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My Daughter Is Nervous When Serving, Help!

My Daughter Is Nervous When Serving, Help!

My 8-year old daughter played a match and lost 1:4 and 1:4. Her opponent was not that much better.

She should be able to beat her but my daughter lost all her service games and served without control.

I watched this match and I guess she missed because she was nervous. She cannot control herself.

Whenever she is not better than around 50% of serves in, I can already see a double fault. Don’t ask what my husband is feeling…

I know that you have various experiences about this case, pls help.

Hi and thanks for sharing. I’ll go straight to the point.

You say:

“Whenever she is not better than around 50% of serves in, I can already see a double fault. Don’t ask what my husband is feeling…”

So you and your husband are both feeling NERVOUS as soon as your daughter misses the first serve, right?

And now you expect 8 year old girl NOT to be nervous? Can you NOT be nervous? Can you do it?

Can you believe in her serve even when you know it’s not perfect yet and that her percentage is around 50%? You probably don’t and so doesn’t your daughter.

That’s why she misses.

YOU have to be the first to believe. YOU have to be the first to be calm.

She will follow. She is always following. Even now when you are both nervous. So is she. She can feel you.

This is step 1.

Step 2 is to figure out why are you all nervous. What does it mean to you if she loses or misses?

Take it easy. Children, especially girls are not mentally strong at 8 years old. (with very very few exceptions) They need to be supported when they lose and never criticized.

This tennis journey of your daughter is not only about her changing. It’s also about you changing.

Especially the father who puts so much pressure and nervousness on all results. She cannot handle that.

It is through her results and play that you will see how you affect her.

Hopefully your love for her will be stronger than your ego to be more than other people. Hopefully your love for her will make you change and be less nervous and less obssessed with the results.

Then she will play better and you’ll also get that satisfactory feeling of being a parent of a good tennis player.

This is the part of the parent in this tennis journey.

We coaches teach technique, tactics and how to calm down and focus if there are nerves present. Your role as a parent is that there aren’t any nerves present.

If your daughter feels that she dissapoints you with a loss, she will be nervous. When she is nervous she won’t play well.

Read these two sentences again and again to really get them.

It is that simple problem. The solution lies deep in you.

Related posts:

Will My Child Make It In Tennis?
What Ana Ivanovic Learned From French Open Loss
Dealing With Gamesmanship And Mind Games
Winning Is NOT Your Responsibility
How To Make My Son A Champion

Essential Tennis Instruction – FREE Video Lessons on How to Improve Your Serve

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Dealing With Gamesmanship And Mind Games

Dealing With Gamesmanship And Mind Games

Hi Tomaz,

It has been a while since I emailed you…but I have a problem.

All your advise has helped a great deal and I recommend my friends to your site all the time.

My daughter will be a Junior in High School this year and is thinking about not being on the tennis team. The coach is a women who loves to start trouble saying things to the other girls and playing mind games before the match begins.

For instance she told a girl that Audrey was only giving her tennis advise so she can beat her…or before a match before she goes on the court she’ll say… you won’t have a chance to beat that girl.

I personally have never seen an adult play such games. My daughter is having panic attacks (feeling nauseous and dizzy) whenever she has to go to a practice.

I feel it is not worth playing if it is not fun. She enjoys USTA and goes to tennis clinics regularly and loves it.

I have two questions…should I push her to play for the experience of all those “free” matches?

And how do you feel about the mind games that people play in tennis…like switching the score during a match…or having to go to the restroom like Serena did at Wimbledon to change the momentum of the game.

Do you feel those games should be played when your down? You seem to make sense in all your suggestions…thank you so much!

I agree that if your daughter doesn’t feel good about going to the practice or playing a match, that you should find another solution (coach, club, …).

Of course there is always some nervousness before the match but the role of the coach is to help the player relax, get rid of tension and start the match on a positive note and not reinforce the negative feelings about the match.

I can see the option of playing mind games if a coach tells the player(s) in advance, that they will practice mental toughness and he / she (the coach) will try to make them nervous, doubtful or afraid by playing certain “mind games”.

And that the players must try and ignore or fight these external ideas and replace them with their own positive thoughts.

I would accept that kind of trying to “mentally strengthen” my players.

How do I feel about mind games like: bathroom break, taking extra time, tying shoe laces, …?

I feel that there is a very thin line between being an honest person playing a tough sport and trying to win the match with every acceptable means and being a person who tries to play gamesmanship on a tennis court.

For example there is a difference between taking a bathroom break to calm yourself down even if you don’t need to go to the toilet and taking a bathroom break to break the “flow” of your opponent.

The first one is acceptable to me and second one is not.

I would accept trying to break the flow of your opponent on the serve for example, where you take some extra time to prepare for the return even-though the server wants to play the point.

Again, there is an acceptable way of doing this and the exaggerated way of doing this which is not sportsmanship like.

In summary, these mind games WILL be played against you (or your player / daughter / son) and you have to learn to cope with them.

But as I pointed in the article about ignoring opponent’s distractions, every time someone tries to play mind games with me, he ADMITS that he cannot beat me in the “normal” way.

So they try all sorts of things to unsettle me, but since I understand the cause of this (their fear of losing), this actually gives me more confidence and determination to win.

Use opponent’s mind games – gamesmanship – to boost your confidence and cruise easily through the match.

Related posts:

My Daughter Is Nervous When Serving, Help!
Dealing With The Fear Of Missing
How Are Juniors Training Tennis In Europe And Why Are They Better Than Americans?
Analyzing Your Effort In Tennis Matches
Should My Child Participate In Tennis Tournaments?

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>Did Serena Williams Deserve What She Got?

Did Serena Williams Deserve What She Got?

Serena Williams lost her semi-final match at the US Open 2009 against Kim Clijsters in a controversial way. Serena was 4-6, 5-6 and 15:30 down when she served a second serve and it was called a foot fault by the line judge.

That meant 15:40 and two match points for Clijsters. Serena at first seemed to accept the call but a few seconds later she exploded and threateaningly wawed her racquet towards the line judge and definitely said a few harsh words.

Serena Williams threatens the line judge after a foot fault call
Serena Williams threatens the line judge after a foot fault call / Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

The line judge was encouraged by the chair umpire to tell what Serena said and it seemed like Serena said that »I will kill you…« or something like that.

Anyway, the tournament referee (Brian Earley) was called in and according to the rules if the player threatens or curses towards any of the umpires, he or she gets a warning.

Since Serena already had a warning because she smashed her racquet previously in the match, her next warning meant a penalty point.

And since it was 15:40, that meant the end of the match. Brian Earley calmly explained the situation to Serena and she quickly »got it«, walked to Clijsters, congratulated her and walked off the court.

Here are some questions to consider:

1. Was the line judge right to call the foot fault?

Yes, absolutely. I don’t think the line judge had any desire or motiv to cheat Serena; she was just watching the line and noticed that Serena had touched it with her shoe.

If you’re Serena fan, you may say that the line judge didn’t get the seriousness of the situation and could have easily overlooked that one or two millimeters that Serena got closer to the net since that really didn’t affect the outcome of the point.

In other words, the line judge didn’t have the feel for the situation and should have been silent.

Of course, if you’re Kim Clijsters fan, you’re 100% behind the line judge because rules are rules and if Serena touched the line, that’s a fault. It’s her fault if she is serving so close to the baseline.

She could have easily stand one inch away from the baseline and that would ensure that she would never make a foot fault while at the same time not affect her serving percentage in any significant way.

2. Was the tournament referee – Brian Earley right to enforce another warning to Serena and thus a penalty point?

I think there is much less room for maneuvering. It was clear that Serena was threatening the line judge even when the supervisor was coming on the court. That is not allowed and with so many cameras around, the referee could not down play the seriousness of Serena’s behavior.

He had to follow the rules and again it was Serena’s fault. If she hadn’t smashed her racquet and gotten a warning already, she would only get a warning here and the score would stand 15:40.

I think it’s really down to Serena’s own faults that she lost the match in that way. She could have been serving an inch away from the line (should have been taught that 20 years ago) and she could have been smart enough not break the racquet because she knows the rules and she knows that breaking the racquet automatically means a warning.

She probably also knows what are the consequences of talking directly to the line judge – that’s why you’ll see the players in 99% of the times complain to the chair umpire when they don’t agree with the call of the line judge.

Serena Williams saying some tough words / Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Serena Williams saying some tough words / Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

So…

Should the line judge have overlooked the minute foot fault that Serena made considering the weight of the situation?

Should the main umpire or the referee let Serena get away with her behavior?

And should Serena carry all the responsibility for what happened?

Related posts:

Example Of How Tough Tennis Can Be On The Mind
Djokovic Out, Federer, Monfils And Roddick Through
6 Mental Reasons Why Serena Williams Lost To Justine Henin
Why Kim Clijsters Won The US Open 2009
Handling Cheating and Gamesmanship In Tennis

Essential Tennis Instruction – FREE Video Lessons on How to Improve Your Serve

This entry was posted on Saturday, September 12th, 2009 at 10:40 pm and is filed under Serena Williams. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

242 Responses to “Did Serena Williams Deserve What She Got?”
martha Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 10:56 pm
ESPN reports that Serana said: “If I could, I would take this … ball and shove it down your … throat and kill you,”

She should not be allowed to play pro tennis, ever again. You cannot threaten the life of a line judge.

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Danae Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:06 pm
I agree that Serena was at fault. She let her emotions get the better of her and that caused her to lose. No matter how bad the timing was, the lines person is obligated to call a foot fault if that is what she saw.

I’m appalled at Serena’s behavior. She of all people should know that if you have an issue with a call, you complain to the umpire who has the ultimate say. DON’T attack the lines person. If there was no foot fault, and the lines person was in the wrong, the umpire might have likely overturned the call. However, since Serena felt the need to chew out the lines person, she made the situation worse for herself.

What makes me angry is that in the press conference Serena couldn’t admit that she over-reacted in a very hostile way. She said that she “didn’t remember” what she had said. What BS!!! Just because you are a top player that does not make you immune to punishment for disrespecting another human being. She needs to get off her high horse.

