PDA

View Full Version : Serena Williams berates official, loses match for conduct violation



redsfandan
09-13-2009, 01:57 AM
Serena Williams berates official, loses match for conduct violation
By Chris Chase
Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:37 pm EDT

Rain gave way to bedlam tonight at the U.S. Open.

Defending champion Serena Williams was charged with a point penalty on match point after yelling at a line judge for a calling a foot fault on her previous serve. The ruling gave Kim Clijsters a 6-4, 7-5 victory in their semifinal match, which had been delayed 32 hours because of rain.

After the line judge called the foot fault with Serena serving at 5-6, 15-30 in the second set, the youngest Williams sister intimidatingly stared her down before screaming at the official with a jabbed finger. After a few seconds, Serena turned back around to serve, thought better of it and resumed the badgering. The chair umpire then called over the line judge to ask what Serena had said, rules officials were summoned, a brief summit occurred at the net and it was determined that Serena would be assessed a point penalty for a conduct violation. The point gave Clijsters the match.

The initial foot fault that began the fireworks was a terrible call. It was unconscionable. It cannot be made at the end of any match, let alone in the semifinals of the U.S. Open. This isn't because a foot fault is a ridiculous call at that juncture (even though it is). It's because it wasn't a foot fault. The replays show that Serena's foot was behind the line when she served. You could make the argument that it was close but not close enough to make the call.

That being said, that's no excuse for Serena to berate an official. Wrong as the official may have been, there's a line that to be crossed and Serena did it pretty early on in her diatribe by saying, "I'm going to shove this ball down your f------ throat".

It got worse from there. There were multiple profanities, more threats and a lot of pointing. Serena was even defending herself against accusations that she had threatened to kill the lines judge. Even John McEnroe said it was a bit much.

The explosive end is sure to obscure the fact that Serena probably would have lost the match without the foot fault. Clijsters was playing great and Serena couldn't win a point on her second serve. The end was coming, Serena's outburst merely hastened its arrival. Maybe that was the point.

After the match she answered a question about the incident saying "I don't know why she would feel threatened."
http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4469048

GIDP
09-13-2009, 02:07 AM
Sexy

Razor Shines
09-13-2009, 04:43 AM
Were there other angles that they showed? The article says it clearly wasn't a foot fault, but from the angle they showed on SportsCenter I couldn't tell one way or another.

Either way she deserved the point penalty for the way she acted, match point or not.

Chip R
09-13-2009, 07:38 AM
When John McEnroe says it's a bit much, you know you've crossed the line. I saw a picture of that line judge when she and Serena were talking to the chair umpire and she looked very frightened.

Redhook
09-13-2009, 08:13 AM
Quality entertainment right there.

Hoosier Red
09-13-2009, 08:17 AM
Perhaps the line judge was looking at her titles?

LawFive
09-13-2009, 09:29 PM
Perhaps the line judge was looking at her titles?

Mark me as the first person who will admit to reading this to say what you meant!

Roy Tucker
09-14-2009, 08:29 AM
Couldn't happen to a nice person.

durl
09-14-2009, 10:02 AM
I grew up watching McEnroe and, while I thought his tirades were unnecessary, I can't recall him ever threatening a judge physically. Sure, he questioned their integrity and mental capacity, but did he ever threaten to lay a hand on them?

Williams' actions were just too much. I wonder if the USTA might take further disciplinary action.

Hoosier Red
09-14-2009, 10:03 AM
I'm curious to hear you say that Roy? Both Williams sister's have been at times indelicate in praising the opposition, but I've never heard anything to make me thing they are mean or hard to get along with.

Read an interesting post on "The Book"
THE BOOK--Playing The Percentages In Baseball << Back to main

Sunday, September 13, 2009
Why is it that people just can’t tell the truth…
By mgl, 03:15 AM
This a non-baseball (tennis) sports post…

As those of you who follow tennis know, Serena Williams lost her semi-final match to Kim Clijsters when she was penalized a point for unsportsmanlike (or unsportswomanlike, I guess) conduct toward a referee.

Apparently, she said this:

“I swear to God I’m [expletive] going to take this [expletive] ball and shove it down your [expletive] throat, you hear that? I swear to God.”

And other expletive-laced comments.

The line judge apparently told the head umpire, “She said that she was going to kill me.”

Now, it doesn’t matter much exactly what Serena said because it was clearly grounds for penalizing her, but why can’t people just tell the truth in a controversy? Even if the line judge doesn’t remember exactly what she said, she knows darn well that Serena didn’t say that she was going to kill her. Just once, I would like to see two sides in a controversy have the same freakin’ story. Seriously, why does everyone have to lie, even when it is not necessary? I can’t stand that.

