensless line judge in the threatening manner that she did, she recieved a releatively small "punishment." The chair yesterday made a judgment call, and all involved were female. I believe it proper that "intentional" means making the statement, not means doing it with the intent of throwing the other player off. If you intentionally yell in the middle of a point just before the other player strikes the ball, that should be enough for a point penalty. Frankly, on a gender bias note - there is far too much grunting in womens' tennis anyway. They are getting special treatment in being allowed to yell as they do.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Reply
  13. walker

    no, stupid question. She's an ignorant, rude player regardless of her skill. Roddick should be penalised too, americans are reknown for their arrogance, these two back it up just like previous great american tennis players were.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  14. youserious? Not harshly enough in fact. Next question.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  15. Chris

    I think Serena was totally out of line. She was getting a spanking on the court and took her frustrations out on the umpire. If she was in any other sport she would have been called for a technical foul, un-sportsman like conduct, etc... She should be fined but not banned from the US Open!!!

    September 12, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  16. Jenny Freight

    I believe she should be held accountable. I'm so sick of people not taking responsibility for their actions – they're always the victim. Your point is valid about Andy Roddick but your point that we are being too harsh to Serena is incorrect – we are guilty of not holding Andy accountable.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  17. EOB

    What I find pathetic is that when it comes to Serena Williams, an's always at the UNITED STATES OPEN that she has such issues with tournament referees. Only at the US OPEN that referees consistently interject themselves into her matches at crucial points when emotions are bound to run high. From back in the day when she was so blatantly having points STOLEN from her during her match with Jennifer Capriati (by a referee) that they had to make the player challenge system OFFICIAL! And yet that umpire after a clear display of, at best incompetence, at worst racism STILL has a job and I'm sure this one will as well. You mention whether its a sexism issue? ABSOLUTELY! Andy Roddick, John MacEnroe, Jimmy Conners, Ilse Natase...are all male players who've exerted much more outlandish tantrums and tirades at the open but have acted with impunity! But it's the ugly old race issue as well, the albatross of our nation! Believe me...Jennifer Capriati was no shrinking violet when it came to making her feelings known to judges! It's ridiculous! Why is the US Open so consistently hostile to this woman who is AN AMERICAN!!!

    September 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  18. K. Morgan

    The fact that a male player may have gotten away with saying something to an umpire in the past does not make it acceptable. Serena Williams was rude, aggressive, intimidating, insulting. In other words, a bully. Bullies come in all shapes, sizes, and colours. They are not to be tolerated. Her behaviour was shameful, embarrassing, and childish.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  19. R. Brown

    I think it is a bit crazy how harsh everyone is coming down on Serena, she wasn't upset that she got the "hinderence" call, she was upset because the point was given, and not replayed, like it should have. This happened worse in Doha 2009, and the point was replayed by the same chair umpire. I think what everyone needs to talk about is the horrible scheduling of the semifinals, why on earth would you put Williams/Wozniacki on court at 10 p.m. the night before? She didn't get to sleep until after 4 am, and they knew these athletes have to practice the morning of a final...couldn't Federer/Djokovic or Nadal/Murray take the primetime night spot? Stosur played great, but when I'm sleep deprived I can't focus on a college exam, this is a Grand Slam final. We have no idea what we would do in that situation, so we shouldn't be judging so harshly.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  20. San

    Candy Reid don't jump on the idiot wagon. The question is not, "Would this even be an issue if Serena was male." The real question is why don't you make this an issue if ANYONE acts like a over-indulged three year old. This includes your example of Andy Roddick. It also includes that idiot John McEnroe who defended Serena Williams' little tirade complete with physical threats (which she did last time, too). Way to prove it's OK to threaten bodily harm as long as you're famous! Great job! The longer our society holds famous people to a lower standard than we expect for those around us, the more we act like them.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  21. Anonymous

    Yes, people often forget athletes' achievements because of an outburst or a mistake. The ruling by the umpire was absolutely ridiculous. If it was such a problem that Serena cried out during the game, then a warning should have been given and the point replayed. The media covering such moments in athletes' lives is outrageous. It could be the best player in the world and when one small thing isn't played out as expected, the whole world remembers them for that one moment or that one lapse in judgment. Newsflash world...athletes are not extraterrestrial beings...they make mistakes too just like the regular Joe...except when they do they pay for it dearly by having it plastered ALL over the media. We, the public with our lack of understanding is what drives athletes to turn the wrong path..drugs, gambling, and ultimately suicide.

    It's a shame that the only thing about that match was regarding nothing tennis-related. A bitter umpire that was power tripping decided she should piss off a player more than necessary. I personally do not follow Serena regularly, but I can appreciate the work she puts into the sport and the pressure she deals with. Her lashing at an unfair umpire is not what defines her as an athlete. If you want composed athletes don't make ridiculous calls or find ways to make life harder on them. Besides, I would way prefer to watch an athlete that has some sort of spark rather than the wonder-bread personalities now-a-days...all interviews are clockwork. 90% of athletes are safe and blah. Appreciate the crazy ones as they will end up commentating later on anyway because they make for great entertainment 😉

    September 12, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  22. T Hebb

    No, she has not been judged too harshly.

    Serena's behavior forms an ugly pattern of ad hominen attacks. She is entitled to disagree with the rulings of officials, but not to verbally attack them personally, and certainly not to imply personal physical threats, as she did in the U.S. Open Final. She was already on probation, and she clearly violated it with her menacing remarks.

    She should be removed from competition until she expresses contrition and demonstrates that she understands such behavior cannot be tolerated.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  23. Trina Weathers Boyce

    Unfortunately any game official should be "thick skinned" enough to officiate. Players of any sport are competitors and go through many emotionals while playing any sport as it challenges their physical ability and mental abilities. To have a sensitive official in such a heated competition would not necessarily challenge the officials ability to officiate, but challenges the human traits as a person and the ability to make the judgement call without bringing the officials' personal beliefs, bias, and opinions is the real call. You don't want to always base situations on race and we should believe in 2011 it is the human race and not about color but did the judge base the call on judgement is the question.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  24. old polite guy

    Miss Williams' outbursts display an ignorance of the rules of tennis, and disrespect for any official who gets in her way. She should be banned from the US Open for having broken her probation for the previous incident.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  25. just

    No I do not think that she has been judged to harshly. The judge is doing a very difficult job at a very high level. She ruled according to precise rules of the game. Which when people researched after the fact they found it to be exactly according to the rules. If there is an issue with that then a change to rules would have to be made. No judge should have to endure the amount of abuse and threats unleashed on her by Serena. Serena was way out of line. We judge people by their own actions not by comparison. The judge did nothing wrong and Serena does not have the right to take out her anger on that judge. Kudos to the judge for taking it all and maintaining such a level of professionalism. In that sense i was inspired by the judge. But Serena was unbelievably unsportsmanlike. I hope they due give her some sort of consequences for her behavior. They need to protect their officials.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  26. Sarah

    The difference between Roddick's angry moments and Williams' is that Roddick says routine things that are about the point (you couldn't see that? no way that was out? I know the rules and it was %$# out...) The very ugly tirades from Ms. Williams are personal attacks on the officials, insults like "you are unattractive inside' (whatever that means) OR the very real threat of physical violence against the 95 pound lineswoman 2 years ago.

    I'm tired of Roddick being a poor sport, but Williams is an aggressive bully. BIG difference.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Reply
  27. An American Tennis Fan

    She has not been judged too harshly. It was embarrassing for me to see such a poor display of sportsmanship and just plain whining on an international stage. When most of the country on Sept. 11th was celebrating our hero's, here the tennis world saw an American athlete whining (in New York City of all places). She was/is not the victim that she apparently has convinced herself of. She lost 6-2, 6-3. That point did not decide the outcome of anything. It did reveal her character. Her play and Ms. Stosur's play decided the outcome. Congratulations to Ms. Stosur for her championship play. Australia's can be proud of her. She displayed real professionalism. The official was correct and also demonstrated real poise and professionalism.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Reply
  28. Singapore

    I just watched the replay. I think she was just outclassed. Not only do Sam play better tennis on the day she found her cool and rhythm much quicker after the incident. Whether the decision was right or wrong she should have let it go. She had broken Stosur rhythm and got the break back and tried to bring the crowd into it. If she had focused on go forward rather than having an extra little tantrum then maybe she could have closed the gap on Stosur. But as it was Stosur was steam-rolling her until the incident which gave Williams her two best games before Stosur out-classed her again. Let's hope this steely eyed Stosur turns up to more tournaments, a re-match with a composed Serena is definitely appealing. I don't know if this Stosur could beat Serena on her best day but then I don't know if this Stosur would let Serena have her best day. A good game for sure.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  29. Susan, Marin County

    Any athlete displaying unsportsmanship conduct should be held up to the light of the media and fans - male or female.

    The writer mentions Roddick and his arguments with officials, and he's a good example of male player with a quick temper and a condescending attitude towards officials and the media. His displays are also unprofessional and uncomfortable to watch, and he is often correct in his arguments with officials - but this doesn't excuse his bad behavior.