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Tomaz Reply:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:12 pm

Just found a video of the press conference:

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Geoff Pierce Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:13 pm
A foot fault is a foot fault; sorry that Serena defenders don’t agree. It was a perfectly good call. She’d already been called on foot faults so its not as if she didn’t know she was doing it. In club tennis, lots of people foot fault and nobody says anything. I happen to be able to ace my opponents regularly, so I’ve made it a habit over the years to stand an inch behind the line and as far as I know, I NEVER foot fault. But this is the premier professional tournament in the sport, Serena was winning points by acing Kim. She doesn’t get to break the rules just because she’s a freakin’ champion. Then her true personality came out – against a line judge who was just doing her job. Please. In the interview Serena said, I’m a very “intense” player. Well, Nadal is 10 times more intense than Serena and you NEVER see him abusing anyone. Serena is NOT a champion – her behavior proves it. Kim was beating her and Serena knew it so she took it all out on a line judge. Hmmm…amateur.

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Matt Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:19 pm
Horrible call. Foot faults are rarely called in tennis, unless it is flagrant. That definitely was not a flagrant foot fault. In fact, I can’t even see a foot fault at all on the replay. I’m not surprised Serena lost it. They should have canned that line judge, what a tool.

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Lisa Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:23 pm
Shame on Serena, she deserves a huge fine and got exactly what she deserves. She is a big mouth drama queen and it’s sickening to see her behave that way. The press is saying she lost this match because of controversy, bull, she lost the match because she was down a set and down two match points, Kim Clijsters WON the match and I feel bad that she didn’t get to have the “I did it” feeling because of how the match ended but that is all on Serena. Serena got exactly what she deserves and I hope she suffers more consequences like penalties and suspensions. She stared down a line judge for the same foot fault call earlier in the tournament and it was ridiculous, like how dare you call me on that. You know what, if you foot fault it should be called. Just because you are Serena Williams doesn’t mean you don’t get called, you should get called. I’ve seen other top players get called and yes they get annoyed but threaten a line judge – never! Good riddance!

[Reply]

Trey Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:23 pm
The linesperson was clearly wrong – the video shows it. Even if there were a minor foot fault, who cares, it was so tight.

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Amy Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:26 pm
Its obvious u people have not done any thing worthwhile in ur life, thereby not knowing wat emotion means when u re doing what u love. She did wrong obviously, but nt for you guys to chew her up. Losing the match is enough for that. Get off ur high horses holy do gooders, i can never do wrong peoples[sic]
And she has only been called on foot fault this year only at the US open! does dt surprise u?

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Amy Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:28 pm
And why do we humans always open up our mouth and utter judgements. She doesnt even know who you are! You guys life will be better after this…*scoffs.

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Trey Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:28 pm
Furthermore, for those of you who are “Rules are Rules” people, see how you like it when you get a speeding ticket on the way to work before a huge presentation or when your kid loses a competition because of a very minor infraction.

The linesperson sure made her way quickly to the chair umpire to tell her of the words used. It really looked like the little kid who could not wait to tell on someone

Bad day for tennis. I hope the linesperson does not get my order wrong next week at her new job at McBurger. Playing strictly by the rules has consequences on both sides.

[Reply]

ijun Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:30 pm
this is unheard of… she has absolutely no regrets, she is just moving on…
i am deeply disturbed by this lady. she lost her dignity while having no regrets for it. even the way she approached her rival prior to shaking hands was unacceptable….who does she think she is?

[Reply]

Eisen Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:32 pm
She should be punished far more for unsportsmanlike behaviour! She was already given a foot fault call during the game before this incident. So she is aware about foot fault in this game!

[Reply]

ttipas Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:38 pm
Just a thought: Can it be that the ellipses (before “ball” and “throat”) are fig leaves for some ESPN-incompatible f-words? Oh Serena, you are such a paragon of literary style! And manners, of course.

W. H. Fowler II

[Reply]

ScottyP Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:39 pm
Serena is a disgrace and this is just the another example. Her interviews always show a complete lack of class and respect for the other players or her opponent. I wouldn’t let my 7 year old daughter play the game if she couldn’t respect the game and control her emotions. As far as not making the call because the match was close – are you crazy? Should we do the same on a close lines call?

The line judge did her job. Serena should have approached the chair umpire and asked for the tournament director if she felt wronged. Instead she tried to bully the ref. Then in the interview she blamed John McEnroe and Martina because they are her idols and they often showed negative emotions at lines judges. Give me a break and to design crappy clothes. In the future if you’re looking for role models try Roger Federer, Andre Aggasi, Rafael Nadal, or Kim Clisters.

Losing the match was the cost of the indiscretion but I hope she gets her butt fined too. Then we will see who is swallowing the tennis ball.

[Reply]

DT Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:46 pm
“Furthermore, for those of you who are “Rules are Rules” people, see how you like it when you get a speeding ticket on the way to work before a huge presentation or when your kid loses a competition because of a very minor infraction.”

Try setting your clock earlier so you don’t have to speed to get to your huge presentation… Rules are made to be followed… if they aren’t, then why have rules? Why was Serena so pissed when a ball grazed the wrist of her opponent in the French Open?

[Reply]

Sam Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:48 pm
Amy, Rule is a Rule. If emotions start overpowering a game then why do we need rules. Everyone could be yelling and threatening in the court and guess what it’s the worst match ever. For that matter it does not have to be in a game. Would you forgive someone who threatens to kill you just because he had a bad morning or a fight with his wife or lost several hundreds of thousands of dollars trading. Of course you will not. So why is a rule applicable to you and not to Serena. So stop supporting bad behavior and promote sportive play. Serena completely deserved it right from the moment she broke her racket. Like she did not see it coming.

[Reply]

Sam Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:51 pm
If you get a speeding ticket you deserve it – maybe the cop saved a life by stopping you from speeding. Maybe it was yours or another innocent one.

[Reply]

Ress Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:51 pm
It’s disappointing to see a beautiful match ended this way, but it’s more disappointing to see a world champion not willing to take responsibilities for her wrong doings. Answers like “I don’t remember what I said…”, “I don’t understand the question…”, “… I’ve moved on.” Serena is one of the best tennis players no doubt, but her behavior on the court tonight was disappointing and lacks class.

[Reply]

Janice Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:51 pm
Don’t think she didnt do this on purpose….she knew she was going to lose, so a little contriversary to take the press off her loss…I hope she gets a huge fine….not a role model anymore!!!!!!!

[Reply]

Sam Says:
September 12th, 2009 at 11:55 pm
I guess she is not mature enough to accept her fault. Hard to be young and mature especially with the fame is was in. Not to worry anymore though she has lost half her fame in matter of minutes.

[Reply]

Babs Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:05 am
It was a very inconvenient time for Serena to have a foot fault called on her. However, after close scrutiny, I did see her foot go over the line about an inch. Now, Serena brought this on herself…what she said, in my opinion should be grounds for a suspension. You CANNOT threaten a line judge like that, and then just blow it off in the press conference….
She lost a fan here…She needs to grow up, and stop thinking that her rights trump everyone else’s. What I could get was her saying that she “wants to put this incident behind her…” I mean, come ON Serena. Own up to those vile things that you said to an umpire who was just doing her job. She blew it all off like it was nothing. Apparently, U.S. Open officials didn’t agree with her. And neither do I.

[Reply]

evie Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:08 am
The point penalty was well deserved, but the foot fault was not. Give me a break. A foot fault at 15-30 in what was the final game of the final set? Players are only supposed to take 20 seconds between points, yet some of them frequently take twice that without being called. And I can guarantee you not a single one would be called at 15-30 in the last game of the last set.

A call like that at that time in the match is never done, nor should it ever be done. Serena should not have lost it and deserved the point penalty, but the linesperson should never work again.

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Kirk Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:14 am
Just Do It Nike…..terminate Serena’s contract.

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Oscar Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:16 am
I hope that directors at the US Open take economic action against Serena Williams for the worst example to the youth of the world. I would not want my kids going again into an event like the US Open if this is what they are going to see and hear.
What she said to the line judge was very clear and now that I have seen it on TV, even with the sound off you can read her lips saying “you know what I am going to do with this f… ball… I am to f….. shove it into your a… I am going to f….. kill you… “.
And the worst is not only what she did and said on the court, but that she did not apologize at all at the press conference. On the contrary, she put the line judge as a liar, when we all saw her lips and knew what she was saying.
I really hope you take serious action for the benefit of Serena. If she does not realize that she made a terrible mistake, then she does not deserve our sponsorship.

Sincerely,

Oscar.

[Reply]

Mark Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:16 am
Yes Serena was way out of order. But a CLEAR footfault? NO. Terrible call and terrible reaction. It was a bad situation all the way around so let it be. Serena’s reputation will be tarnished and the rules of tennis will be clarified and revised. Let’s leave it at that.

[Reply]

Joe Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:17 am
I thought Serena handled it the best she could. Imagine the pressure she was in and a line judge calling a foot fault? From the TV replays it even said there was no foot fault.

Did you see the line judge’s THICK glasses?!? I doubt she could even see that far!

Either way, I recall other famous tennis players (i.e. John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, etc.) who had drama back on the court. Serena got over it once the tournament referee annoucned the final decision. She had guts to admit the penalty point and congratulated Kim!

This instance was simply unfortunate given the pressure and the atmosphere.

That line judge should get her eyes checked (perhaps thicker eyeglasses?)

[Reply]

Ally Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:20 am
These racist mumbo-jumbo is not the correct way to characterize what happend today. Serena’s behavior was appalling. She said that she will shove the ball down the line callers throat. Whether the call was right or not, it was downright degrading to hear Serena tell that. I definitely dont want my little girl to follow this lady (if that works for her attitude). Champion or not, she is arrogant and did not apologize even at the press conference. These people should be banned from this great game for life

[Reply]

dmckj Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:22 am
Ummm…..to all of those who think Serena did not commit a foot fault, please read the USTA rules. It explicity states that it is NOT merely touching the line, but instead shifting the position of the body forward prior to striking the ball, something Serena clearly and unequivocally did.

This was a shameful and inexcusable display of haughty arrogance and poor sportsmanship. I would suggest Serena be banned from next year’s U.S. Open as punishment.