Do people think that in order to garner maximum sympathy for their position, they have to embellish their story or make things up in order to put the other person in the least favorable light? Is that it? If you think you have a legitimate gripe, which the line judge obviously did in this situation, just say what happened!

Boston Red
09-14-2009, 10:08 AM
I think if you shoved a tennis ball down someone's throat they would die.

Razor Shines
09-14-2009, 10:19 AM
I'm curious to hear you say that Roy? Both Williams sister's have been at times indelicate in praising the opposition, but I've never heard anything to make me thing they are mean or hard to get along with.

Read an interesting post on "The Book"
THE BOOK--Playing The Percentages In Baseball << Back to main

Sunday, September 13, 2009
Why is it that people just can’t tell the truth…
By mgl, 03:15 AM
This a non-baseball (tennis) sports post…

As those of you who follow tennis know, Serena Williams lost her semi-final match to Kim Clijsters when she was penalized a point for unsportsmanlike (or unsportswomanlike, I guess) conduct toward a referee.

Apparently, she said this:

“I swear to God I’m [expletive] going to take this [expletive] ball and shove it down your [expletive] throat, you hear that? I swear to God.”

And other expletive-laced comments.

The line judge apparently told the head umpire, “She said that she was going to kill me.”

Now, it doesn’t matter much exactly what Serena said because it was clearly grounds for penalizing her, but why can’t people just tell the truth in a controversy? Even if the line judge doesn’t remember exactly what she said, she knows darn well that Serena didn’t say that she was going to kill her. Just once, I would like to see two sides in a controversy have the same freakin’ story. Seriously, why does everyone have to lie, even when it is not necessary? I can’t stand that.

Do people think that in order to garner maximum sympathy for their position, they have to embellish their story or make things up in order to put the other person in the least favorable light? Is that it? If you think you have a legitimate gripe, which the line judge obviously did in this situation, just say what happened!

Problem with calling the Line Judge a liar is we don't know what Serena said when she went back in for a second helping Jack***. We do know that she said:
“I swear to God I’m [expletive] going to take this [expletive] ball and shove it down your [expletive] throat, you hear that? I swear to God.”

Is it really that hard to believe she said something about wanting to kill the Line Judge when she went back at her?

cumberlandreds
09-14-2009, 10:22 AM
I don't how professional tennis governed but she should be suspended from play for a good long time after that outburst. Anytime you threaten an official like she did you don't deserve to play for a looooong time.

DTCromer
09-14-2009, 10:25 AM
Is Serena ever graceful in defeat? Both Williams sisters are sore losers and have always been.

traderumor
09-14-2009, 10:29 AM
Hey, at least she didn't make the throat slashing motion. At least she could say she was only using the oral argument technique of hyperbole with the ball stuffing procedure.

Roy Tucker
09-14-2009, 10:34 AM
I'm curious to hear you say that Roy? Both Williams sister's have been at times indelicate in praising the opposition, but I've never heard anything to make me thing they are mean or hard to get along with.



Just a selfish little snit on my part.

My daughter is a cashier at the Whole Foods here in Deerfield Twp. Whenever they have the ATP here in Mason, all the players stay at the Marriott just down the road. A lot of them come into Whole Foods to get water, drinks, food, etc etc etc.

Jen has seen a lot of the ATP tennis pros (stars and some not-so stars), pro golfers, and various pro athletes (Bengals, Reds) come through her line. So she's not bedazzled by stars in any way. Serena Williams (and handler) came through her line a couple weeks ago. Jen said she was the rudest person she'd ever encountered, bar none.

Just a data point of one. But it was my daughter so my papa bear instincts arise with a great roar.

Unassisted
09-14-2009, 12:50 PM
The pointing gesture she kept making with the racket toward the line judge certainly looked threatening. Regardless of what she threatened, I can't imagine that threatening an official in any sport is a good strategy.

PedroBourbon
09-14-2009, 01:02 PM
I too got a kick out of John McEnroe's comments. He also did point out that it was a little nit-picky to call a questionable foot fault at a critical point in a match. Kinda equivalent to when the officials in basketball "let them play" in the last minute of a tight basketball game.

texasdave
09-14-2009, 03:34 PM
I got a little kick out of the standard "I just want to win so badly" spin that Serena first went with. I suppose we can infer that if you don't go into a profanity-laced tirade when a big point goes against you that you really don't want to win that badly. You probably shouldn't even be out there with your loser 'good sportsmanship' mentality.