    Serena has illustrated an unconsionable anger-management problem, an oversized chip on her shoulder, and paranoia that officials have it out for her. It reflects poorly on her character and the media should not give her or any other world class athlete a pass.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  30. Rasputin

    This time Serena Williams should be banned, BANNED, from Grand Slam Tennis for a whole year, her arrogant and obscene behaviour cannot be tolerated any longer. A monetary fine would be a joke for this multimillionaire, and she should pay the price for her unsportmanslike conduct.
    Who does she think she is?

    September 12, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  31. Chazlow Bond

    She attacked the umpire personally. She wasn't arguing the call or the rule she was demeaning the character of someone acting professionally and, as I heard it from the commentators, who administered the rule and penalty correctly. This article conveniently left out the part where Serena told (threatened??) the woman that if they see each other in the hallway she better turn and walk the other way. Venus seems the only one in the family with class. Serena remains immature and acts like she is singled out as was her implication throughout her harangue. Seems she may be the hater and the one ugly inside. Projection being the trap it is.

    Suspend her.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Reply
  32. Alan

    "But I think a more intriguing question is, would this even be an issue if Serena was male? "

    Please stop this senseless comparison. It's old, tiresome and so overdone.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Reply
  33. Justin

    I hope the officials discipline her more harshly this time around. No player in the history of tennis has threatened to shove a ball down an official's throat. I hope they suspend her from the Austrailian Open.
    Let's put an end to this barbaric behaviour and let everyone know tennis doesn't tolerate this.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Reply
  34. courtgolf

    You're kidding, right ? Serena Williams is one of the biggest frauds the game of tennis has ever seen. Incredibly talented as an athlete, but that talent is topped by her arrogance. Read her answers in the post round press conference – it is one lie after another. She has played the race card often enough that she believes she can say or do anything she wants and people will just give in to anything she says. Putting Andy Roddick into this conversation is an attempt to excuse Williams' behavior by saying someone else does the same thing. What should be done is to condemn both for what they do.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  35. Wil

    or, what if she were white? Im not a big fan of the Williams sisters, but they have been cheated in various ways in various tournaments. I thought the foot fault call a few years ago was BS. Serena also got screwed at the US Open in like 04 or 05, but I cant remember exactly how. Also, I know race plays a role in how her actions are perceived in the public.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  36. Carol

    Serena didn't lose the point because she was given a code violation for arguing with the umpire; she lost the point because of the intentional hindrance rule. Accidental hindrances, like a ball falling out of a pocket or a hat falling off your head in the middle of a point, warrant a let. But if a player causes intentional hindrance, as was the case here when Serena screamed "Come on" before Stosur hit the ball, the point automatically went against Serena.

    September 12, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  37. Louis from sacramento

    What your missing here and seem totally unable to comprehend is what it means to be a minority .. and to feel the sting of racism. Here is the sports most accomplished and talented player playing on the anniversary of one of the United States greatest tragedies .. In her "Home Country" playing I should note in an unprecedented NEXT day final after a 10 pm start time match against the worlds number one player ( The Men got their day off )

    But to understand her reaction is to have been discriminated against .. ( Would That call have been made against Stousal in Australlia? NEVER )
    To have a vital point "stolen" on a rarely used technicality in your home country ? When has that ever happened before ?
    Oh wait just two years ago at this same tournament in conjunction with this same umpire.

    It must be so easy to sit on your behind and hold yourself morally above this premiere athlete .. REALLY????
    tell it to your priest cause I don't buy it.

    If the worse thing a person ever does is question the motives of someone whose actions are so out of the ordinary as to arouse a feeling within oneself of Bias .. If that's the worst you can say about a person ...... Then you probly shouldn't be saying anything at all.


    September 12, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  38. Willard

    Serena knows the rules. The Umpire and judge did the right thing. They should make her apologize face to face to the umpire. I guess you can take the girl out of the ghetto but you can't take the ghetto out of the girl.

    September 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Reply
  39. E Williams

    Both Samantha & Serena played exceptional matches and the strongest strategic player was going to win those matches. Samantha ultimately did that and Serena, in her professional manner acknowledged the defeat.

    But, the disagreement with the umpire, Asderaki was no different and extemely mild in comparison to other competitors. In every sport, the referees and umpires are aware of this and are prepared for passionate debates. We as fans, love means the players are passionate competitors. But, for the association to consider penalizing Williams is rather say the least. It also doesn't help when the media instigators are doing nothing more than stirring the pot being, "haters" and very "ugly inside". Looking to glamorize and destroy anyone...

    Our "Bad Boy" Tennis Pro John McEnrow became famous for his outbursts...and his antics were way out of the box. Was he fined and scrutinized after every game? Also, Andy Roddick (a helluva player) is extremely vocal but, does he get as much negative attention?

    Remember this media writers, Serena maintained her composure and professionalism. So, until she grabs Little Eva Asderaki out of her bird's nest and back hands her across the court. Leave the petty exchanges on the court, and give Samantha her due spotlight. She deserved it...

    But beware, Serena is reloading for a rematch...

    September 12, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  40. Al Vazquez

    Serena is your classic Prima donna. Everything is about her and her lack of self discipline almost ruined the match. She should be fined the full amount of her winnings to ensure she thinks twice before acting like a temperamental, spoiled brat again. I'm an American tennis fan and I like it when tennis players from our country do well in the sport but her snotty behavior was reprehensible. I will never root for her again.

    September 12, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  41. Tracey Roche

    Really!? As if the Williams aren't already playing the race card at every corner, now you want to through in the gender card! I was embarrassed for the US and her behavior especially on 911. I felt she should have been fined $50,000. Serena is know idiot, her behavior is well planned and intentional , but she is a very shallow unattractive human being, inside and out!

    September 12, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  42. Ralph

    It's not ok for a millionaire tennis rock star like Serena bullying umpire Eva Asderaki who probably struggles to pay her rent and buy groceries.

    Serena should try getting her fat ass up on the umpire chair and see what it's like trying to do her job while being bullied by athletes who reflect badly on the game of tennis

    September 12, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  43. yeswewillagain

    Let me say that the Williams sisters basically put women's tennis on the map in my opinion. As a Black female, it has been hard to watch these sisters participate in tournaments in the U.S. against players from other countries, and listen to the audiences cheer for the non American. Even most of the tennis anchors or analysts, are biased against them, the way they report. Unfortunately, no comments are ever made against their blatant racist comments, that we read and listen to. Having said that, I didn't understand the call so I can't comment on that. Serena did go a little to far with her comments because it reaaly didn't help the situation. I wondered if anyone noticed the judge turning her head and smiling, when Serena made an error????

    September 12, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  44. Stephan Michaels

    You note at the end of this piece that Andy Roddick has never been placed on probation. Maybe that's because Roddick did not threaten to harm a line judge, as did Serena in 2009. She said, "I swear to God I'm [expletive] going to take this [expletive] ball and shove it down your [expletive] throat..."

    That's different from a mere tongue lashing. Has nothing to due with Serena being a woman and Roddick being a male. Nor does it relate to race, as some would proffer.

    And yesterday she went so far as to tell the ump not to look at her should they pass each other in the hallway. Pathetic.

    The game of tennis, steeped in a culture that includes the concept of etiquette, should not tolerate this behavior. Williams should be fined and sanctioned.

    Serena Williams may someday be the all time grand slam winner, but she will never be a true champion. That distinction requires a semblance of class.

    September 12, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  45. Ann Marie

    I am a former USTA umpire and I have never seen such poor decisions by the referee and the governing body. Players should never have been put on the court while the lines were slippery. Chair umpires should have the authority to stop the matches if there is any question of danger to the players on the court. During the men's sixteen round, the four remaining matches should have been put on indoor courts and completed. Andy Roddick showed signs of fatigue while Nadal was fresh. Even Nadal commented on Andy's lack of power in his shots. Serena should be suspended from play for at least a year. She will be barely missed, she hardly plays more than a few tournaments a year even when she is healthy.

    September 12, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  46. Butch Tornquist

    No way was this too much. Suspension from tennis for a year will correct the issue from happening again. Spoiled kids do not hurt from monetary fines. This is not a black and white issue, it is an anger issue that needs to be removed from the courts. Don't need this to enjoy Tennis.

    September 12, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  47. Mary Toth

    Serena was wrong and she was fined–sort of–$2,000.

    Tennis still loves John McEnroe, Ilie Nastase, Andy Roddick, Jimmy Connors–all men with a way with words–and rackets.

    September 12, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  48. T-Mad

    Thank you, Ms. Reid, for being someone in the media who *finally* gives Serena Williams the benefit of the doubt and doesn't just jump on the same, tired old bandwagon of automatically lambasting, skewing, and skewering Serena whenever she argues a point (no pun intended).

    First, I wish the 2009 incident would be dropped once and for all but I guess that's out of the question now, given this latest controversy. For what it's worth, people seem to have completely forgotten the small little fact that the now infamous foot fault call made back then by the lineswoman was, in fact, a *BAD CALL* and made at the most inopportune moment in a critical match. Hence, the very legitimate reason for Serena blowing a gasket in the first place back then. Yeah, Serena went overboard back then but, again, there was just cause and provocation.

    As for this recent incident, again I thank you for giving Serena the benefit of the doubt by raising the question of whether she is being judged unfairly and too harshly. John McEnroe is all mild mannered today but I'm old to remember his tirades back in the day on the court.