NO excuse….and I used to be Serena’s number one fan. No longer….

[Reply]

Bob Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:30 am
“Foot faults are rarely called” … not true. There have been several called during this US Open including 2 or 3 against Serena’s sister Venus.

There are several knowledgeable people who have said that it was absolutely a foot fault. I think the lines person should be praised for having the guts to make the call and reporting to the umpire the foul language used by Serena. The situation was handled professionally and appropriately by all the officials. Serena owes the official and the fans a sincere apology for conduct unfitting a professional athlete. This evening she set a very bad example for the young people watching.

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bobby Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:30 am
How can you defend S.W. or say the judge was wrong??!?!! Are you freakin kidding me? For the idiot who said, “it was only a minor foot fault” Ya who cares if the ball was slightly out, we’ll call it good. Why are we supporting breaking the rules or bad behavior? No wonder america is going done the tank.

[Reply]

Robert Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:32 am
Serena’s behavior was completely unacceptable. Now she’ll be known as the gangsta bitch of the tennis court.
I’ll look forward to routing against her from now on…

[Reply]

John Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:32 am
Serena Williams has always been a poor sportswoman; but this time she was taking it easy on Kim, her opponent–Serena usually yells “Come on” in the face of her opponents, taunting them, when they miss a shot. So tonight Serena took it out on her equipment and the linesperson. The foot fault was for real–and not her first of the match or the tournament.
(For those people holding up Nadal as a countervailing role model, Nadal is not the best of sportsmen either, though he has smoothed out the rough edges somewhat in the last 18 month or so.)

[Reply]

impartial Ike Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:34 am
It is most unfortunate that Ms. Williams acted in this way during a nationlly televised prime time U.S. Open semi final match. It reminded me of a child throwing a checkers board when defeat was iminent. Ms. Clijsters certainly brought her A game and was really vollying the ball through out the first set. Seeing Ms. Williams breaking her racket with such force after the 1st set was shocking. Both players continued to break the other service and would have loved to see that match conclude normally. After the foot fault, It has been confirmed that Ms. Williams approached the Line judge and said ” If I could, I would shove this ball down your throat and kill you.” ( associated press ) obviously, this was Ms. Williams tossing the checkers in the air. However the ramifications from this are much more severe. During her press conference she did not take the chance to apologize to the line judge, Ms. Clijsters or the millions of tennis fans who watched her melt down. To the contrary, she attempted to deceive and avoid the situation. Certainly Tennis, and her sponsors, ( Nike ) and others will have to re-evaluate their continued affiliation with Williams. Threatning the life of someone in NYC these days should be taken seriously…

[Reply]

David Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:44 am
for people trash talking about serena, lets make this clear.
This was not her fault. Try looking at the replay of her foot, her heel does not land on the line before she jumps, her toe moves backwards.
Reviewers, fans from both sides, Commentators and Other judges on the court had to admit that was not a foot fault.
All you people saying that she lost her fame and deserves more for this, surely you lack a knowledge of tennis, because if this was the case, John McEnroe would be out of a job. Respect her as a pro star of tennis and just remember how much they put into practicing just their serves and don’t have to stand an inch behind the line. also, all these ideas of banning serena, grow up, this is a sport. Roddick is at fault for abusing the judge, not just this sport, so many times in basketball, football, and you cant take some heat from tennis?

[Reply]

Mark Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:48 am
I wonder how her sponsors will act with this new line of events…? I personally think that the line judge WAS out of line calling that foot fault, but the way Serena handled it was uncalled for even more so…

[Reply]

BV Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:51 am
She was probably still extremely high on emotion during that press conference. She did well to avoid really saying anything, because if she let those high emotions get the best of her again… it would’ve made matters worse. Sure the whole “i don’t remember” thing was pretty lame. But what if you lost your temper on someone you felt totally wronged you… and then later you had video cameras and flash bulbs in your face asking you all about it? It takes time to sort things out in your head. I wouldn’t have apologize either if i was that pissed off.

But maybe i’d apologize later, and maybe she would too. Maybe you people need to back off. Remember what it’s like to be human? No… your all perfect right? Thus your judgments.

[Reply]

Camille Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:54 am
On replay, the foot fault is not clear. But the linesperson saw it, and no, she did not deserve to be threatened. Having said that, Serena Williams is not a monster for losing her temper. She is human. She should not have held a press conference so soon after the match because she was still pissed off ( and rightly so b/c she played like crap), but I think players get fined for not talking to the media after games. Her horrible display of attitude tonight does not diminish the fact that she is an incredible champion. It does, however, sour the wonderful moment for Kim Clijsters, who I am happy to see back.

[Reply]

jonty Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:57 am
Why does Nike sponsor a loser like Serena?

[Reply]

Sean Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:01 am
Line judges do not, I repeat, do not have the option of deciding when to make a call and not make a call. You cannot open up calls to interpretation. A ball is in or out. There is a foot fault or not. Whether it is the first point of the match or the last.

Serena was wrong. She was penalized. End of story.

A bad final point could be a double fault. The point was still the fault of the person who lost.

Kim can celebrate knowing she earned her win.

[Reply]

Peter Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:05 am
Would those of you talking about Serena taking responsibility for her actions please shut up. During her interview she was clearly still furious with the line umpire and probably herself for the way she reacted. It cost her a place in the finals of the US Open. She doesn’t need holier-than-thou nobodies like yourselves calling her down for it. You never know, the line umpire may even have been wrong.

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Mark Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:06 am
Poor Serena! She was having a hell of a night. Kim Clijsters was definitely playing better – I was surprised at how fast and strong she was.
However…. I think the foot fault call was a poor one. Even the sportscasters couldn’t validate the call. In my opinion, such a petty call which wasn’t even noticeable was a poor one at that point in the match.

It’s like calling a roughing call in hockey right before a possible goal in the last seconds of a tied game… unecessary.

And for people who say rules are rules; if that’s the case every one of you would have gotten a speeding ticket for driving 66 mph; c’mon now!

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Bob Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:07 am
The sad part about all this is that Kim Clijsters played a great game, but all the talk is about Serena!

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Pierre Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:08 am
Unfortunate behaviour by Serena Williams even though it was a bad call by the line umpire. However I hope that she will learn from this and keep her emotions in check if a similar situation arises again.

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Yiannis Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:09 am
Regardless of whether it was a foot fault Serena Williams is not bigger than the US open. When she threatens the life of a side judge in that way -and it’s obvious that she did that at least once- she threatens the integrity of the game.

She deserves a year’s suspension from Tennis.

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Chris Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:11 am
Using speeding as a counter example is fundamentally flawed. Speeding is breaking the LAW (to be followed by all) not a RULE. So please, come back with a more relevant example. People will argue about the closeness of the call, whether it was right or wrong (and claiming that the youtube video shows clearly it was either one is a leap of faith considering the quality), but the simple fact is, she broke the rules. Umpires and officials are not to be abused in any sport, tennis is no exception. Top in the world, or school competitions, it makes no difference.

Furthermore, if she hadn’t already spat the dummy and smashed her racquet previously, this wouldn’t have happened. Sure, it was in the heat of battle, but that is not a free pass to let fly and abuse officials…or anyone for that matter.

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Jessie Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:11 am
Serena Williams is the best player in the history of women’s tennis. A call like that should never be made at a critical point in the semi-final of a major tournament. It’s like in the last few seconds of a basketball game. Arms are flailing, legs are pumping, but unless there is a flagrant foul, the referees let the players determine the game. It was unfair to both Serena & Kim & to the viewers as well.

Serena had to gear up emotionally to have a chance to win since she was not playing her best. Athletes will understand what I am saying. That’s why she blew. One thing. Wasn’t Venus called for two foot faults when she was playing Kim? Makes me wonder a little.

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Richard Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:23 am
Serena surely did the wrong thing, and I certainly do not condone her actions, and I hope she has learned her lesson. But why trample on a champion when she is already down. Have we ourselves in an emotionally charged situation never lost our cool? Let us little Davids quit knocking Goliath. Nontheless, congratulations Kim!

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Gregory Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:24 am
I agree Serana should have kept her cool. But it is what it is. The lady is good and will be back. She didn’t lose anything. If she wasn’t playing half of the people wouldn’t even watch tennis. So get off your high horses and go do some exercise. That will calm you down. By the way, did I mention she is fine as hell and I love her spirit. “G”

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Greg Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:30 am
This was a SEMI Final match and the line judge called a foot fault. The replay shows it was so close that it couldn’t catch it. This call should have not been called. Serena did the right thing and flipped out, put yourself in her shoes. She is a CHAMPION, and champions fight til the end.

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J.R. Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:32 am
Yes, the … are filled with ‘f’ bombs — she probably used the word 6-7 times plus the waving of the tennis racket menacingly. She’d have had the same penalty happen to her in most other sports as well (baseball, soccer, basketball.. to name a few).

And no, the line judge didn’t go running to the chair umpire. In fact, she took all this crap from Serena and didn’t say anything.. then Serena decided to make sure her point was clear before she served (15-40), at which point the chair umpire beckoned the line judge and asked her what Serena had said.. and from there the match/tournament referees got involved.

There’s not really much to say to all the ‘go-getters’ out there who think Serena’s behavior is justifiable since they think the rest of us are from a different planet any way. But I will say this — I have been pulled over speeding in order to make it in time to a huge meeting. Definitely had to face the music. I really had to hold myself from waving my presentation handouts at the cop and telling him that if he ever pulled me over again, I’d ^&*^&*^&*. Get the point?

I agree with you Danae .. the worst thing about the whole incident was her refusal to accept fault. Most of us understand the terrible pressure she is under.. just say what you did was uncalled for, apologize to the line judge and fans.. how hard is that?

