Test 2

Please select your preferred language.





Remember Me

New to Fridae?

Fridae Mobile


More About Us

13 Sep 2009

Who’s that girl?

For all her past achievements, Serena Williams will now forever be known as the only defending champion to be chucked out of a grand slam event. That will be her legacy and her place in tennis history.

11 times Grand Slam champion, Serena Williams who lists acting as a hobby certainly did not need to rely on a script to produce the single biggest drama yet to be witnessed at this year’s already dramatic US Open. 

Serena’s U.S. Open title defense ended in an ugly fashion Saturday night, when she was penalized a point on match point after yelling and shaking her racket in the direction of an official who called a foot fault.

In a highly anticipated match that was delayed by 33 hours due to bad weather Serena Williams lost to unseeded, unranked Kim Clijsters 6-4, 7-5. The quality of tennis was high, but was certainly shaded by Serena’s foul outbreaks of temper. 

With Williams serving at 5-6, 15-30 in the second set, she faulted on her first serve. On the second serve, a line judge called a foot fault, making it a double-fault—a call rarely, if ever, seen at that stage of any match, let alone the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament.
That made the score 15-40, putting Clijsters one point from victory.

Instead of stepping to the baseline to serve again, Williams went over and shouted and cursed at the line judge, pointing at her and shaking a ball at her.

“If I could, I would take this … ball and shove it down your … throat and kill you,” Williams said.

The lineswoman went over to the chair umpire, and tournament referee Brian Earley joined in the conversation. Williams then went over and said to the line judge: “I didn’t say I would kill you. Are you serious? Are you serious? I didn’t say that.”

Williams already had been given a code violation warning when she broke her racket after losing the first set. So the chair umpire now awarded a penalty point to Clijsters, ending the match.

“She was called for a foot fault, and a point later, she said something to a line umpire, and it was reported to the chair, and that resulted in a point penalty,” Earley explained. “And it just happened that point penalty was match point. It was a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.”

When the ruling was announced, Williams walked around the net to the other end of the court to shake hands with a stunned Clijsters, who did not appear to understand what had happened.

“I used to have a real temper, and I’ve gotten a lot better,” Williams said in her postmatch news conference. “So I know you don’t believe me, but I used to be worse. Yes, yes, indeed.”

Perhaps shaded by the theatrics was Clijsters’ significant accomplishment: In only her third tournament back after 2 1/2 years in retirement, the 26-year-old Belgian became the first mother to reach a Grand Slam final since Evonne Goolagong Cawley who won Wimbledon 1980.

Clijsters hadn’t competed at the U.S. Open since winning the 2005 championship. Now she will play for her second career major title Sunday against No. 9 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, who beat Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-3, 6-3 in the other rain-delayed women’s semifinal.

The last time a singles player suffered such an ignominious exit from such a high profile match was when John McEnroe was defaulted from a fourth round match against Mikael Pernfors at the 1990 Australian Open; when he swore at the umpire, supervisor, and referee . 

At the post match press conference, Serena remained unrepentant for her tirade even though the lineswoman told the chair umpire that she felt threatened.

"She says she felt threatened? She said this to you?" she asked the reporter who fielded the question.

"I've never been in a fight my whole life, so I don't know why she should have felt threatened."

To be honest, this is hardly the first time the American diva has been starring in such controversial on-court drama.  

"I'm drama, and I don't want to be drama," Williams said in May at the French Open where she labelled Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez "a cheat" following a controversial point in their third round match.

"I'm beginning to think it's me because I do have a lot of drama, and it's always something, whether it's my life with friends, with anybody. It's like I have the most dramatic life. It's so ridiculous."

In 2003, a sobbing Williams accused another Belgian Justine Henin of "lying and fabricating" following another controversial semi-final defeat at Roland Garros.

"That girl's" latest on-court drama on Saturday night certainly tops a rain ruined Super Saturday! 
In 2004, at a quarter-final match at the US Open against fellow American Jennifer Capriati, Serena was on the receiving end of several bad line calls which lead to umpire Mariana Alves, who made the incorrect overrules to be removed from officiating duties from the championships that year while U.S. Open officials apologised to Williams.

"Every time you look around, it's like I mean, there was an incident with Justine, and then there was another incident with Jennifer Capriati. Always some drama," Williams said in May.
"Even in Australia this year I had a bad call, and I was just like, why?

"I'm like one of those girls on a reality show that has all the drama, and everyone in the house hates them because no matter what they do, drama follows them. I don't want to be that girl."

As talented as Serena is, she needs to walk out the shadows of “that girl” to fulfill her true potentials. For now, who’s that girl? No one could believe that Serena Williams who is already considered a tennis legend would pull off such an unprofessional act. 