    Now his old catch phrase "YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS" is treated with humor and used in commercials. However, back then, he was a holy terror on the court (at first, for real – his "New York temper", as he put it on a talk show years ago, then for show because the fans "expected" it of him).

    Yet Serena Williams is constantly vilified by the masses whenever she loses her cool on the court, even if the original provocation behind the loss of composure was just and legitimate. Again, the fault behind the foot fault call will forever go forgotten in lieu of the memory of her reaction to the bad call at the bad time, back in 2009. Now, as you pointed out, the fact that the chair umpire was going to simply have them replay the point then suddenly decided, you know what, Serena did do it intentionally so I'm going to penalize her.

    Come on (pun halfway intentional) – anyone who knows how Serena is on the court with her fist-pumping shots after hitting a sure fire winner knows she did not "intentionally" seek to hinder Stosur's return of the ball. The fact of the matter was she was not going to successfully return it and that should have been Serena's point. The umpire just wanted to spite Serena at that point.

    Conjecture? Maybe. However, the way that Serena Williams is constantly vilified by the public and, with all due respect, many in the media (yourself not included) is definitely not conjecture.

    September 12, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  49. Truth

    "What a loser," "You're a hater," And now we have just a glimpse of the bigoted person you are Serena. Yes, and the judge(s) who fined you are probably so PC whipped they refused to hand out the fine you deserved for accusing this line judge of racial bias….something that must hold you since you instantly played that card.

    September 12, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  50. J. R.

    It may be true that we should fine folks like Andy Roddick, and should have fined folks like Connors and McEnroe. But we don't, and we did not. How about fining Irina Spirlea in the '90s for intentionally chest bumping Venus Williams, and gloating about it?

    I also agree - as a white fan - that the skewering of Serena is racially motivated and motivated by gender expectations, even if unconsciously. I think the best posts are those from Louis from Sacramento and yeswewillagain. When you have been discriminated against in the past, it is *acutely painful* to get over it. It makes life painful, it makes you waste your own energy by second-guessing your own actions, and it makes it more difficult to discern whether others' reactions toward you in the future are motivated by discrimination.

    We are allergic to emotion in our culture. Those who "control" their emotions or by subtly abuse their power in a cool-headed and thus socially acceptable manner are deemed worthy, but those who express feelings rather than allowing emotions to eat themselves up, or express their pain rather than actually doing something cruel are deemed unworthy. In every moment other than when Serena calls the judge a loser, she acted within reason, in my opinion. At least she is out with her mistakes for all to judge. The umpire also made a mistake - just as much as I think it was an error for Serena to call the umpire a loser, I think it was an error for the umpire not to allow the point to be replayed.

    I also agree, somewhat, with vic that we are judged by our peers and need to be accountable. So perhaps the $2000 is a reasonable solution. I hope Andy Roddick and John McEnroe reimburse Serena for it. Perhaps it would have been more ideal for her to apologize; but I feel for Serena and do not fault her for not apologizing. I feel for the judge as well. But you know what, Serena is paying her fine, hopefully learning from this, and moving on.

    September 12, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Reply
  51. andrewjmullan

    I would have been permanently banned (fired) from my workplace had I said what she said. It will cost her more than $2000 to have some one write the check for her. A complete joke.

    September 12, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  52. CDWillis

    No. She isn't interested in being civil. Especially when she isn't winning. She is a bully!

    September 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  53. Alehandro

    Oh please! Don't portray this as a battle of the sexes thing. That's femininism gone mad! It's irrelevant that Serena is a female. Bad behaviour is bad behaviour, petulance is petulance, arrogance is arrogance, ignorance is ignorance regardless of whether the perpetrator is wearing shorts or a dress. Serena broke the rules, the fact that she didn't know the rules is her problem not the umpire's. The tirade of abuse at an official doing her job correctly was unacceptable. And it wasn't all in the heat of the moment either because she carried it on well beyond her initial outburst, calculating spiteful and unwarranted things to say way after the instinctive adrenalin had subsided. Forget all the post-match charm and spin she put on for the cameras and journos, she's a great player but her antics made her look like an insolent little schoolgirl. In fact, she only needed to say "Am I bovered?" to create the perfect caricature. When she called the umpire "unattractive inside" I fear she was looking in a mirror. Contrast that with the dignified Sam Stosur who deserves hearty congratulations for rising above it all and becoming a worthy and classy champion.

    September 12, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Reply
  54. Pamela

    What would have impressed me is for Serena to continue to play, shake the hand of the umpire at the end of the match, and congratulate Stosur for a game well played. That would have been true sportsmanship and I would have been an undying fan from that moment on. Instead I watched a petulant child have a temper tantrum. How sad for the world of sports and how embarrassing for Serena to have such childish behavior witnessed by the world at large. Shame on you.

    September 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Reply
  55. Luis

    The ruling was correct and has been applied before, including against Kim Clijsters. Nobody reacted in such a bullying, intimidating manner against the umpire. Only CNN would question whether it was too harsh a penalty.

    September 12, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Reply
  56. Steve O

    $2,000 bucks?...are you kidding me?...She's spends that in chewing gum!
    Hit her where it counts most...deny her the opportunity to play the game...suspend her.
    She continues to be a disgrace to the sort and to professional athletes.

    September 13, 2011 at 12:18 am | Reply
  57. StuLou

    Wow! $2,000 that must really hurt. Not! A harsher penalty even a ban would send a great message to upcoming players and young people that you cannot behave like this on court. What a bad sport Serena is and how she played up to the crowd and media when accepting the runner up prize. Wake up US Tennis Association. You have a responsibility to your members and the public.

    September 13, 2011 at 12:20 am | Reply
  58. Raj

    Serena's behaviour was completely outside the bounds of the prevailing tennis etiquette that has rightly evolved from the days of Connors, McEnroe etc. While great players in their own right, they would have amassed a bouquet of Code Violations and deservedly so! The rules of the game are clear. Folks that are confused should avail themselves of The Code. Right, wrong or indifferent, Hinderance cannot be tolerated on the tennis court. Don't like it? Then work to change the rule or better, go find yourself another sport. Serena continues her despicable ways....someone on this thread has very rightly noted that "you can take the girl out of the ghetto, but you can never take the ghetto out of the girl" I, for one was thrilled that she got thrashed in straight sets. Grow up Serena.

    September 13, 2011 at 12:30 am | Reply
  59. Archuleta Avenue Msia

    Serena Williams is a classless, immature, spoiled brat. This is a fact – regardless whether she's black, white, male or female. She is an embarrassment to the sport , her family , and country.

    It's BS to make excuses like "in the heat of the moment" or "I don't remember what I said". You have every right to argue the decision made but berating and bullying the official AND threatening bodily harm is totally repugnant no matter who you are. It's incredible for people to make excuses for her like that.

    Whether the umpire was wrong or not is not the point but the way she reacted and the comments she made is "totally not cool"

    September 13, 2011 at 12:32 am | Reply
  60. Jim Walsh

    No she was not judged too harshly. People like her won't stop doing things like this until someone finally lays down the law. However, that won't happen as the judges, etc. don't have a back-bone.

    September 13, 2011 at 12:34 am | Reply
  61. Wayne

    Considering Serena was already on probation over the 2009 incident on the same court, I do not think she was punished enough, however I guess loosing both finals after these outbursts may help her to understand that its herself that falter's in the end.
    A great win for the Australian under so much pressure.

    September 13, 2011 at 12:47 am | Reply
  62. TMP

    What type of society have we become that we make excuses for people who lack self control? Our athletes, our public officials, our celebrities,and our ordinary citizens have a responsibility to exercise self control and be courteous to others. We have become an ugly, selfish society with no respect for authority.

    September 13, 2011 at 12:59 am | Reply
  63. Ronan

    I feel embarrassed for Americans in general, not because of the behaviour of that b$%t but because some CNN journalist asked was she judged too harshly....its sad indicator of our tolerance of poor behaviour that this blog even appeared.

    September 13, 2011 at 12:59 am | Reply
  64. Maria

    Serena's fine of $2,000 is an absolute joke, considering that she was still on probation for verbally abusing a linesperson 2 years ago and that she provoked and verbally abused the umpire at yesterday's match!! In a game where an entire stadium has to be quiet in order for a player to serve and for the point to be played, Serena deserves to lose the point for prematurely presuming that her shot was a winner. Unlike soccer, American football and baseball, I am aghast that umpires and linespersons in tennis are allowed to endure such abuse from tennis players. Umpires and linespersons should be accorded more respect and should be protected by the USTA!!

    September 13, 2011 at 1:06 am | Reply
  65. Barbara

    No, she has not been judged too harshly. She has priors for her rude, intimidatory spoilt brat behaviour and she definitely deserved to lose the point. However the penalty of $2000 is a joke. She should be suspended. To say that racism is behind the way she was treated by the umpire is absolutely ridiculous and a typical response from people who cant handle the truth. The truth is that the Williams sisters are both incredibly unsporting, they will try every trick in the book if they are down in a match including feigning injury. Yes they may be talented, powerful players but they will never be champions in my eyes. Don't play the racism card, accept your own poor behaviour girls.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:07 am | Reply
  66. Joyce

    Not harshly enough. What an embarrassment to the USA.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:18 am | Reply
  67. KIRK

    They should simply throw her out of the game when she spouts off to the judge. That would cost her much more than a couple of thousand dollars which is nothing to her. She has no respect for authority. Her head has gotten too big, and her mouth is offensive to fans and authorities. Explain to your eight-year-old tennis champ her language. She is not a good representative for the sport.