Nice of her to tag McEnroe for this. Poor guy said in his post game comments that “I guess she idolized me for the wrong reasons apparently because I feel like I’m on the hot seat now…”

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george Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:37 am
The thing that is most disturbing to me is the fact that she turned all of the attention of everyone and everything on her instead of Kim Clysters who is one classy lady. She should have had the opportunity to bask in what she was about to accomplish but the” Big Idiot” Sorry, couldn’t help myself had to make a huge controversy out of the whole thing and tarnish the fact that she was getting whipped for 90% of the match if you know anything about tennis. She beat Serena fair and square but now there will always be that shroud of controversy clouding her victory. Serena should apologize to her big time but I’m sure the selfishness and the Greater than Thou attitude is so great she doesn’t even think about that. A sad day for Tennis Fans. What a Great Role Model for young girls. I’ve always thought Venus was the sweeter of the 2 sisters and now I’m sure of it. She would never have done such an outlandish thing. I would make her make a public apology and pay a huge fine. With everything said, I do think the Ref. may have made an incorrect call at a very crucial moment but that still doesn’t take away the seriousness of Serena’s temper tantrum. She should ask McKenroe to set her up with a good Anger Management Counselor. Surely , He must know some.

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TD Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:43 am
ok—you folks who are being dorks about the speeding ticket analogy.

Lets say you a cop and you pull someone over for speeding—who is on their way to the hospital because they are expecting. Are you going to give them a ticket? Its all situational.

The linesperson did her job. She should have been taught to tell the empire at the changeover and the umpire would then relay that message to Serena..thats how it should have been done.

The umpire and the US Open let everyone done and failed to educated their employees about such a situation.

Serena was wrong in reacting the way she did and now is living up to her mistake (press conference).

Hopefully the Us Open will get it right next time and Serena will apologize to the linesperson.

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David Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:45 am
Let’s assume it was a bad call. Have you personally ever played tennis? Bad calls happen all the time. It’s part of the game. In this situation the bad call is not the point. Serena physically and verbally threatened an official of the US Open. She is completely in the wrong. As for the line judge running to the umpire, if you look closely at the replay it’s actually the umpire who calls for the line judge to speak to her.

And as for Serena not accepting responsibility for her actions. All I can say is welcome to 21st century America. Can we hold Serena to a higher standard than MCI, Neron, AUG, Adolpho, Arthur Andersen, CMOS Energy, Duke Energy, Deng, Global Crossing, Ty co, Subgroup, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, US Ban corp, Capital One, America, Sun trust Bank and hundreds more?

Are we really surprised by Serena’s denial? Not really, only saddened. Try to remember the world is what we make of it so let’s all work hard to make it a better one.

Peace.

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Bob Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:54 am
You can take the girl out of Compton, but you can’t take Compton out of the girl. She did foot fault. She also plays the game for the love of money and not the game. Mary Jo Fernadez is the sweetest girl in tennis and Captain of the US Fed Cup team. She has tried very hard to get the Williams sisters to play for the US, but alas, no money in Fed Cup. I have every word she said to the lines judge, and if her endorsements do not dry up, I have to wonder about the types of companies that would ignore her actions.

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Antwerpo Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:59 am
No she did not! I was watching the match from Belgium supporting for Clijsters my country girl and really enjoyed the match until that line judge called foot fault realizing this was an important point. Serena played very good tennis and was a worthy contender for Kim.

The US people can be very proud to have a player like Serena because what we have seen today was top tennis and obviously the best match Kim has played in her career so I really can understand the frustration from the Nr2 of the world as Kim will be her new demon for a while.

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Anthony Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:03 am
I think the president of the U.S, should declare war on Serena because she threatened the security of our precious country and I’m never going to ‘be right’ after seeing this! I’m calling my therapist and calling that we boycott Serena’s tennis shoes for touching the line and causing this catastrophe! The world is coming to an end, because Serena Williams raised her voice! Help me!

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Lori Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:04 am
Typical USA sportsmanship! Congrats to Serena for simply what the rest of the world thinks and expects from Americans!

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Darlene Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:06 am
Serena is awesome and classy.
Today however, it was clear from the start that she was severely irritated and bothered when the match began. This affected her play and snowballed until she blew up. the irritation continued throughout the match. It was obvious. Perhaps she should have called for a trainer or whatever is allowed or her coach could have called a meeting. I don’t know what is allowed but whoever was responsible for helping Serena did not do it.Her irritation and anger culminated when the lineswoman called the foot fault. Any other time, Serena would have asked for a review. She had no previous altercation with the woman. This is an indication that Serena was not thinking. If people observed, Serena was even breathing differently than usual. It was like she couldn’t get calmed down and kept going.
Who knows, the irritation could have been caused by hormones, changes in blood sugar levels due to stress or Serena putting too much pressure on herself or a combination of many things.

I think she should have not talked to the media right away. She was still very irritated. Her managers should have protected her until she could gather her thoughts.

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Scarlet Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:17 am
Get a grip, so she got upset in the heat of the moment, that doesn’t make it some huge scandal, or her a bad person, or bad tennis player. We’ve all seen worse in the men’s side of things, and even some women’s matches which have had no consequences at all let alone one like this.

So she probably shouldn’t have yelled those things, but I’m not going to judge her, she’s playing for huge stakes and at an enormously high level. I think her passion is understandable and crucial to play that level. As if she would apologize in an interview right after the match, maybe a few days or week, but it’s still to emotional then. It’s silly to expect one. I wouldn’t tell those vultures anything.

Umpires are there to facilitate the game, not run the show or control the outcome. If we as players are getting judged on every ball we hit, they as umpires should be judged on every call they make. Hawk eye is partly doing this and showing people can be wrong.

I can’t help but feel frustrated for Serena and Kim who didn’t get to play out their match because of a technicality. Serena has had hundreds of matches with good conduct so one bad one doesn’t shake my belief in her at all.

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c Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:25 am
Her behaviour was wrong, but she seemed friendly & not upset at the conference afterwards.

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Robt Vesco, Jr. Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:27 am
Sorry, but for you guys claiming it wasn’t a foot fault, blah blah blah …

That’s the way it goes. Players get advantages all the time when fouls are NOT called. You can’t accept imperfect calls that go FOR your player and then reject one that goes AGAINST her. It’s part of the game.

And she didn’t lose the match because of the foot fault. She lost it because of her outburst. Many times in the past, she’s come back from 15:40.

Regarding the news conference, obviously, she felt stupid because of her unprofessional behavior and couldn’t bring herself to admit that she did such a thing. She will issue a mea culpa in the morning.

And for you people who think your kid should win even though they broke the rules, or you should be able to speed … what an amazing sense of entitlement! I hope when you’re speeding, you don’t run into a mom with her kid who just won a trouphy without breaking a rule.

In sum, sh-t happens, and it’s how you deal with it that shows whether you’re a champion or not.

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Luis C. Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:29 am
The moment we point a finger in one direction, then the other three are pointing directly at us. Serena was probably pointing the finger in one direction, but the other three were pointing straight at her. Serena was wrong to point the finger at the line judge. We all make mistakes, but the important thing to do when we make a mistake is to own up to our mistakes and apologize. Serena kept pointing the finger at other people for her loss at the post match interview. I was extremely shocked to hear those words from her. I strongly suggest she make a sincere apology on national television if she ever wants to regain a portion of her fan base.

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Camille Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:39 am
Personally I have had enough of the rest of the world vs. Americans comments. Players in every sport have responded badly to a call, not just in the USA. So get real.

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Kurt Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:47 am
Bob’s comments at 1:54 AM hit the nail on the head. The Williams girls do play for the money and the new lifestyle it has afforded the whole family. They only play the Slams and major high purse events. Fed Cup, forget that. The advise given the girls over the years has not been very productive, i.e. their Dad’s advise that they not socialize with the other players as he puts it “they will disrespect you for where you came from and the color of your skin”. Thankfully the girls discovered over time that dear old Dad was wrong on this call. Their Aunt going back to the old neighborhood in a flashy SUV, to be gunned down because local gang members did not know she was the Aunt of the sisters, but rather a rival drug dealer moving in on their turf. Like Bob said, the blast Serena gave the lines judge was just the “Compton” in her showing through.

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Vik Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:55 am
I condone Serena’s action;however, I disagree with anyone who says she needs to be banned. If you are a sportsperson-you know what the heat of the moment is. I just wonder, why Serena couldnt challenge the call? I mean she had 3 chances in that set right? If she really felt she dint foot-fault, she should/could have challenged. Clijsters played beautifully; nevertheless, I believe Serena could have comeback had this incident not happened.

Good luck to Kim for her finals-hope she wins! Luck to Serena too for her future tournaments and hope she learns how to keep her cool!

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gidfleece Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:57 am
People get a grip…president obama declare war…sponsors dry up! Get serious! The USTA and the tennis industry as a whole have a real issue with the William Sisters, James Blake, Gael Monfils & anybody else of color. While Serena’s handling of a ‘bad’ call was unworthy of her champion spirit, we, as humans, sometimes react in the ‘heat of the moment’! It doesnt make us right, it simply makes us human! On the other hand, if u’ve ever been to any of the tennis tournaments and listened to some of the comments made in the stands, u would know that most blacks are tolerated as long as they ‘PLAY THE GAME’. When they dominate, they are hated…yes, the haters come right out of the closet and let themselves be known to anyone who will listen.

Be that as it may, be certain of this, the sponsors and the tennis association are all about making money. That being said, while Serena will get some bad press out of this, more people will be watching tennis, (just like they did when john mcenroe used to go off the deep end), and the sponsors will continue to support the players because its a means to an end…to continue to make money.

Long story short, Serena will probably be fined, but she’ll also probably come back stronger than ever, just like she did in 07. Soooo, for you haters out there, get over it, your kids probably hear worse from you at home or either in school. But even so, you still can point to an example of bad behavior (like this one) and let your children know its unacceptable. AND, while u’re at it, teach them that the world is made up of more than just your kind. We’re all here for the same reason…to live and let live. Stop judging other people because they dont look like u. If you think about it when you judge others, u’re condeming yourself.

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Deb2009 Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:59 am
I appreciate the comment from JR who pointed out that it was the UMPIRE who motioned the line judge over to ask about what had happened and NOT that the line judge went over to “tell” on Serena. Almost every news story I’ve read does not include that information. I’m not sure why the news organizations would leave out something like that.