Not even when we know that the (incompetent) lineswoman was wrong. Think "that girl" will live to regret this moment.  

Reader's Comments

1. 2009-09-13 19:54  
regardless what, I still root for her!
2. 2009-09-13 22:10  
she need to watch out for her tone of temper as she is watched by millions... but she did great though.
3. 2009-09-13 22:11  
That's BS! That will not be her legacy! Please...!
And In spite of the situation, it was good to see her go over to congratulate Kim Clijsters.
4. 2009-09-13 22:34  
she is no sportswoman for sure, full of crap
5. 2009-09-13 22:53  
agreed with brandon :) she really never show her tactful sportsmanship :P
6. 2009-09-13 23:53  
I have lost all respect and admiration for her after last night, just like I lost respect for Roddick after a match in Hamburg a few years ago, such unsportmanlike, unprofessional behavior is below them and they should not be the models for younglings whom look up to them. I supposed this kind of behavior came from a long line of unsavory characters beginning with McEnroe. Thanks God we still have Pete Sampras. Looking forward to the new generation.
Comment edited on 2009-09-14 05:07:08
7. 2009-09-13 23:57  
Yup... sadly so... she is always pretending to be the good girl, while all others are at fault... this is just another slip up along the road... Kim wld have defeated her anyway and its time that the whole williams clan realised what sportsmanship actually means... and on top of all that she had the nerve to be surprised at the press conference abt the lineswoman feeling threatened...
Comment edited on 2009-09-14 01:18:00
8. 2009-09-14 11:23  
she is high temper..maybe because the game is not favor for her.
poor serina..not that sportmanship shown to here.
9. 2009-09-14 11:23  
she is high temper..maybe because the game is not favor for her.
poor serina..not that sportmanship shown to here.
10. 2009-09-14 12:02  
Hi All,
unsportsmanlike is not acceptant but in the top sport always like that
sometimes they can not control themself. we shall be forgiven for her
Wish all have great week and enjoy with final single men.
I love tennis and play 3times per week . we can be friend and sharing about any matter in Tennis.
11. 2009-09-15 00:59  
like the men in tennis never swore worse than she did? yet no action was being taken.

Boris Becker, John McEnroe swore like hell!
12. 2009-09-15 04:57  
It has nothing whatsoever to do with swearing! kindly go back to the (by now publicised) point in crime: this arrogant woman was shouting and actively threatening a person much smaller than her and also wielding her racket against her... it was for the whole world to see and it happened twice! relentlessly! You must be either dumb or blind not to have seen it... or both...

the guys you mention were minnows compared to the arrogance and verbal evil that S Williams and her clan demonstarte on any possible occasion.
13. 2009-09-15 14:38  
did she commit the foot fault, can any tennis expert weigh in?
14. 2009-09-15 19:01  
15. 2009-09-15 23:25  
The person who is dumb or blind - line judge.
16. 2009-09-16 00:38  
and with a 2 cents face...
17. 2009-09-17 02:12  
I'm just surprised so many of you think what Serena did was justifiable. You don't go around threatening anyone just because you don't agree with them. On top of that, to later pretend it didn't happen just shows what a classless human being Serena is when things don't go her way.

And while Becker and McEnroe had fiery tempers with yelling and obscenities, they never threatened to physically harm an official, probably because they know better.
18. 2009-09-20 17:09  
great player but also a sore loser, absolut no class.
19. 2009-09-21 15:40  
Swearing is an audible obscenity and is an automatic code violation. She also threaten a line judge which is intimidation which is another violation. If the chair hears the curse they have to rule it. Male or female players have been through this. Its not just serena. No exceptions are ever made unless the chair doesn't hear it. In this case 25,000 people saw it.

As for the foot fault. There is no camera angle that can show it definitively. But the only person looking at the baseline is a trained judge whose sole purpose at that point is to stare at the line. But serena had foot faults called on her the entire tournament. Why can't she just take a 1/2 step back to serve. She's not a net rusher, it doesn't benefit her to serve that close to the line.

Regardless if the call was right or close but not quite right, a professional should know better than to flip out. Imagine if you did that at your office. How long do you think you can sit at your desk before security comes to get you.
20. 2009-10-12 06:47  
This article completely dismissed all of Serena's acvhievements. I expected more from you Bjorn Balls, such an outburst shows the pressure these athletes face and in addition confirms that Serena is only human!!!! Go Serena, the only remaining true champion (including Venus) from her era of players.

Please log in to use this feature.


Select News Edition

Featured Profiles

Now ALL members can view unlimited profiles!


View this page in a different language:

Like Us on Facebook


 ILGA Asia - Fridae partner for LGBT rights in Asia IGLHRC - Fridae Partner for LGBT rights in Asia