    And Tiger Woods deserves the same treatment. Sports figures need to maintain a decent level of decorum.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:34 am | Reply
  68. brenda

    2000 chicken feed!!!! ban her from US OPEN!!! 🙂

    September 13, 2011 at 1:34 am | Reply
  69. joe53ist

    Hell NO! She should have been banned. She can play, but she is a total disgrace to the game. She's an arrogant, narcissistic bore. I hope she quits, and goes on to fame in her (hack) fashion.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:40 am | Reply
  70. MaryAnn

    No, she has not been judged too harshly. I think the sport of tennis is out of control. There are rules that are not being enforced and if they are enforced, they are considered prejudicial and should not apply to "me".

    Changes need to happen. Enforce the 20 second serve rule; get rid of the let on serves; change the challenge rule so that you must challenge immediately - not after looking at the line, your box, the sky, etc. ad nausea.

    Let's improve the game of tennis and fine the players for bad behavior. The prima donnas have to go!!!

    September 13, 2011 at 1:51 am | Reply
  71. Sean

    Insulting and abusing the game officials ... we're supposed to let that slide?

    September 13, 2011 at 1:52 am | Reply
  72. @Hamsasya

    Poor Serena. The only thing worse then losing your cool is losing it with an international audience. She's only human. She just happens to have superhuman abilities and an iconic world-class stature – a perfect storm for intense unrelenting scrutiny. Now the whole world has free reign to admonish ad nauseam. Combine that with Americans' complicated and tumultuous history with race/class/gender relations and everybody's left amped up and befuddled. History makes her rightfully suspicious of bias. The call was suspect, if not wrong. She went into "the zone" (Intermittent Explosive Disorder?) and behaved terribly. We replay, rehash and sneer. I hope Serena seeks therapy, refuses to perpetuate damaging stereotypes, and precludes any further "incidences" from the public sphere.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:59 am | Reply
  73. Oliver

    Yes, some of the worst calls and unnecessary calls have been called against Serena and her sister Venus. Calls that were afterwards required apologies to Serena and Venus. Is it at all possible that some of these umpires and line judges have another agenda????

    September 13, 2011 at 1:59 am | Reply
  74. MWright

    Serena Williams only problem is her mouth. Her play is amazing, excellent. But when angry, the minute she opens her mouth, she puts her footfalut in.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:01 am | Reply
  75. Uman Flaiee

    You would think that someone who prouds herself as One Of Jehovahs dedicated Witnesses and who publicly goes out in field service monthly to teach others about the truth of the Bible as she claims would find it easy to use self control in her line of public work in the worldly arena .
    But , when one who has taken their stand against being part of the world as is seen in her case , and then flaunts themselves in the worldly limelight just as Michael Jackson did , it will always have disastrous consequences because of acting one way in her private life and living another way in the public life .The reason is is that there is a conflict of her true spiritual nature , that has obviously come very close to crossing a divine line of retribution .

    September 13, 2011 at 2:05 am | Reply
  76. JustMe

    Judged harshly? Perhaps, perhaps not. While one does see an emotional outburst in the heat of competition, I see no apologies or accountability on her behalf for her behavior. One never saw Chris Evert or Pete Sampras or Bjorn Borg behave in such a manner.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:08 am | Reply
  77. David Loyd

    Why? Why? Why? Does it always have to be a race card?

    It does not matter if you are black, white, purple, yellow or even Royalty. If any individual is on probation for telling a line judge previously that they were going to stuff a tennis ball down their throat on an International stage, it is wrong.

    Another outburst of the same kind, to yell "hater" and you are "unattractive inside" to a line judge is a sign of harsh angry personal words. It is also the anger in her eyes and the tone of such harsh words she uses behind her comments. The tapes do not lie, so do your homework before you write uneducated banter in a post. If you look at the documented video replay of both incidents and agree that it would be ok for you to act out the same way, then you my friend are wrong.

    Race has nothing to do with it at all, that is just a mere crutch used when true evaluation of the subject matter has not been conducted and has failed. I have friends of all race, religion and personal background beliefs. If any of my friends had made these outburst which are factually video captured for reference, I would tell them they were wrong.

    I have also made comments that were harsh under fierce competition situations where I wanted nothing more than to win. I also realized my mistake once I had a chance to evaluate my actions and I openly admitted my mistake and apologized so I could move on from it.

    The difference here is nothing to do with race and everything to do with common morals and knowing in your heart that you were wrong for your actions. Serena Williams is not a bad person, but she was wrong. If she were white, yellow or purple, she would still be wrong. More importantly for an athlete of her International Championship caliber to make such remarks on a public live televised stage is even more of a shame.

    For one not to own up and be honest with themselves that they were wrong in a bad moment is wrong in itself. Everyone makes mistakes, after all we are still human; however it is more diplomatic to admit the harshness, apologize and move on with your dignity and pride.
    One should not use an excuse as a reason to offset thier defeat and actions. This debate should look to the factual documented video evidence of both occurrences and make educated comments on the

    To pull the race card just takes focus off of the true issue at hand which is not "race", it is "conduct".

    A truly unbiased comment from Dave Loyd.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:14 am | Reply
  78. tennis player/fan

    No, she broke the rules...plain and simple. Then she gave an obnoxious tirade against the chair judge who was just doing her job.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:17 am | Reply
  79. Pat Ci

    No it wasn't too harsh, she needs to learn better sportsmanship under intense moments. She was rather nonchalant about it in the press conference which was not cool at all. Maybe anger management classes are in her future.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:18 am | Reply
  80. anna

    Yes, she is been judged too too harshly.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:22 am | Reply
  81. Brenda Payton

    Was this really necessary?? It appears that they are looking
    for something to sight Serena with ! Never has so much attention
    been given to a Tennis Player....Male or Female with the number of
    citations which ends up costing her points, and MONEY, but Fines as well. Where is the attention to players like Andy Roddick, and what about all of the Tantrums that John McEnroe threw??
    I call it RACIST ! Impartial and unfair penalties given.
    Where's the UNION??

    September 13, 2011 at 2:28 am | Reply
  82. Connie

    Not at all. In fact, not hardly enough punitive payment for the amount she received for taking 2nd place!! It's horrible today how people are not held accountable for their actions. Just because she's a woman and black does not excuse her behavior. We woman wanted equality.....well, give it to us in spades if we deserve it!

    September 13, 2011 at 2:32 am | Reply
  83. daisy

    I think Serena was so sure she would win and given the pressure and circumstances and the emotion of the day, she was taken by surprise by Sam, whose game was technically brilliant. Let's hope they play again soon, maybe in Melbourne at the Aus open in January.
    Congratulations Sam, we are very proud of you.
    Maybe the women's grand final should be 5 sets.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:44 am | Reply
  84. che guevara

    She threatened the umpire with physical harm and should be banned from tennis, period. And the sport of tennis needs to start testing
    these players for steroid use.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:45 am | Reply
  85. RB

    No. I'd like to see her banned permanently. She has no sportsmanship, is a poor loser, and does not represent our country well.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:46 am | Reply
  86. Don Allen

    iI agree with everyone here who considers her a spoiled brat with a big mouth. As for "emotional outburst in the heat of competition", what she said to the chair umpire was *not* in the heat of competition, and that's what we're discussing (the "come on" on the court *was* in the heat of competition and it was a mistake on her part, nothing more - she thought she'd hit a clean winner when she hadn't - and the chair umpire applied the Hindrance Rule correctly; it was what happened afterwards that we are discussing here). The biggest joke here is the $2000 fine. After what she did to the foot-fault judge 2 years ago, she should have been banned from tournament competition for an appropriate period of time, perhaps including not playing in Australia in January. This woman would do well to try harder to emulate her older sister, who has always been a credit to the game. Serena, for all her great athletic ability, has been a debit to the game in my opinion. Would any of you offer up Serena as a role model to a young daughter interested iin tennis?

    September 13, 2011 at 2:57 am | Reply
  87. wnb

    Yes, I believe too much has been made of it! McEnroe's (much worse & often) tirades made him famous. Was he ever thrown out or banned? Look at him now. (verbal abuse over that? lol) Prof. refs can handle it and are paid to do so.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:02 am | Reply
  88. justice

    Serina was penalized and punished for one reason only.


    The punishment was unfair. Her behavior was nothing like the legends McInroe and Conners, et al.

    Against the odds, she will continue to SHINE and take her rightful plase as number 1.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:12 am | Reply
  89. Sherri

    Serena is just one more example and display of the poor sportsmanship and arrogant behavior that many American prima-donna celebrities demonstrate to show their lack of moral character. She was not fined near enough. 2,000.00 is absolutely nothing to her, I'm sure she laughed in their faces.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:15 am | Reply
  90. rusty

    Serena has never apologized. And calling out during a point has been something she has done for years. It was refreshing to see an umpire who had enough fortitude to make the call.