“And no, the line judge didn’t go running to the chair umpire. In fact, she took all this crap from Serena and didn’t say anything.. then Serena decided to make sure her point was clear before she served (15-40), at which point the chair umpire beckoned the line judge and asked her what Serena had said.. and from there the match/tournament referees got involved.” – JR

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KB Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 3:00 am
Kim definitely played the better tennis, and it’s a disservice to her that the match ended the way it did. Serena was clearly not on top of her game, and Kim took advantage of it. KC’s movement and strategy against Serena was perfect. Williams was clearly frustrated because she knew this wasn’t her night.
But, being a champion, Serena was trying to muster whatever emotion she could to extend the match, and those emotions boiled over. Personally, I would not call foot fault in that situation unless it was indisputable. Television replays seem to indicate that it really too close to call. But, I’m not the guy (or gal, in this case) sitting on the line.
Serena was wrong. It was obvious that once she regained her emotional control, she conceded, and made sure to congratulate a bewildered Kim Clijsters.
Professional athletics at this level is a pressure cooker. I’m sure Serena felt even more pressure because KC beat Venus to get to her.
I think it’s right to fine Serena for her behavior.
But, let’s keep this in perspective.
We’ve seen worse in a lot of sports.
At least she didn’t do a Legarette Blount.
She should apologize to the line judge for her outburst,and to KC for clouding her well-earned victory.
I think the post-match press conference was too soon in Serena’s mind to do that, and those press conferences are mandated. She probably didn’t even want to do it. But, I think she should find a camera tomorrow or the next day, and start the process of repairing her image.

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louis Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 3:27 am
I don’t like the arrogance of Serena, I prefer the serenity and charm of Kim Clijsters. Kim is a wonderful player, in game and attitude. respect!

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Kumar Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 3:30 am
For all those Serena admirers….if the roles were reversed and it had been Kim on the receiving end and if she were to have displayed such profanity and obscene language for a similar call, clearly you would be the first ones bashing her. But since it was Serena, it is hard to swallow the facts. You all are in much denial of the facts as Serena was in her press conference of not remembering what she said. Duh!!. The line judge was doing her job and had to make the call. Everyone seems to agree Serena was very close to the line when serving for that point, and if that is the case, then you have to give it to the line judge for calling what she saw. As for Serena, what millions saw was much clearer. She was threating and abusive and displayed a conduct unworthy of a defending champion and she is yet to get what she deserves in my opinion i.e a temporary ban or suspension for bringing the sport into disrepute and a heavy fine. Anything less is giving a l’icense to abuse’ to the players in the future. In the end no one should be above the game no matter how great a player they are.

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swap Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 3:33 am
Serena is the worst player ever.
When she was asked wat she said to the linesman she’s like,”you didn’t hear?”
Wat a Deuce bag!!

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Jack Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 3:53 am
Man that was not even a foot fault. Her previous serve was just like her second serve. If I was Serena, I would have done the same exact thing and pay the consequences.

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Prasun Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 3:55 am
I think Serenea’s behavior was apalling and I won’t be surprised if she faces more penalty after this kind of behavior in the court. She is a great tennis player but it doesn’t mean that she is bigger than tennis itself. John McEnroes had to forfeit match for non-sportsman like behavior and Serena Williams shouldn’t be made any exception either.

I think Serena will face hostile crowd reception, (especially while playing abroad) after what she did today. I remember during one French Open match, the entire crowd was booing Serena. Serena lost the match and cried at the press conference saying that it was really tough on the court. I really was smpathetic to her that day as I didn’t see any apparent reason why the entire stadium was rooting against her (though something might have happenened earlier in the tournament that aggravated the crowd). I feel similar days are not far away and will start to haunt Serena again when she plays abroad.

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mathew Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 3:55 am
Line judge should file charges against serena for those threats to kill her. Totally uncalled for.

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watcher Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 4:00 am
Didn’t appear to be a fault. Chair could have overruled the judge.
Line judge overreacted. Serena was irate at a bad call. The whole thing was lame. Stupid way to end a match. I sympathize with Serena.

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James Robert Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 4:28 am
The problem was that it was not a foot fault. They showed a replay, I didn’t see a foot fault. John McEnroe didn’t see a foot fault. So how was it a foot fault? Their clearly was not a foot fault. And if someone starts making bad calls on you that are not reviewable, let’s see how cool you are.

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Sarah Kramer Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 4:28 am
Serena displayed very unsportsmanlike behavior the likes of which is not often seen at this level of tennis. The line judge called a foot fault as she saw it and Serena’s foot was clearly on the line.

Sure it must have been upsetting but if you are a professional athlete with some discipline and common sense, you don’t abuse the line judge the way Serena did and then later not even regret your outrageous behavior.

I have no sympathy for Serena… she brought it all down on herself. Serena knew she was losing and had a temper tantrum. She has to play by the rules like everyone else …. sorry Serena, but you’re not exempt from the rules just because you’re Serena Williams. I have a feeling a lot of people were turned off by her behavior and will not forget.

I do feel sorry for Kim Clijsters because of the way the match ended and I hope she goes on to win the US Open title.

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s. parker Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 4:30 am
Threatening a line judge?! Who does Serena think she is? Absolutely unbelievable. She should be banned from tennis for life.

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James Robert Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 4:36 am
By the way, I’m a Kim Clister’s fan and I am 100% against the line judge. She made the wrong call!! She was wrong to have made the call in the first place! The instant replay showed clearly that there was no foot fault! So get it right line judge!! And by the way, rules are rules but they are not there for their own sake but to make sure that the match is fairly officiated. In this case it was not.

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Phil Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 4:41 am
Clearly a polarizing moment. What would the reaction be if the exact same words/menacing actions were displayed in other circumstances? It speaks to her upbringing/hubris.

Total disgrace to the sport and the country and should be dealt with by the appropriate authorities (USTA/civil/criminal)

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anon Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 4:43 am
Rules are rules. She alone is responsible for her loss. Everyone gets angry but other players have learned to control their temper. Some misbehave and then have to face the consequences. She should not be the exception.
PLUS, what really irritates me is that she is too arrogant to admit that she got carried away by her anger. She still has not admit she over reacted nor has she apologized to the linesman. When asked if about offering an apology, she acts surprised, as if she doesn’t owe anyone an apology. Poor sportsmanship.

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Jose Marin Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 4:44 am
Shame on you Serena. From now on for me you will keep being a great athlete but a horrible sportwoman.

Your reaction apart from vulgar could be a case of crime (coersion) in American law:

Threat
* An act of coercion wherein a negative consequence is proposed to elicit response.

We all know that the threat wasn’t real but I think you wanted to intimidate the line woman to judge on your favor.

We shouldn’t get that far but WTA or US Open should ban her for the next US open and she should apologise to the line woman on public.

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Graham Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 4:45 am
How in the hell can Serena ‘Know’ its a bad call??? She aint looking at her feet when she serves…take it on the chin like a ‘real’ sportman… if its a fault or not… the greats never did this… well apart from mac n illie 🙂

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Deb2009 Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 4:45 am
I have seen two different replays of Serena’s disputed foot fault. On one, it seems as if there wasn’t a fault, but on the second one I saw it seems that there could have been. I’m sure that this incident will have long lasting repurcussions – probably will have to have cameras aimed just as the service line. I know that often when I watch professional tennis, I see many foot faults that aren’t called.

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ainelivia Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 4:49 am
agree with watcher @4am really do sympathize with Serena, and as for the line judge, perhaps she should not have been in a semi finals match at a major tournament she really did over react.

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don Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 4:52 am
the tv replay angle wasn’t the best, but pretty sure serena did foot fault. she raised her toe, put it down again, and rolled her foot toward its outside edge during the weight shift.
to the let it slide folks like trey- you’re late for a presentation at work and get stopped by a cop for doing 1 over the speed limit, tough luck, tell it to the judge. we may not like it but we have to suck it up and take it. now if you cuss out the cop waving your laptop saying you’re going to shove your powerpoint down his f*ing throat, good luck staying out of cuffs. a serena excuse would be “are you serious, i wouldn’t actually have actually shoved it down his throat”.
sometimes in sports it is a game of millimeters. would you say that in hockey they shouldn’t wave off a goal that stops with 1mm of the puck still touching the line? a football quarter inch over the goal line is not a touchdown? the line between over the line and not over the line is much easier than calling over the line and badly over the line, so i don’t think it’s one that should slide, otherwise it becomes a game of popularity/sway. stars get 10mm and journeymen get 1mm? nba is horrible that way, big name players get away with extra steps, shuffles. don’t get me started.
they should use hawkeye on the foot faults- that would be classic- you just think you aced your opponent on match point and he has one challenge left so what the heck, he challenges the missed foot fault call- and you did! you’d start seeing the foot draggers/rotators starting a full 2″ behind the baseline.
this is nowhere close to a speeding to get a pregnant wife to the hospital analogy unless kim or serena have an extremely premie itching to get out, nobody’s life was in danger, no time limit about to expire. too bad serena. anyway, your big sis always had more class.

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JJ Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 4:56 am
Poor representation for the United States and especially coming from a ‘lady’. Who would not feel threaten if someone points a racket, yells and starts walking towards you?

The only court she belongs to, is the government court and should be banned from professional sports.

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Linda Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 5:05 am
Granted, Serena’s response to the call was outrageous but let’s keep it in perspective. I’m doubt very seriously if she would bring harm to the line judge. When an athlete is out there working that hard (and yes it is hard work …mentally & physically) emotions are not always so easily supressed. For Serena to be ‘cornered’ by the press … I’m sure it would have been better if she’d had time to recoup and regroup and take a few deep breaths before being bombarded by a bunch of ‘ambulance chasing’ paparazzi. If you want to be sooooooooooooo critical of behavior and what your children see & hear … then why is Bobby Knight still coaching ??? Any why, when so many people are killed by drunk drivers … why can alcohol companies broadcast commercials during college games when most college students are under 21 and aren’t old enough to drink? And what about the Budweiser frogs ? Did they entice young people to drink ? And in Serena’s case … many tennis matches have turned … she might have won, we’ll never know. For her to have that much passion, that much energy and that much dedication to her sport … she lost her temper … not a good thing but a very human thing. I think it’s worse that so many are ready to crucify her … and to me it reeks of a lot of racism looking for an excuse to happen.

