Serena Williams is in the news again, and not solely due to her loss of yesterday’s match, but for the conduct that may have contributed to the defeat. Williams channeled her inner John McEnroe at yet another US Open game – this time against Aussie challenger Sam Stosur.
It went down during the first game of the match’s second set. Sure that her forehand shot was a winner, Williams shouted “come on!” just as Stosur struggled to make minimal contact with the ball, in other words, before the point was technically over. Serena’s outburst deliberately interrupted Stosur’s attempt at a return, according to chair umpire Eva Asderaki, giving Stosur the point under the “hindrance rule” that states a player can’t verbally interfere with opponent’s points. Asderaki’s ruling set the crowd at the Arthur Ashe stadium off, many of them booing for over a minute. And then came Williams’ reaction.
Yahoo sports reports that Serena mistook Asderaki for Louise Engzell, the umpire whom she’d cussed out at the Open in 2009. Williams approached the umpire to say “Aren’t you the one who screwed me over last time here?”… “Yeah, you are.”
The game continued, and so did Williams. During the following two changeovers, Serena was heard saying:
“A code violation because I expressed who I am? We’re in America last I checked. Am I gonna get violated for a water? Really, don’t even look at me. I promise you, don’t look at me because I am not the one. Don’t look my way.”
“If you ever see me walking down the hall, walk the other way. Because you’re out of control. Totally out of control. You’re a hater, you’re unattractive inside. Who would do such a thing? And I never complain. Wow.”
At the end of the day, Serena Williams showed civility in her 6-2, 6-3 loss to Sam Stosur, greeting her at the net. Asderaki may be considered fortunate as she only received the brush off from Williams as she walked past the umpire chair at the close of the match. And in defense of her outburst during the play, Serena explained:
“I just yelled, ‘Come on!’ It was a great shot. It was beautiful. I hit it like right in the sweet spot. I don’t know. It was a good shot, and it was the only good shot I think I hit. I was like, ‘Woo Hoo!”