    The only travesty is that the penalty was so small it looks as if the committee is on her side instead of the umpires side. To me telling a person “If you ever see me walking down the hall, look the other way: is a threat and should be judged as that.

    Let us put it in the place of the fact that to Serena, she has never lost to anyone. There is always an excuse and this will be the one for the 2011 U.S. Open.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:19 am | Reply
  91. ATTACK59

    She should have been dismissed from the court. She is too just too rude. She was not judged harshly, she is still on probation.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:25 am | Reply
  92. Fin

    I agree with Dan.

    Only CNN would ask if the spoiled brat was treated "too harshly".

    How about a sports figure who actually takes responsibility for her behavior and thinks about what an example she is setting?

    One who can be gracious when she gets her butt kicked.

    All her outburst did was make her look like what she is – another self-absorbed, irresponsible, whining loser, spoiled brat, awful example of what a sports heroine should be?

    Stop blaming others for your sloppy play!

    September 13, 2011 at 3:28 am | Reply
  93. Guy

    this is not the first time.... this is the second time this happens. $2,000 fine? it's $2 for most people. The tennis association is scared to do anything but the people watching are the real judge. at my tennis club, no one wants anything to do with her. I, for one, will never watch one of her matches again. very bad sportsmanship. the real core of a person does not come in winning, it comes in defeat. we have seen her core a few times now, its not pretty.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:33 am | Reply
  94. DanielCalcinari

    I find it hard to believe that the author of this drivel would dare ask the question "Has Serena Williams been judged too harshly?". The question is idiotic. If we were talkin about her hangin down on the avenue with her homies and ran that crap then perhaps the question may have some validity......BUT WERE NOT! This took place during the US OPEN, and on top of that during the Sept 11th anniversary, a time for reflection and respect. Yet this woman would act without grace and with absolutely no respect for the spectators and especially no respect for the authoritative figures officiating the match. What I find unacceptable if the fine. A fine of $2,000.00 has no meaning whatsoever based on her income; it’s a joke and basically sanctions her classless actions. But then what should we expect.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:34 am | Reply
  95. JayteeNB

    Serena Williams walks out on the court with a giant chip on her shoulders every time she plays. Poor thing makes only $10M a year whether or not she wins. Her ugliness is in her threats to the umpire, and in her assumption of racist intent whenever a call goes against her. Cry me a river, Serena. For one who has benefited richly from the world of tennis, she seems to be uniquely ungrateful. Anyone can be magnanimous in victory, but class is displayed in defeat. Her comment after the match, when she was asked if she regretted what she said, tells it all: "I regret losing." You can't buy class, even when you make $10M a year.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:38 am | Reply
  96. Amazing!

    Let's see, she was fined $2k after winning $900k, after leaving another black mark on American tennis with a nationally (worldwide) televised tirade that was TOTALLY uncalled for since the judge made the absolute correct call. Too harshly? Are you serious CNN? It's a shame Serena never got any of the class that her sister shows.

    I was rooting for her, as an American, until that moment – then I was embarassed and ended up gratified that she was not only beaten but SOUNDLY BEATEN. Tennis, of all sports, prides itself on sportsmanship and class – none of which Serena shows. I am over her and will support any opponent of hers.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:44 am | Reply
  97. Elaine

    She was an embarrassment to me as an American! She should have
    been thrown off the court. What a class act Sam Stosur was. A fine of
    $2,000 is a joke. It just shows that money talks, as usual. I will never
    watch another one of her matches!!!

    September 13, 2011 at 3:47 am | Reply
  98. Joe

    This new trash athlete is destroying the game and the true intent of sport. She should have been throw out for a year following the last outrageous incident. An athlete threatening and intimidating an official? She gone!

    September 13, 2011 at 3:56 am | Reply
  99. jenaa22

    Most definitely YES!. Why haven't some of the other tennis stars bad behavior go unpunished and even unpublished. It appears that many of those posting on this site do not follow tennis enough to know that there are many players that break rackets, curse and threaten the umpire and the crowd and even hit the other player with the ball on purpose. Also, the follow up negative reporting of such incidents have only been done about Serena's outbursts for example does anyone recall hearing about Maria Sharapova's "Up you A.." retort to the umpire or ever hear about her ever being fined for doing so? Have everyone forgotten about John McEnroe's tyrades and broken rackets by Djokavic, well go to "Tennis Outbursts" and see why Serena is being held to a higher standard and being fined unfairly.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:00 am | Reply
  100. jenny M

    Serena should not be allowed to bully anyone, especially an umpire. She's a poor loser and a spoiled player.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:10 am | Reply
  101. Mike

    Yes she was judged too harshly! Yes, the tirade after was not necessary and inappropriate, but "intentional hindrance"? It seemed fairly clear that it was a "heat of the moment" shout of joy after she felt she hit a clear winner. The fact that the USTA and tournament ref supported that sort of bad call on a crucial point is discouraging.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:14 am | Reply
  102. Lisab

    Why can't athletes be respectful of the officials? They are rude, childish and repugnant. I love sports, have played and know the emotional involvement, but respect and understanding that it's a game is vital.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:18 am | Reply
  103. A Cohen

    Bottom line:
    In 2009 she threatened real personal harm in a sick, animalistic manner that no one else ever has. That won't be forgotten, and people will (rightly) not let it go.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:19 am | Reply
  104. Ben

    Not anywhere near harsh enough and stop with racism. Its starting to sound a little too much like the little boy who cried wolf and its getting tired. Stop hiding behind the PC catch cries of racism, bullying, religious villification blah blah and start take ownership of your actions as a HUMAN. In any other sport this may have resulted in disuqalification. She threatened the umpire and that is just not good enough. Not to mention the fact that at the end of the match none of her family (or those sitting with them by the way) even applauded Sam's achievement. Down right disgusting, un-sportsperson like behaviour. We cannot relate what is expected now to what was expected tolerated in the past either. Those at the pinacle of their sport should now understand they are role models, they wouldnt exist without the fans (no fans = no sponsorship = no money = no coverage = no sport) so they need to accept their responsibilities. A more disgusting display of behaviour i have rarely seen but then, it didnt surprise me with Serena Williams, sadly. She should have been disqualified and then suspended from the competition. Perhpas some anger management is in order here too.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:20 am | Reply
  105. Yolygirl

    Of course she was judged too harshly. She paid for the "shout out" by losing a point. There is so much racism in the game of Tennis. There has been many players who have said and done far worse. One must remember that when the competitive forces are at play, we tend to scream, holler, pump fist, etc. It is part of the game.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:22 am | Reply
  106. Joe

    I can't believe people are trying to make this about race. The bottom line is the ref made the correct call and was backed up by the tournament referees. Serena should never have called out before the end of the point and she had absolutely no right to verbally attack the ref for the next few games. Then to top it off refuse to shake her hand and upon learning she was in the wrong refusing to apologize afterwards and pretending the whole time she was in a magical state of excitement and forgetfulness. The refs call had nothing to do with race, she is a repeat offender who embarrassed herself, women's tennis, and her country. Any player male or female would be judged in a similar fashion.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:33 am | Reply
  107. Deborha

    I'm wondering do the tennis players know the rules of the game. because this happened before Serena did her Sunday. Another tennis female player did the same thing yelling out Come on. And Mary Carillo that called the match had a big problem with Serena. She lose her job with ESPN about saying bad things about American players. I think she jealous of Serena and should not be calling her matches.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:34 am | Reply
  108. jenaa22

    All too often negative actions by black sports stars are the only focus of news reporters and networks with less pronouced reporting about white sport offenders. You might get one or two obscure articles about whites but little will be made of it, but many headline news articles about a black sports star's negative actions. It is the standard american news reporting practice of reporting only the negative actions of minorities and elevating and reporting only the positive actions of whites in this society. There are more articles about Serena's outburst than there are about who won the Open. This negative reporting about Serena is only to feed the masses with their need to condemn and belittle a minority and confirm negative opinions and damage her championship legacy.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:36 am | Reply
  109. Deborha

    I think a lot of you people are jealous of Serena. You think they would do a football or baseball players the same way? Hell to the no.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:38 am | Reply
  110. Keith

    Right or wrong the umpire did not deserve the verbal abuse from Williams. The umpire was right and the BIG STAR gets off too lightly. She should be made to give public service in an abusive atmosphere instead of $$ – which she has plenty of. Becoming rich – musicians, athletes, or movie stars are not excused from civil behavior to their colleagues, paying public or hotel maids!

    September 13, 2011 at 4:39 am | Reply
  111. Deborha

    You people think Serena cussed the woman out. but she did not say not one cuss word to the woman.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:39 am | Reply
  112. Embarrassed

    Serena is an embarrassment to the US and tennis. True professionals and champions are role models. Serena was given a second chance and blew it. Whoever fined her is an idiot for a $2000 fine. It is discusting that tennis does not promote standards and excellence. Whoever made the decision should be fired.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:50 am | Reply
  113. Jett

    Probably the greatest women's tennis player ever. She almost died this year and rallied back to make it to the final. A seldom invoked rule used against her in the most punitive fashion ( could've just replayed the point). And now judgment and outright venom hurled at her. Yes, she let emotions get the better of her. But consider the moment and cut her some slack. Without her and her sister, no one would be paying any attention to women's tennis, especially in the US. As many of these posts exemplify, our current culture is just hateful and judgmental at times. And to pretend that there's no racial issues involved, well just look at our history.