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Rey Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 5:08 am
She did lose her temper and should have used better judgement…on the other hand lets not make excuses for the line judge…absolutely horrible call…a foot fault called by human eyes should be very clear and evident on tape…i mean what the hell does this line judge have in her pupils…a bionic woman telescope lense? My Gosh! The fact that we would even have to go to tape and say I can’t see where she is on the line id proof enough that this line judge was a bit to anxious to impact the game.

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Eric Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 5:54 am
After reading most of these posts, it is clear that 98% of you don’t play tennis except from your couch or on the Wii. Foot Faults are rarely called unless it is 100% clear, it is. When the replay’s can’t even tell, then it is not called in most cases. So, I believe it should not have been called.
As for her behavior, well, that was simply exaggerated. By both party’s. Serena should have just moved on, or if she was that upset, spoken to the Chair. As for the Line Judge, come on, she should not have even been a line judge with those glasses. Obviously she has eye issues. When you are judging a match like the US Open, you think the tournament director would have better judgement in who is in charge calling faults.
Serena, no doubt will have some apologies to make and possibly some fines or penalties but when you are in the moment like that, things are said sometimes. If you have never been that wrapped up and not said something you shouldn’t have, then you are not human. You all are quick to judge from your couch. Get out there and do it, and lose over a BS call, and then see what your opinion is. It sure did make for good TV ratings though.

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cottonshirt Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 6:05 am
Serena refused to apologize to the line woman, what an arrogance !! and to all those Serena supporters, one got to have control over one’s emotion, she could have easily walked up to the chair umpire and disagreed on the call and not walk up twice to the line woman n threaten her, whether she meant it or not is not the question , it is ethics , one got to maintain that on the court , she was losing anyways, it is high time she retire and learn to cope up with losing and defeat, life is not all about success, anyways I am glad for Kim , she played brilliant

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Chip Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 6:49 am
She sure managed to take the lime light away from Kim. In an instant, it was about Serena and her behavior, rather than, Kim basking in the win and having an opportunity to ride the emotional high of being in the finals. Talk about bursting someone’s bubble. Cheers to Kim for her awesome comeback and defending her championship! 🙂

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mon courrier Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 7:01 am
Who does she thinks she is? Famous people always think laws and rules don’t apply to them. That they deserve to be treated differently. MONEY and fame like POWER have a way of turning people’s head. Wonder what would have happened to her had she said the things she said to a police officer–Humm reminds me of just a similar incident with a University Professor. At least he apologized!

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edoubleu Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 7:11 am
I’n not sure what was worse, Serena’s bizarre and horrible behavior, or her attempt to play it off in the press conference as though she had done nothing wrong. She should have said something like “Hey, I lost it there. Hated the call, but I said things I shouldn’t have, so I apologize.” I might have had some respect for her in that case. And props to the tournament referee. When a player flagrantly curses like that, they get a point deducted, period. Happened to be at match point. Not like she got defaulted. She should be fined and suspended for this incident.

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edoubleu Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 7:14 am
Also, remember the Agassi / Rafter match at Wimbledon back in about 2001? They were at the tail end of a semi, I think. Agassi didn’t like a call, cursed at the linesperson, who promptly approached the chair. Agassi was given a warning for verbal obscenity. He couldn’t handle it. It changed the tide of the match in Rafter’s favor. But, the rules exist for a reason. Did Serena not KNOW she would be penalized for cursing at the linesperson?

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MG2 Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 7:17 am
how many foot faults were called in this match? the line judge should be demoted if not fired. pathetic.

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J. Williams Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 7:18 am
She was out of line with the tirade, and I wouldn’t be surprised or appalled if she were punished — you just don’t act like that.

That said, you all act as if the Capriati match at the Open never happened. The one where she got one awful call after another, basically costing her the match. Here are the highlights —

The audience knew, the commentators knew, and the folks responsible were canned, but no “tirade.” Its tough when you think you’ve gotten screwed. Even moreso when you think it’s happening *again.*

Foot faults rarely happen. In this stage of game, it was kinda garbage to see the call. Again, not an excuse for a tirade like that. But that said, no one here seems to care to remember the fact that she HAS been royally screwed before!

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tennispro Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 7:26 am
I can’t believe anybody could defend serena on this. First off, the USTA doesn’t instruct the lines judged to sometimes call a foot fault and sometimes not, depends on the situation, people that are writing those comments I hope to not pass that on to their children! A rule is a rule in every sport and in life, if she stepped over the line, which she has a habit of doing, absolutely it should be called, and McEnroe is again wrong for saying it shouldn’t be called in “that situation” what a great role model, John! Enberg and Carillo had it right, McEnroe had it all wrong. Shame on Serena for cursing out a line judge for doing her job, then lying about it in front of the whole stadium, and then defending her actions and not owning up to them in press conference, she even was getting on reporters for asking her what she said?? it was a great question as Serena apparently “forgot” what she said, she needs to own up. WTA needs to come down on this behavior and she owes the linejudge, Kim, the fans, and Tennis a huge apology before anybody will be cheering for her again. It’s also inexcusable for a non serve and volleyer (and she isnt the only one) to foot fault, especially 4 times in one match. Do you see NBA players coming over the line on free throws? No, you hardly even see them coming over the 3 point line on the dead run, it doesn’t take but 2 minutes of practice to correct foot faults, I can teach my 8 year old junior tennis students how to correct that. Shame on Serena and all those who dare defend her! She needs to own up and its a sad world we live in if a human being can’t watch that and find what Serena did absolutely wrong!

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Bob Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 7:26 am
During one of the rain delays, CBS broadcast the 1979 match between John McEnroe and Ilie Nastase . As a result of a rules infraction, the chair umpire awarded a game to McEnroe and the fans made such a fuss that the referee overturned the penalty and replaced the umpire. I was hoping that this team of officials wouldn’t similarly place public opinion above the rules….and they didn’t. Well done, officials!

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Sam Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 7:30 am
what a crap from Serana.. I can’t believe this when I watched the match live… I don’t think I will be her fan anymore…

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Yorkie Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 7:32 am
Serena was totally wrong.. how many questionable calls were made in Super Bowls, NBA games by referees… She was on Primetime TV and you don’t get millions for not getting grip… To all those who are supporting Serena…Would you like to be disrespected in front of millions of fans for doing your job??? If Serena handled in a professional way ( If I am not wrong, this is professional tennis)… may be the line judge might have been canned provided the call was wrong.

Did you see her attitude?? Whatttttt… Are you serious?? No apology… nothing… belittling the media ” I don’t understand your question??? absolutely no class.. I hope and pray she will be banned…

Kim, a mom showed the world what a dream and perseverance is?? May be the ATA should test Serena what hormones are causing the tirade…

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anonymous Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 7:37 am
Can someone verify if she is still one of Jehovah’s Witnesses? Such a behavior as she had displayed is not acceptable for Jehovah’s Witnesses. If she is still one, what a shame and what a hypocrite!

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Divz Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 7:41 am
I can’t really blame serena for reacting the way she did. In the heat of the moment, 2nd set potential last set, losing, the linesman’s call gives ur opponent a match point wen you think the call is wrong, who isnt gonna blow? You can all say now, she shouldnt have done that but all you saying that, if you were in the same situation, you probably would’ve blown 2. She is so passionate about tennis, she loves the game and she let her emotions get the better of her. But as champions do, she will bounce back from this, and i just hope people give her a chance.

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louis Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 7:44 am

Serena about Kim in an interview: ‘ that’s the exact person I am. I think we’re pretty similar personality‑wise’

… NOT!

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Divz Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 7:47 am
I also agree with J.Williams, she does get screwed when it comes 2 calls. Even in the french open this year against martinez sanchez. With things like this always happening to her, i dont blame her for being frustrated when a lousy call comes at a crucial part of the match. For the person serving, there is a massive difference between 15 – 30 and 15 – 40.

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freddie Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 7:48 am
She was frustrated because she was not playing as well as Kim. Then when she foot faulted- which she did. she let the moment get away from her. Everyone loses it, just not on the world wide stage. The only thing I fault her for is that she should have been more contrite in the press conference. Owning your mistakes goes a long way. That’s something she is going to receive back lash about.

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Steve Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 8:02 am
Although I agree that Serena overreacted to the call (would John McEnroe ever have finished a match under similar adherence to the letter of the rules?) I think that in this case the tennis official (line judge) should have done what soccer officials consistently do when here is a foul just inside the penalty area and what basketball officials do in the closing moments of a game. She should have “swallowed her whistle” and allowed the very minor foot fault to be unpenalized given the circumstances of the match and the importance of the match. No, I am not a Williams apologist. I loved Venus when she was young and smilimg broadly while passing out those white hair beads but I do not like Richard at all and have not rooted for either sister in quite awhile.

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Rex Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 8:07 am
Not fair to criticize the judge for making the call as she saw it whether on the first point of the match or match point. Serena clearly was touching the line so she put her self at risk of having the call (and was even put on warning ealier in the match with a foot fault call). Serena’s behavior in breaking the racquet earlier in the match was unacceptable and to physically threaten the line judge (even withour hearing her words the body language waving the racquet around and leaning towards the line judge in a threatening manner was scary) clearly demonstrated her total lack of respect for the game and the tennis fans who have supported her.

Serena behaved like a spoiled 2 year old throwing a tantrum because she was losing. Kim’s play was clearly superior to Serena and I think Serena would rather blame the loss on the line judge than to have to accept Kim was the better player.

Personally, I will not support any of Serena’s sponsors and as a fan of tennis I am very interested in seeing how professional tennis deals with this.

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ConveyorOfTheTruth Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 8:08 am
Trey,

But you sound like you already work at “McBurger.” LOL

Thanks for the goofy posts, kid!

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JDL51 Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 8:09 am
I haven’t seen a close up down the line shot of the foot fault, but from the back angle it does look like her foot is on the line. The line judge has a clear look and I don’t think she’d call a fault if it didn’t happen because she knows cameras are present. All that being said, and even giving Serena the benefit of the doubt on the call, there is absolutely no excuse for charging at the line judge and threatening her in that manner, no excuse. She’ll be lucky if she doesn’t get fined for her outburst. I would be scared if she came up to me like that, shaking her racquet and screaming at me and I’m a 6’1″ male. No excuses.