Chip R
09-14-2009, 03:53 PM
I don't how professional tennis governed but she should be suspended from play for a good long time after that outburst. Anytime you threaten an official like she did you don't deserve to play for a looooong time.


Problem with that is that she's a big draw. She's been fined and she was penalized in the match and lost the U.S. Open match as a result. She's the subject of ridicule from coast to coast and may lose endorsements.

Nugget
09-14-2009, 04:00 PM
Problem with that is that she's a big draw. She's been fined and she was penalized in the match and lost the U.S. Open match as a result. She's the subject of ridicule from coast to coast and may lose endorsements.

I really don't think she is crucial - unlike golf or other individual sports there are a number of elite players and you can have an excellent match and tournament with or without the Williams sisters. They certainly bring the media spotlight but I think they are not as crucial to obtaining a draw than others.

That brings up a big issue, because it was also discussed in a baseball game recently - is there any situation where one should bend the rules or selectively apply the rules given where the game is?

Chip R
09-14-2009, 04:16 PM
I really don't think she is crucial - unlike golf or other individual sports there are a number of elite players and you can have an excellent match and tournament with or without the Williams sisters. They certainly bring the media spotlight but I think they are not as crucial to obtaining a draw than others.

That brings up a big issue, because it was also discussed in a baseball game recently - is there any situation where one should bend the rules or selectively apply the rules given where the game is?


Perhaps not but when the Western & Southern Open was here a few weeks ago, they had billboards of Serena around town promoting the tournament. Her presence alone may make the difference between the tournament making or losing money.

I think suspending her may be a bit much.

bucksfan2
09-14-2009, 04:29 PM
I really don't think she is crucial - unlike golf or other individual sports there are a number of elite players and you can have an excellent match and tournament with or without the Williams sisters. They certainly bring the media spotlight but I think they are not as crucial to obtaining a draw than others.

That brings up a big issue, because it was also discussed in a baseball game recently - is there any situation where one should bend the rules or selectively apply the rules given where the game is?

She is very important for women's tennis in America. Maybe not world wide, but Americans like to root for Americans.

I have never played competitive tennis but have played quite a bit with my friends. What I just don't understand about the foot fault thing, is it either was a foot fault or it wasn't. If the judge, who had the best angle in the house, called it a foot fault, then Serena broke the rules and was penalized. Her outburst was uncalled for and she should be penalized for doing so. It was unprofessional and immature, just another reason for me to root against Serena.

Bumstead
09-15-2009, 02:28 PM
Ahh....personalities...you either love them or you hate them. At least with the women, there are a few personalities and at least Americans have a shot at some majors. The men are boring, no personalities, and really very little chance to win majors. Nadal is somewhat entertaining but other than that...pfft...I'm not condoning what she said, but still, it was entertaining and that will get people to watch. The Williams' sisters and their drama are a huge draw.

Anybody remember when McEnroe looked at the line judge, who was bald, and yelled "Grow some hair!" Awesome! Or Jimmy Connors holding his nose to infer that the chair judge stunk and then the rhetoric afterwards as to how he was just scratching his nose...Awesome again!

Bum

MilotheMayor
09-16-2009, 07:52 PM
"Yo Serena. I'm really happy for ya, and I'm a let you finish but John MacEnroe had some of the best tennis freakouts of all time."

:)

Nugget
09-17-2009, 05:38 PM
She is very important for women's tennis in America. Maybe not world wide, but Americans like to root for Americans.

I have never played competitive tennis but have played quite a bit with my friends. What I just don't understand about the foot fault thing, is it either was a foot fault or it wasn't. If the judge, who had the best angle in the house, called it a foot fault, then Serena broke the rules and was penalized. Her outburst was uncalled for and she should be penalized for doing so. It was unprofessional and immature, just another reason for me to root against Serena.

The issue with the foot fault rule is that its one of those faults which most players believe is kind of on the soft side. That is the advantage gained by a foot fault which is not blatant (ie she didn't serve from a couple of metres inside the baseline) especially at the particular point in the match is not material. However, there is the view that the rules are the rules and should be applied regardless.

Similar issue was discussed in a recent game where the commentators were discussed whether umpires should or would extend the strike zone at the end of a game where a team was clearly winning.

bucksfan2
09-18-2009, 08:15 AM
The issue with the foot fault rule is that its one of those faults which most players believe is kind of on the soft side. That is the advantage gained by a foot fault which is not blatant (ie she didn't serve from a couple of metres inside the baseline) especially at the particular point in the match is not material. However, there is the view that the rules are the rules and should be applied regardless.