    September 13, 2011 at 5:04 am | Reply
  114. Anthony

    She was a very bad sport, and has set a terrible example for the kids. Her friendly chatting afterwards with Stosur was fake and totally put on.

    September 13, 2011 at 5:08 am | Reply
  115. sm

    How did the same ref call a similar incident in Doha sometime ago? Answer= replay the point.

    I rest my case.

    September 13, 2011 at 5:18 am | Reply
  116. K. Morgan

    A question for those who think the umpire's call against Serena Williams was the result of racial discrimination. How do you explain the same call against white Marion Bartoli earlier in the tournament for the same infraction? Or do you only watch tennis when big name Americans are playing?

    September 13, 2011 at 5:37 am | Reply
  117. Geoff, Australia

    The issue is not that she was unfairly treated but that the Umpire gave a decision and she did not accept that decision.

    She then went on to abuse the Umpire....
    And eventually copped a $2,000 fine......
    What is $2,000 as a deterrent for a person as wealthy as she is.

    A playing ban should have been given for this disgusting behaviour..maybe the spoilt brat would then feel the punishment but a $2,000 fine..what an insult to this great game.

    September 13, 2011 at 6:17 am | Reply
  118. SMullin

    Too harshly? You have to be kidding? she should have been forced to forfeit the match, been fined and suspended.

    She is personally threatening tennis officals!

    The call, which was good, at this point is irrelevant. The USTA has shown that they fear Serena and are unwilling to treat her like they would any other player.

    If the USTA condones this abusive behavior by Serena (or anyone else), the USTA will be the road to irrelevance.

    The consequenses? The popularity of tennis: fewer parents will be inspired to encourage tennis in kids and fewer spectators will want to watch the game.

    The USTA must punish abusive behavior. This penalty gives it a complete pass......

    September 13, 2011 at 6:30 am | Reply
  119. Older Gentleman tnnis player

    She may be a female, but she's no lady. She's no role model either, but a spoiled brat who thinks she's above the rules. she should have been banned from the US Open and I hope her endorsers shun her as well. She simply needs a good spanking...

    September 13, 2011 at 6:44 am | Reply
  120. Ian

    Serena Williams...The most beautiful and talented US born womans player for decades... 13 titles and three of those in NY...Come on now, why can';t yuou folks see talent when it hits you right in your face.
    So she had a little tirade......What about all of those in NHL / NBA / NFL and don't forget bench-clearing in theMajor League Baseball.
    Is it becasue she is such a fantastic athelete, to come back from deaths door to do what she did this year ??? America, you will always be what you are in the eyes of other nations until you can realize that everyone, no matter where they are from, are HUMAN. All of us bleed RED blood,
    So sorry you,lost in the final Serena, but here's to your next 13 titles.
    Beleivne me she will do it. Like her or not.... I love her watching her play.

    September 13, 2011 at 6:51 am | Reply
  121. Janet

    Serena is most definately being judged harshly. While loosing her composure and acting out is no excuse. What I don't understand is why many people before and after her practice that same msconduct and only get a slap on the wrist.Yeah, I get It. Is it because she's one of the top ranking tennis player. Wow, Is it because she's making way too much money and living lavishly and behaving as "brat" as many celebrity do. Yet when anyone else exhibits the same behavior society will say that 'they are having a bad day or experiencing a family crisis".
    Some excuse will be made for them . I'm sorry what's good for one is good for all. Don't lynch Serena. She's only human. My household and circle support Serena and Venus. Yes, and when the sister's play in Queens , NY . My family and I go support them. Many, many times I see and hear people very unhappy when these girls' score. When you are doing well in this country , you must have a thick skin. They have changed the face of tennis from day one, and still in the year 2011 have not been accepted. I say, let the haters hate.

    September 13, 2011 at 6:52 am | Reply
  122. Clayton

    Serena needs to be very careful.Especially in a sport that traditionally is believed to belong to a certain demographic.
    For her kind the laws will be enforced in the most perfect fashion.
    The fact that exertion must be silent and she is now being judged about her form is really interesting.
    Hopefully she does not go through what Tyson went through in Boxing. He was dishing out the entertainment as was demanded of him and he was completely villified for it.
    Serena needs to just win and keep her emotions out of it because once you lose your cool you lose the mental form to win the match.
    Now words like unattractive ,classless ,disrespectfull,PROBATION are being used on her.Hopefully the word JAIL will not come into the story because believe you me there are some that feel she needs to go there too !!!!!. Serena must be very very careful.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:01 am | Reply
  123. TennisFan

    as a tennis player and parent, Serene Williams is the perfect role model of how you DON'T want your kids to turn out. Brash, disrespectful, poor sportsmanship and arrogant.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:10 am | Reply
  124. PSG78

    The Ugly American rears its head again!!

    September 13, 2011 at 9:20 am | Reply
  125. james r.

    Yes there is a real double standard here!, if a male athlete exhibited the obvious 'steriod rage!' Serena has displayed on a number! of occasions said male professional athlete e.g., Barry Bonds would have undergone lengthy investigations?, both medical as well criminal!

    September 13, 2011 at 9:34 am | Reply
  126. as

    She got what she deserved. That's no way to talk to an official.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:36 am | Reply
  127. TS

    Hmm, let me see, how shall I put this? Um, NO! She's had a great, glamorous career, made a ton of money, and will go down in history as one of the greats of all time. The least she can do is show a minimum of self-possession and self-control on the court. Plenty of players stand up for themselves and argue vigorously with the umpire, but not the way she did it, she looked like a mental case.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:44 am | Reply
  128. harvey nagelberg

    I read that she also threatened the ref that she had better not pass her in a hall. If that is accurate, the fine is way low

    September 13, 2011 at 11:38 am | Reply


    September 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  130. Patsy

    Not a very good role modle for our young children

    September 13, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  131. Dan

    No J.R. it should not have been replayed. The rules clearly state in Grand Slam play that when this situation happens that the point is awarded to the player who did not commit the offence. She should have been banned from next years open. She is a repeat offender and was on probation. She verbally insulted and accused a chair ump for simply doing her job and "hating" on her. Serena is a big baby....someone just needs to find her soother because obviously she has lost it.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  132. Average Citizen

    Serena whines like a SORE loser. Losing=Crying. She's supposed to be great but is the UGLIEST inside. POOR SPORTSMANSHIP from a rich athelete. I could care less if she ever played tennis again.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  133. Dan

    Howard are a joke. Dont try to make this a racial issue. Absolute joke

    September 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  134. Melinda

    No, she has not been judged too harshly. Her "court etiquette" leaves much to be desired. Not only does she not give any thought to the line and/or chair umpires; she has total disregard for her fellow players and does not even consider how her tirades and game delays affect her opponents ..... OR, does she?? Time she retired!

    September 13, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Reply
  135. Penny F

    A $2,000 fine? You've got to be kidding me? That'll buy a new tennis outfit for her next appearance. This is not new to Serena. As good a tennis player that she is, she is a sad, sorry example of a role model for younger children.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  136. Emma

    She wasn't judged harshly enough in this case.

    She clearly threatened the umpire and wrongly identified her of being the one that "screwed" her in 2009.

    Serena told the umpire that she better turn around if she sees Serena walking down the hall.

    That type of thuggery does not belong in tennis. Serena was on probation and thus should be banned from tennis for life.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  137. Locker

    You can not excuse behavior by saying "They did it too!". She broke the rules, the official made the judgement and that's it. How is she being "judged too harshly"? That is exactly how it's suppose to work.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  138. Declan

    Not harshly enough - their is a pattern here..... a player who cannot be gracious either in victory or defeat. The game has rules....she violated one (as she did with her foot fault in 2009) and should face the consequences of the violation. Serena obviously has anger management issues to deal with - she continues to be a bully on the court to officials and doesn't have the grace or courtesy to acknowledge it in her post-match interview.

    She was given a second chance after her ridiculous behavior in 2009 - and she has blown it!

    Congratulations to the US Open Champion, Sam Stosur

    September 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  139. Chid3

    Not harshly enough...the TV announcers confirmed on the spot with independent officials that the call was correct...Williams should have had the class to apologize, but , of course, showed she had none ...even when I'm sure she was told she had mistaken the umpire for someone's bull that some are saying she was just commenting on the call...she was clearly making a personal attack against an official for doing her job... and correctly,I might wonder we Americans have the spoiled brat reputations we do

    September 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  140. crookedarm

    So, instead of $900,000 she only gets $898,000. I hope it doesn't hurt her too bad. It's like a young kid that's been misbehaving–he only gets 14 cookies instead of 15.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  141. USPatriot777

    I was cheering for her. Then she screamed "come on!" and made her opponent loose the point. Not good. Bit I was like, okay, no prob, it was a mistake, a spur of the moment outburst of excitement. Give the Aussie the point and lets move on. Then she went mouthing off the umpire instead of admitting to her mistake. Bad move! Way to represent the US in the US Open Finals on 9/11! She is ugly, angry, and spoiled on the inside. I will no longer cheer for her.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  142. Xalj

    Definitely not judged too harshly – $2000 out of the $1.5 Million she received – Shameful display – really bad role model – then having the gall to thank Jehovah in her speech.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  143. Ray

    Though the call is debatable – the umpire was just enforcing the rules to the best of her ability – and every pro athelete on the planet has calls go against them – and yes – sometimes the umpire gets the call wrong. That's part of any sport. The way that Serena responded was classless and her line implying that the umpire was from some backwater country where they don't have free speech was the type of arrogance that makes people hate the United States. If any other athelete had done this – my reaction would have been the same – I would have started cheering for the other player.