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CHC Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 8:11 am
In criminal law there is a term describing Serena Williams’ behavior, it is ‘Assault and Battery’. The lineswoman has her full right to see Serena Williams in court. Perhaps Serena could explain the speeding ticket analogy to the judge and see if that works?

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Randy Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 8:33 am
I think the bigger issue is the state of women’s tennis. We have a woman who has been off for almost 2 years to have a baby playing a woman who plays only a part time schedule in the U.S. Open semi-final. We have a woman ranked #1 who has never won a grand slam tournament. If this doesn’t speak to the utter weakness of the women’s game, I don’t know what does.
The United States Tennis Association is a joke. We have 1 men’s player ranked in the top 20 (Roddick #5), and after the Williams sisters at #2 and #3, you have to go all the way down to #70 to find the name of another American.

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RodgerS Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 8:37 am
I don’t have a problem with the fault call or the penalty call. Today, Americans live in an environment where any criticism of our President is considered racism by those on the left. It will be interesting to see if Serena hints at or claims racism as being a factor, since foot fault challenges are uncommon and this happened at such a critical place in the match. Such a claim will hurt her reputation if she makes it.

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Wlady Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 8:40 am
I think it would be useful to find an image of her fault taken from above, since Eurosport coverage did not provide it this morning, and I still have some doubts about it. But I feel sorry for her reaction.

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Lan Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 8:51 am
What she got so far is nothing, she should be banned from tennis. I hope the WTA, USTA … should take this seriously.
It is scary to think of a society in which talents, power or money dictate the rules … Haven’t we seen some of the consequences, Madoff and now Serena. Where are we heading …?

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DH Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 8:52 am
2004 she definitely got screwed over with the line calls with Capriati and credit to her she kept her cool. That was just unbelievable.

But this time around..I don’t think I have a problem with the foot fault. A foot fault is a foot fault…I have a problem with the racquet abuse code violation.

I don’t recall Fed getting a code violation when he destroyed his racquet while he was playing Djokovic this year and then throwing water bottles on to the ground. Serena slams her racquet twice and gets a code violation…cheese….what use to happen when Safin would go through at least 2 racquets a match or Roddick or Gonzalez who have smashed their racquets on court and no code violations were called…to me that’s the odd call…

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Henk Bakker Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 8:54 am
The discussion is about players behaviour. Not about when we should make a call of a footfault. When we discuss the moment of a fault then the whole game should be reconsiddered. Footfaults are more often made and nobody seems to bother. But I think when the moment of a match is more important then a call, we have a wrong discussion because if that call was not made Serena could have made a point. When for example a call should be made when a ball is out and we consider the moment of the match and do not call, the match is going the wrong way and we give the loser of the match an advantage and the winner a disadvantage. So who is then to decide if the moment was right? No the call has to be made at all times. No matter what or when. Rule is rule, period. I think this behaviour should be punished with something that the player in future matches should be aware of the consequenses.
Excuses for my english, it is not my daily language. I’ll try to improve it.

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RodgerS Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 8:55 am
Food for thought Eric. I play tennis at the USTA level. I agree, foots faults calls are uncommon as you say. However…

Just speculation, but in psychology we learn that when people are caught fudging (nice word here) they get mad when caught. I don’t know if this is true, but it would account for her arguing with the line judge instead of the umpire.

Since the video confirms the line call, the line judge seems to have very good eyesight despite wearing glasses… maybe she is wearing telescopic lenses. 🙂

Adults who can’t control themselves in the moment are often losers on the court.

Actually, I got up off the couch and turned my set off in disgust, so ratings went down if I’m a good indicator.

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avaya Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 8:55 am
She deserves more than a match point.
I remember tennis being a game for “ladies and gentleman”, and now has became this??? not only her anger and aggression, but also those horrendous noises she does every time she serves, what’s that???
And the fact that she doesn’t regret what she said, give me a break! This should be an opportunity to show that money and fame don’t seal the deal. You HAVE to be a decent person, no matter what you do. Is this the kind of idol we want our kids to have and follow????
HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT SERENA!!!!!! get some class and then come back to the public eye.

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Corve DaCosta Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 8:56 am
You know this article is dead on correct. As a Serena fan I still love her. I didn’t watch the match I googled it, just to find this controversy.

Her reaction might be wrong but come on who wouldn’t be upset.

My question is why so many foot faults for Serena and Venus? Were they extremely down to the rule with these 2 women? and are they overlooking others?

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Pete Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:03 am
Serena got exactly what she deserved. That was the worst display of sportmanship I’ve ever seen. This isn’t the first time I have seen this from her either. What she said about her ranking as #2 concerning Safina was just as bad. Personally I have no respect for Serena. Tennis is a gentleman’s sport and has always been played by the very best of the best. I sincerely hope Serena learns from this mistake. However by the way that press conference went and how she took no responsibility for her actions I’m not sure that will happen. They way she McEnroe as an excuse was wrong too. He may have exploded many times on the court but I also remember that he would be a man about it and own up when he went too far. Serena could learn alot
from that and I hope she does. In conclusion you may not
be able to spell Dynasty without Nasty but Nasty has no place in professional tennis!

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john Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:04 am
Not even an apology, WHAT??

The real Serena came out last night (rich spoiled brat) and I don’t like it at all.

Don’t give me the competitive athlete, she really wanted to win junk.

Wilson should drop her along with any other sponsor.

Kids look up to this poor excuse for a role model.

She makes all of us that love this game look bad.

I thinks she acted like a school yard bully.

She is letting her money and power go to her head.

Forgiveness is possible with an apology. Let’s see if we get one.

So, for now, losing the match should just be the beginning of her punishment because she deserves more.

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SJBK Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:05 am
Serena (and Venus for that matter) have made a complete mockery of every interview they have been asked to do. They believe they are above the rules. Not only can you not even think to call a foot fault on Serena, but she then thinks she can respond in whatever manner she wants–look at those threatening photos. The “oh I’m just here to have fun,” slapstick interviewing she has done at all the Slams has come around to bite her. Not to mention the mocking of Safina with her #1 ranking…
Time for her toGROW UP AND—– TOE THE LINE—- of champions—and act like one!
The foot fault call was bad–but the response was worse.

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TOM Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:13 am
Serena got exactly what she deserves! What a psychotic display of animosity! The lineslady did her job, called what she saw as foot fault. By the way, Serena has been called for foot faults at this years’ open. Serena was being beaten fair and square by Kim. Totally unfair to Kim, but not surprising, as Serena has never given her opponents their fair due when she has lost! The TRUE Serena attitude really shone thru for all the world to see, just a shame it’s on our country’s soil, and open. Serena likes all the fame and glory for herself, she’s spoiled, and believes she is above everyone else. Her days are coming to an end on the court, as the youngsters are soon going to blow her away. So what happens then?? Will she physically attack someone in the stands or her opponent? I think her endorsers, i.e., Nike, Wilson, HP will look at this display and contemplate whether or not they want to endorse someone who displays unsportsmanlike conduct. By the way, there is no racism here, it should happen to ANYONE who would have handled the situation the same way she did. And, not even to apologize to that pool lineslady, and elude the press interview questions and evade answers by not remembering is just plain “bull”. I’ve never been a big fan of her anyway, but this affects Venus as well, i’m sure. She embarrassed her family as well, and our country!I would call for a suspension and a hefty fine for this lewd act of unsportsmanlike conduct!

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Noexcuses Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:23 am
Now’s your chance Serena! After Nike dumps you, you can come out with your own clothing line “Just F— It! You’ll make millions off all the other athletes and “super” stars who disrespect their fans by behaving badly and not admitting any wrong doing or, worse yet, take no responsibility for their actions.

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wizzral Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:28 am
You should try putting yourself in her shoes at the heat of that moment

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David Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:29 am
For accuracy, racket abuse and unsportsmanlike conduct are code violations, and Serena received two code violations (notwarnings) for these offenses. The penalty for code violations was a warning for the first and a point penalty for the second.
You misspoke in calling them warnings.

As for the main question, if the line referee sees a foot fault, it is correct for her to call it. Admittedly I have seen foot faults not being called, but the correction is to call them all. To knowingly fail to call a foot fault is a serious breach.

As for Serena’s outburst, even she “got it” that the punishment was relatively mild, a point penalty, and that unfortunately for her it was match point. My opinion is that her outburst was so flagrant as to deserve further sanctions from the WTA, including a heavy fine and possible suspension.

Finally, Serena is extremely sensitive about racial improprieties, and she surely knows that bullying a much smaller Asian linesperson has the strong appearance of racial animus. As Oricene said, she most definitely should have kept her cool. Instead, it seems to me that she set the high cause of racial tolerance back a step or two. Very unfortunate. She owes the lines person a very humble and sincere apology.

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John Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:30 am
I was not there to hear what was said by any of the person’s involved.
I am just sadden that this chapter had to be ended like this. I do know that serena is not deserving of the berating being displayed by some on this page. The lines person who made the infamous call, and serena are the only ones who know the truth and will have to answer to a higher calling.

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izaak Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:30 am
Foot faulting is cheating, so says the poster that went to every tennis club in Australia some years ago. This of course must be taken in the context of club tennis which is played without umpires, and opponents cant make calls from the other end of the court, the emphasis being on everyone making sure they can deliver a serve without touching or going over the line.

As others have pointed out, it only takes one observer to help you out on whether your front foot moves/creeps etc and then one should corresondingly adjust their style or not stand so close to the line, players know their ‘faults’ in this regard and would be well aware that in some situations they can creep, like on second serves when it is tight.

The rule is there, serves have to be taken with the last point of contact being behind the line, it is simple as that, otherwise where would we “draw the line”?

The replay was clear enough to me that Serena’s front foot infringed. The person sitting on the base line whose duty was only to watch this facet was in a better position than any camera to see this and would have been looking for some gap between her front foot and the line up to the moment contact with the ball was made, there obviously wasnt one…….foot fault!

As someone else has pointed out, lets pretend that the line judge got it wrong, how would serena know, those that have played tennis will know its pretty hard to hit a serve(abeit even a second one) as hard as serena and know exactly what happened to your feet while watching the ball.