Similar issue was discussed in a recent game where the commentators were discussed whether umpires should or would extend the strike zone at the end of a game where a team was clearly winning.

I understand you here. I realize that there is very little to gain by stepping on the end line during a serve. But on the other hand, if a ball hits very close to the end line, it matters if it touches the line, or doesn't.

I guess the question I have is if you step on the end line, it is a foot fault, and lost of point. Why not make sure that you are an inch or so behind the line. When I play golf, I do not set my club down right behind the ball. I usually give it an inch or so just so I don't touch the ball and incur a penalty. It really is rather simple, and not a big deal, but a rule is a rule.

Nugget
09-18-2009, 01:37 PM
Totally agree - a rule is a rule which is why McEnroe was wrong here (in addition to many other instances). Many players who get called will usually serve a little behind the line. One who got called was Stefan Edberg and when he lined up to serve his front foot was actually a couple of centimetres behind the line (but it was usually his backfoot that got called).

Sea Ray
09-18-2009, 03:20 PM
I can't seem to grasp why this story has such legs. It's gone well beyond Sportscenter.

Serena Williams is famous because of how she plays tennis and she will continue to be famous as long as she continues to play good tennis. She is not world renown for her class or manners. This isn't like the Queen of England said these things.

She is a wonderful tennis player and that's it. Don't expect her to be more than that.

redsfandan
09-18-2009, 08:30 PM
I can't seem to grasp why this story has such legs. It's gone well beyond Sportscenter.

Serena Williams is famous because of how she plays tennis and she will continue to be famous as long as she continues to play good tennis. She is not world renown for her class or manners. This isn't like the Queen of England said these things.

She is a wonderful tennis player and that's it. Don't expect her to be more than that.
Because, occasionally, people like to spend time on "the loss of manners in society". So, currently they're looking at Serena Williams, Kanye West, Joe Wilson, and MJ. Why else is the Kanye West thread at 130 posts and counting? Because a guy, that's known for stuff like this, essentially took a "moment" away from a teenage girl. Throw in race and the typical conspiracy theory and people will eat that kind of stuff up. The difference between the Serena Williams incident and the other incidents is that Williams, a world class athlete, was verbally threatening to someone that is older, smaller, and who took the threat seriously.

Personally, I think this was just another, somewhat entertaining, public meltdown by a public figure. She was frustrated by a questionable call but she was minutes away from losing the match anyway. So far, the only thing that this resulted in was she lost $10,500 which, to athletes like her, doesn't mean much. There's still a chance of further penalties (forfeiture of prize money and/or suspension) but apparently that could take several weeks to decide.

redsfandan
11-30-2009, 09:16 AM
So far, the only thing that this resulted in was she lost $10,500 which, to athletes like her, doesn't mean much. There's still a chance of further penalties (forfeiture of prize money and/or suspension) but apparently that could take several weeks to decide.


Williams fined at least record $82,500 for tirade

By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich, Ap Tennis Writer – 7 mins ago

Serena Williams was fined at least a record $82,500 for her U.S. Open tirade and could be suspended from that tournament if she has another "major offense" at any Grand Slam in the next two years, Grand Slam administrator Bill Babcock told The Associated Press on Monday.

Babcock's decision was to be formally released later Monday.

He said Williams faces a "probationary period" at Grand Slam tournaments in 2010 and 2011.

If she has another "major offense" at a major championship in that time, the fine would increase to $175,000 and she would be barred from the following U.S. Open.

Babcock said the previous highest fine for a Grand Slam offense was about $48,000 to Jeff Tarango in the 1990s.

Williams lashed out at a lineswoman after a foot-fault call at the end of her U.S. Open semifinal loss to eventual champion Kim Clijsters.

Williams earned $350,000 by reaching the semifinals, part of her more than $6.5 million in prize money in 2009, a single-season record for women's tennis. Her career prize money tops $28 million.

The American is an 11-time Grand Slam singles champion and ended the 2009 season at No. 1 in the WTA rankings.

Williams' profanity-laced, finger-pointing outburst drew a $10,000 fine from the U.S. Tennis Association in September — the maximum onsite penalty a tennis player can face. But because it happened at a Grand Slam tournament, Babcock was charged with investigating whether further punishment was merited.

He concluded that Williams violated the "major offense" rule for "aggravated behavior." The Grand Slam committee — with one representative from each of the sport's four major championships — approved his decision Saturday.

Babcock said Williams has been informed of the ruling. She has been in Barbados for an exhibition tournament, and her agent did not immediately reply to a request for comment Monday.