    Bottom line: Serena was getting dominated – and that one point was not going to change the outcome. For someone who has won 13 grand slams to believe that the umpires are involved in some conspiracy against her is beyond paranoid. This wasn't the result of American racism (the umpire was Greek – not American) or sexism – that's just the same hack accusation of the eternal victim class in America when they don't get their way or have things go their way. It's a lot easier to blame the ref or "racism" than admit that you just got your a** kicked because you didn't play well enough to win.

    In fact – this is the opposite of being a victim of overly harsh criticism or racism. The fact that she gets a laughable slap on the wrist after having done this in the past is proof that she is being given special treatment and coddled by the US tennis establishment, which is probably most interested in maintaining its cash flow. I just wonder how many kids are going to watch Serena (and other abusive players) and think that responding to an umpire this way is acceptable.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  144. Mike

    Serena is a huge embarrassment to this great nation and tournament and is so clueless it is almost funny. At least McEnroe was entertaining with his tirades-Serena's are just nasty and tacky. Even my kids were cheering for Sam after witnessing that behavior.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  145. Fan

    Not harshly enough, she should be banned from women's tennis. She is spoiled and appears to have anger issues and is not someone who should be looked up to by young people. She sets the wrong example for future tennis players and women's tennis should be setting a high standard and not letting players get away with berating officials.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  146. joan

    I think she should be suspended for at least a year. There is no excuse for her behavior, it is totally embarrassing that she spoke like that. The governing body must be afraid of some racial charge being leveled against them... otherwise why not penalize her more severely. $2000 is a total joke.. it's beyond a joke it's insulting to the official and all of tennis. I am sick of people getting away with unacceptable behavior... and this goes all the way up to certain nations too. Has the world lost it's backbone about everything????????

    September 13, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply


    September 13, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  148. Serena2

    I will start by saying yes she is being judged to harshly. While many of the comments say no lets recount the issues here and the facts. go back to U.S Open 2004 Serena vs Capriati when there were such egregrious calls against her that were incorrect which is the reason we now have the shot spot challenge system in place. She did not blow up or say anything at all yet she did have an explosion 2 years ago that I will say I don't condone the language she used but, I understand the blow up and don't fault her for expressing her feelings. This has been done by other female players yet nothing is ever said to them when they have a verbal exchange not to mention the men as well. No other players have ever been fined like her period not even Mcenroe yet she is fined when she speaks her mind. I don't see fines levied against Roddick for verbal abuse and he is the worst. Let's call a spade a spade we all know that tennis and golf have been viewed as white sports and not until Ashe/Gibson/Williams/ and Woods entered them did people of color start taking notice of them. If you fine the black woman fine the white woman and men as well don't have a double standard.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  149. theran

    that is why it is called a game.
    the umpire has the final say. every complaint will only remain a complaint because right now Serena's opponent has the trophy and was declared winner of the tourney.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Reply


    September 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  151. Mark

    She was not judged harshley enough. Serena created the situation by yelling out during a part of the play she was not allowed to do so. I won't go as far to say she did it on purpose but you certainly cannot say it's part of her game because it doesn't happen all the time.

    So, she created this situation... then made it worse by trying to humiliate a judge that penalized her before, and in my opinion, Serena made the situation hostile whne she uttered "And I promise you...". Even though her sentence did not include a threatening conclusion, She clearly has animosity towards that judge and it showed.

    That being said... I don't have a problem with an athelete having a issues with an official... not everyone see's eye to eye. But in a game like tennis or golf where proper etiquette is required as the norm.... She did not act professionally.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  152. karen

    Hello....Serena beat herself. There was nto competition on that court. If not for her errors and bad attitude, she would have won. this woman was not match.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  153. Rod

    Why post an editorial about enforcing the rules of tennis, if one is not going to read the rules? Why post one's opinion in response?
    The rule is, "If a player is hindered in playing the point by a deliberate act of the opponent(s), the player shall win the point." By definition, yelling "Come on!" as the ball is traveling towards one's opponent is a deliberate act" that was under Serena's control and not accidental, whether Serena consciously intended to hinder Stosur or not. No one can judge how much it might have distracted Stosur's focus. She did get a racket on the ball. A fraction of a second of a distraction would be enough. Stosur is the one who should be given the benefit of the doubt. Serena rightly lost that point.

    Serena's language to this judge, although not completing her statements with specific consequences, contains implied threats: “If you ever see me walking down the hall, look the other way because you’re out of control, you’re out of control.” “Really, don’t even look at me. I promise you don’t look at me because I am not … Don’t look my way.” This language is not just name calling or the expression of frustration. It is language of intimidation. Maybe the USTA is right that it is not a clear violation of her probation. I don't know what those conditions are. However, a $2000 fine is a gross understatement of justice.

    September 13, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  154. PY

    What a stupid question. And why are some bloggers using all caps? Do you need to yell to make a point? What's the difference between you and Serena if that's the case?

    September 13, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  155. yesorno

    If women try to stand up and question the rules, they are called names. If they are women other than white, then the name will be harsher. Women are always divided anyway.

    September 13, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  156. sm

    It baffles me how some one can say or accept that the ref has the final say in a match, but will not admit that the disiplinary committee has the final say in accessing punishment. A lot of people are always bias aginst serena. The only player (also Venus) that get less fan support when playing in their home country. when other players play, they are seen as representing their various nations as well as themselves , but not with Serena or venus. Serena only got the support of the fans this time because of serena committment towards 9/11 anniversary. Who on earth has not had and outbust when he/she fells not well treated. Give the girl a break, they have gone through a lot in their choosen profession.
    The folks that determined this fine did not come out with $2000.00 from the blues. I can assue you that they looked at the whole incident thoroughly ( the play, they C mon shout, the ref extreme and rare call relative to similar incidents, knowing that most of the tennis plays make some kind of irritating noise in the heat of the moment. Mind you that injustice against Serena was the primary reason that the line call challenge was instituted and it has really transformed and brought sanity to the game in that regards. I suspect that something good will come out of this urgly incident. One point can change a hole match in tennis and serena has proved it better than any body that has ever played the game. Sam stouser was brilliant and I congratulate for her effort.

    September 13, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Reply


    September 13, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  158. Marko Stepanovic

    Of course yes. The behaviour she showed there isn't for any kind of sport, especially tennis. It seems that she has a lot of trouble managing her anger.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Reply


    September 14, 2011 at 12:53 am | Reply

    Judged too harshly?? You're kidding aren't you??
    Serena showed the rest of the world that the "Ugly American" is alive and well with her typically American bad sportmanship.......

    September 14, 2011 at 1:04 am | Reply
  161. Don Heath

    Players should certainly be allowed to express themselves, even in a negative manner but there should be consistent, express limits on how it is done and they should be enforced consistently regardless of sex, nationality, race or anything else.

    September 14, 2011 at 2:36 am | Reply
  162. kentsailer

    Black – White, Male – Female, No class is no class. Not apoligizing to your opponent and not shaking hands with the Chair judge, shows just what a small, spoiled, self centered and class less brat she is. Let us not leave out the USTA for their no guts call (or lack of) in "punishing" this very "unattractive inside" person. A few thousand dollars ????. You cannot be serious?. By the way just what does "you are unattractive inside" mean??? Heavy fine $25,000 or more and a suspension awaiting apology to the judge, the fan, and her opponent.

    September 14, 2011 at 4:32 am | Reply


    September 14, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
  164. Betty

    NO! She has not been treated too harshly – she should be banned from playing tennis until SHE understands SHE does not rule the courts!!!!

    I felt so terribly ashamed that she would again act out and should her terrible personality once more to the world.

    Goes to show, the more money you have the better you think you are! Personally, i will be happy when Serena never plays tennis championships again.

    September 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  165. Mike

    Another obnoxious display of Serena's attitude. Very disappointing! Utterly unacceptable for one of the best athletes, for an American, and for such a memorable moment!

    September 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  166. sm

    Let players be allowed to challenge technical calls officially and instantly( including line calls, foot calls, hinderance calls etc) just like in American football were rulins are challenged. it will clean up the game of tennis and nobody will feel ill treated. Before now, a lot of people did'nt know there was something like hinderance call in tennis. It could be argued that most tennis match are full of noise and shouting that are so irritating. Lets not vest the power only on one person, say the umpire or what have you.There used to be argument and foul language atterance about line calls untill recently when players are alloewd 3 chances per set to challenge them. This in effect put an end to ugly incidents that result from such calls. In the English premier leauge, red cards are now challenged to determine if it will be upheld or thrown allow. For any sports to uphold its quality, rules got not be static no matter what. Sorry to say this, only few people are arguing from a neutral point of view here both for and aginst.

    September 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Reply


    September 14, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  168. K Jennings

    Serena Williams has not been censured harshly enough:

    The Williams sisters, encouraged by their father, have been at this for years and years.

    I was at a female doubles match in early july 2008, at Wimbledon, as a spectator. It was the Williams's v. Bethany Mattek and Sania Mirza.

    It was on Number two court. It's not one of the 'show' courts, and therefore there were no TV cameras there.

    After the knock-up/warm-up, where the four players bat the ball back and forth across the net, the umpire got down from his chair,
    and stood by the net to mandatorily speak the ground rules. As he spoke, both William's sister 'paddled' their rackets towards
    the faces of their opponents...extravagant, overarm-from-the-shoulder motions. Mattek and Mirza stood motionless, listening to the
    umpire. The Umpire, for whatever reason, didn't censure the Williams's. Up in the bleachers, the williams's father looked on, impassive, and in obvious agreement with his daughters' antics.

    After 20 minutes of play, rain came, and match suspended temporarily.

    30 minutes later, a PA announcement brought us all back into the small arena. Warm-up, umpire down from chair. Speaks to players...
    and the Williams sisters did the racket-paddling motion AGAIN.

    There was no exercise or limbering-up imperative to their actions. Just bullying intimidation. The Williams's, of course, would not dare
    do that on a show court, in front of TV cameras...and neither would they do it, individually, if it had been a singles game. Their father, of
    course, puts them up to it. But, they have the choice to behave like that, in the end.

    The Williams's, with their superior skill, won the match. they don't need to resort to those tactics. They're rich enough, and famous enough. I don't think I ever remember Zina Garrison, Althea Gibson, or MaliVai Washington ever behaving that way. I don't think Arthur Ashe ever did either.

    Serena Williams can coo and effect a sing-songy demureness in the press conference afterwards, but her gamesmanship and shrewishness is there for all to see. She should be suspended from all competitions for at least six months.

    K Jennings.

    September 14, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  169. Mary

    She has not been dealt with harshly enough. That's a petty slap on the wrist. Doesn't anyone see that she is out of CONTROL. No other woman acts like that playing professional tennis or basketball for that matter. Maybe she thinks she's at the park where she first learned to play, playing park tennis! She has absolutely no CLASS, and there's no place for her in the professional tennis arena. We, the public, won't find out for years, like Marion Jones. When Bartolli got the same exact call at the US Open she just asked what it was for and continued on playing. Oops and sorry! No tantrum! Serena has serious issues, and they start with her father who stood up as if he were going to take on the crowd! She's a bully! No one should pay to watch a bully, unless it's cage fighting. I won't watch her play again. (And by the way, the rules have evolving in the USTA, becoming stricter because of people abusing them, like Johnny Mac and Jimmy Connors in earlier times.

    September 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  170. Derek UK

    What a disgraceful performance. She is of the opinion that she has the right to win every time she steps on to the court.
    $2000 is a joke-she should be banned for 2 years. No respect for the situation, her oponent, umpire or the crowd.
    Why do umpires have to take such personal abuse. I would love to have seen the umpire leave to court, but that would have no use to the Australian girl, and that in turn would mean have been a benifit to Williams.
    We just hope she does not attend Wimbledon next year

    September 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  171. ozzie

    As an Australian fan who has waited a long time for another Grand Slam win, it was awesome to see Sam win this match. How disappointing that, as per usual when Serena is on the court, it's going to be remembered for being all about Serena. The first set was 6-2 – a DOUBLE break so Stosur was well and truly in control at that point and it would be hard to say that one point at the start of the second set was the reason for the loss. Give me a break.

    To see comments such as 'wouldn't have happened to Stosur at the Australian Open'.. Yes you're absolutley right – reason being Sam would never have behaved like this in the first place..

    I have played and followed tennis for over 30 years and fondly recall the days of Graf, Davenport and the like who always were gracious in defeat. I include Venus in that group too.

    As for Serena sitting with Sam, I nearly choked on my All Bran when I saw that. That was a rare moment but you'll forgive my cynicism for thinking it was bit of too, little too late damage control from Serena.

    Congratulations Sam for the win and more importantly for the way you went about it.

    September 15, 2011 at 2:54 am | Reply
  172. Tom

    You can take the girl out of Compton, but you cant take the Compton out of the girl. Low class cry baby, and I have always rooted for her, but now I'll always hope she loses.

    September 15, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  173. hellen

    the day will come when u got to be sick for what u do to black pple or poor pple just becoz u have the power and u are white for me it means nothing respect other ple regardless where they come from.if u do not have pressure on what u do u are a sucking other pple blood.Americans hate black pple but the forget they to the land for the which belongs to indians.its the same white pple who goes in poor countries taking land and pretending to do good things.listen what u take from others u will be cursed and it will go on watch out the line judge.
    if i was serena i will not play in us open.there is always something when williams sister play.pls do not say we are glad to have them back.they do even like when they play in us open.williams GOD bless u.keep ur argue down.look forward and let it go
    keep cool

    September 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  174. hellen

    maria sharapova said to the eumpire are WHAT WHAT ARE u f******* killing me match against what a JOKE WHAT SERENA SAID:PPLE WHAT OUT WHEN U WRITE AND CRITIZE SERENA SO WEIGH SERENA MESSAGE AND SHARAPOVA:

    September 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  175. sm

    For those of you who wanna justify their negativity of Serena by saying that they rooted for her in the past, show us a prove in form of a blog or somthing similar. You are probably the same once that think you are human and another person is an epp. " can anything good come out of nazareth"

    September 15, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  176. 3rdoften

    Warrior princess my foot!! More like loud-mouthed ignoramus who is taken to temper tantrums when she doesn't get her way. The fact that she pulled this stunt again, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, proves my point. And gee, $2000?????? That's like change in her pocket. You can bet her popularity will be down come Australian Open time next year. Personally I think she should have been banned for her repeated foul-mouthed antics. Not everyone falls at the feet of the Williams sisters.

    September 15, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  177. Sydneycruiser

    Serena seems to use these outbursts as a motivational tool. Obviously doesn't work. Maybe needs to work on the annoyingly loud grunt that many tennis players use.
    Was very upset with the the long crowd reaction. Sam tried to wait it out but eventually had to serve while the crowd was booing and whistling. Went on for two points. Crowds at the Australian Open would not over react like that.
    Watch the USA v Australia Davis Cup crowd this weekend in Sydney and I feel confident to say that they will all act in a sportsman like manner. Don't know about Hewitt though.
    Sam is going to be a great champion for tennis. A perfect lady.
    But love her or hate her, Serena is a legend.

    September 15, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  178. shelly

    The one who's unattractive on the inside is Serena. She's has anger management issues and should marry Murray, another player who's not much fun to watch. One's black, the other's white, they both need to grow up.

    September 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Reply


    September 16, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Reply
  180. Jay

    It is amazing how we as spectators get upset when an umpire , through their call or punishment cause a change in the outcome of a basketball game or a football game. But when the umpire makes a bad call at the US tennis champions. The Player ms Serena Williams is just suppose to be quiet and take it. I never heard anyone call Jimmy Connors or John McConroe Spoiled.... Think about that DAN.......

    September 17, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  181. Kings

    She was no treated fairly

    November 10, 2011 at 7:57 am | Reply
  182. jay

    im sure there is some kind of recism going on here cos most the the statement are too one sided.ppl what she did was wrong.but the fact is we all know it wasnt intentional,i mean for some ppl to go as far as attacking the family i think is abosolutly below par.she has won 13 majors im sure she didnt win them freudlently,it was out of hard work,motivation,and commitment so give her the creidit and stop attacking her sure we have seen worst case senerio sport.Furthermore,im sure you have not forgotten what happened with Venus and the Umpire in Wimbledon that the umpire was suspended..such umpires shoudnt have in the first place gotten a job in WTA.but how did she get here thats my question...i mean she lost she lost..please give her a break leave her alone ,lets moveon..In addition if you dont like her on envi,pick up your tennis rac and beat on the court firly.Respect...but as long as you cannot do will serve you more to remain silent and lets enjoy this beautiful game.

    January 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  183. El Lepero

    She should be banned from playing for life. This "Woman" is a poor sport and her antics should not be tolerated.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  184. El Lepero

    Tennis is a Lady and Gentleman Sport. "Those people" should not be allowed to play in international matches.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  185. Tom

    Don't label everyone from the USA<BOTH William's sisters are nothing but trailer trash blessed with perfect physical bodies to play tennis
    My opinion is that women's pro tennis took a terrible downward fall when they came on the scene
    No one can dismiss their skill but they (Serena is the worst) are the worst sports"men" in the game today or in the history of tennis
    Serena always puts on her "sweet little me" voice when the microphone is there, but loses her cool if everything does not go her way, including but not limited to her matches being in prime time, the best courts

    The delusional fool still lists her weight as 150lbs, which half or her ass Is that? Someone once said Serena's ass needs it's own zipcode I concur

    September 1, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Reply

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