She was out of line! What possible relevance does it have whether the umpire called the linesman over or not. The central umpire was somehow responsible for highlighting the offence, or the linesman was being a sook? If the umpire was unware that the abuse took place, the linesperson should have got up and told her what was said, what is wrong with that.

heat of the moment outburst? maybe, or was it just the real serena showing through, I suspect the later. Her contempt in the press conference being proof of that with her smart ass/arse answers

What should happen now, a fine? sure, put it to a worthwhile charity, but even $500,000 wouldnt mean much to Serena who basically must be struggling to find ways to spend her looty, a suspension must be part of the deal.

Yes

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jean Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:31 am
Get out miss Serena! Agressive players are ok in heavy metal or wrestling, but NOT in professional tennis. Zero tolerance! To take her out of the sport would be a damn good idea as she’s not worth it anymore. For years she plays the little terror queen of the court. Enough is enough. Her impolite manners, arrogant, weird and dubious behaviour : – we just have more than enough of that! Please, show queen Serena the EXIT door. And, yes, she should have apologized to judges and officials. And also to Kim Clijsters, her opponent, who seemed so embarrassed. Congrats to Kim C who, like 99.9% of tennis champions, ends with grace. Serena, too bad, coz she is a great player but not enough serious – not worthy of the sport.

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Rosy Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:33 am
I’m a fan of Serena Williams and was appalled by her unsportsmanlike behavior. My kids were in the room and I had to point out that her actions and verbal abuse were intolerable, defending champ or not.

For those who think that the video does not show a footfault. I maintain that the video footage is inconclusive because of the angle at which it was taken. And in that case, it was the chair umps call to overrule or not. Clearly, the chair ump did not think it appropriate to overrule.

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HERMS Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:39 am
Rules are rules. Serena Williams seem violated rules. How could she shove the line judge and threaten her. The line judge has a clear look and she was sure foot fault did happen. Tennis is a very professional game so she should be calm. If ever a bad call happened, she should complain to the umpire who has the power to overturn the call.

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Mallen Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:41 am
Ultimately, the discussion about whether or not it was a good call is redundant. Bad calls happen from time to time, and the response to one is never to go up to the person making the call and threaten violence on them. Arguably, that should be an automatic default offense, but in any case it is a warning offense.

Even Serena defenders, who might argue that she is not a bad person, but someone who lost it under provocation, and who might argue that it was a bad call, should nevertheless accept that given the circumstances there was no choice but to make the second warning.

A large part of the game of tennis happens between the ears. If you lose your concentration, or your temper, and as a result hit a forehand long – you lose the point. Likewise, if you lose your temper and smash a racquet, or abuse a line judge, you get a warning.

Arguing the latter should not be automatic is as ridiculous as saying that Nadal should be able to say “sorry, can I take that shot again, I wasn’t concentrating”.

If I were playing an opponent prone to lose their temper, I would do whatever I could to encourage them – knowing it would give me the edge to win. Indeed, Brad Gilbert relates doing exactly this to beat Boris Becker once in his book ‘winning ugly’.

So Serena lost it – and lost the match. When other players do something wrong that loses them the match, they usually say that this is an area they are determined to work on to improve in the future. The challenge with Serena seems to be her unwillingness to acknowledge that this was – even a tactical never mind an ethical – lapse.

By all means argue about whether or not she is a disgrace to the game, whether she is a valid role model, etc. etc. But in terms of what happened and what the consequences were, I can’t see that it could have gone any other way.

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Richard Mills Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:47 am
Thus far my knowledge of a foot fault was that your foot was on or over the line on the ground when contacting the ball in a service motion in tennis. I stepped and paused each moment of Serena’s serve and from the angle of the video it is clear it is clear that she actually had both feet over the line in the air when contacting the ball. So is this the foot fault as it was called and is this the full definition of a foot fault, over the line on the ground before the foot leaves it and in the air when the foot is over it at the time of contact with the ball? I know myself I have caught this in my own service action many times when videoing my serve, but for me my service motion doesn’t take my feet into the air much so I am curious as to the full rule of Foot Fault.

As for Serena and here verbal and racquet abuse well that is a separate issue in my mind and displays that kind of tennis brat mentality that is often too apparent in the sport in certain individuals in particular.

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Jenkins Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:48 am
Whether it was a valid call for foot fault or not, Serena’s behaviour did not speak much of her as a champion. She knew she was losing to Kim. But that’s no way to behave with the linesperson. If she doubted the validity of that call, she should have gone upto the chair umpire to let her know that she disagreed with the call. Who knows, the chair umpire might have overruled the linesperson’s call.

A top player like Serena cursing on the court? Disgusting! She should be banned from playing tennis. Or atleast suspended from playing a few matches. Rules are rules; they are there for a reason. And they apply to everyone, including commoners like us. So what’s special about Serena? Ok, she’s a top player, but after this match, I have no respect left for her whatsoever.

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Rob Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:49 am
You have to realize, anyone playing at a championship level, is immensely competitive. You have to be to get to that point. While some may have PR people that portray a good, wholesome image, all top athletes are driven to win like many of us cannot imagine. The call was ridiculous. There certainly was NOT an obvious foot fault, and while Serena’s behavior was not “professional”, her outburst is that of a champion wanting to win. An athlete at that level seriously thinks he or she will win, and to have the tournament ended by a bogus call would outrage the calmest of you out there. Have you never let your emotions get the best of you? Cut her some slack.

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Ben Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:50 am
When a foot fault occurs in the game should not matter. If it occurs then it should be called. You’re running into dangerous territory if you let the situation influence you into calling it or not because then you let bias creep into play. The ball is either in or out. The foot in on the line or not.

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Mr Kleen Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:54 am
NO WAY….NO HOW….you ever call a foot fault on match point. NEVER EVER EVER. John McEnroe said it best…. you DON NOT make that call in that spot unless you are a real idiot of a judge.

Serena lost it after that and got what she deserved. But if she is to be penalized and lose her chance to win the tournament and collect a big pay day….than that incompetent, shoddy lines woman should be FIRED and BANNED from officiating professional matches. Clearly she is not only blind but TOO STUPID to know that you dont make that call in the spot.

Oh, and it WAS NOT a foot fault. Sorry.

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Ski Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:02 am
How many foot faults are overlooked? TONS! What nonsense to call that minor, minor infraction(if it even occured). Ticky-tack fouls shouldn’t be called at match point OR EVER! I’m not a Serena fan and was rooting for Clijsters all the way……but I appreciate Serena’s intensity and indignation at a peripheral pebble with no sense of the game.

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Rob Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:08 am
Exactly Ben, but in this case, a clear foot fault did NOT occur.

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charlotte Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:09 am
It is rather unfortunate that the match has to end like that, but I think Serena has to take responsibilities for that, because no matter any circumstances as a player you have to control your words, if she talked rudely to the officials then she deserves what she got, I am a strong fan of her but don’t support bad behaviour.

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Ab Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:14 am
All you have to know is, that one her heroes is Johny Mac…..:)

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Nick Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:17 am
The line judge made a legitament call and their is nothing Serena can do about it. It does not matter what time in the match it is, a fault is a fault. It’s the line judge’s duty to call footfaults and balls in or out.

Serena could have asked “are you sure?” to the line judge, or better yet just walked up to the chair and asked what the ref thought.

Line calls are just one of those many factors that are uncontrollable during a tennis match.

It’s how we react to adversity in key moments that defines who we are as a person, because of this I lost a lot of respect for Serena.

-Nick

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Eric Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:20 am
Point taken RodgerS. I concur. Her sportsmanship was very lacking in any professionalism. She does owe an apology and if assessed, a penalty, fine or whatever is needed to rectify her thoughts on ever doing that again.
I was just trying to point out, intense situation, intense point, and a very rarely called fault. I think the USTA needs to spell out or rather enforce the Line Judges to call the foot faults more, or as they occur. No room for margin. Not leave it to the Line Judges discretion. I would like to see cameras on them now so if they disagree, there can be a Players Challenge. Just like any other question on a call in a match.
Anyhow, check it out. It sure has given all of us something to discuss this morning. I love to play and watch tennis, and this will have no impact on me rooting for or being a fan of the Williams sisters. I am however very excited to see the Womens Final now, as before, if either one of the Williams sisters were in it, I would just catch the highlights as I would assume who would win. I will be watching it now though.

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dee Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:21 am
Serena… just apologize… then again, maybe President Obama will invite you and the line judge to the white house for a cold beer…

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Ab Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:23 am
She said : that one of her heroes is Johnny Mac. Why are we schocked that she acted that way toward the line judge ??

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izaak Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:26 am
Richard Mills said: So is this the foot fault as it was called and is this the full definition of a foot fault, over the line on the ground before the foot leaves it and in the air when the foot is over it at the time of contact with the ball?

Richard, there is no rule about where the person is in the air, if they have the ability they can be 2 yards inside the court when they make contact.
The rule only specifies that no part/extension of the player can “contact” the area inside the court until after the ball has been struck

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betta fish Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:27 am
I normally don’t comment on these topics, but after seeing the match last night and also reading ALL of the comments till this point, it is clear that everyone has an opinion and mostly personally negative toward Serena as a person, who no one her knows or what was in her heart at a critical time at the match. She lost and understood the rules about the points. No one mentions (or rarely mentions) how she went over to Kim and congratulated her very professionally. All I read was the negativity towards Serena, who was not a saint here.

Clearly Serena’s performance was unprofessional with the line judge and emotions and pressure got the best of her. She handled it badly and lost. The way the match was going, Kim was going to prevail anyway. Note: I like the Williams sisters, but cannot be called a “fan” of there’s. Just not much to watch in women’s tennis if you ask me.

For those that insist that she was “just showing her true colors”, is from Compton and doesn’t play in matches that don’t award monetary compensation, well, what does that have to do with this particular match and behavior? It is amazing how many folks who cannot play at that level of tennis or any professional sport for that point, have so many opinions, like Nike should drop her and she should lose her endorsements. I guess Kobe Bryant should be locked in a cage and not play for the Lakers anymore either. Oh, I forgot, he just bought his way out of a potential rape conviction.

Whether Serena apologies or not to the line judge is between her and the line judge. Hopefully, it won’t be played out in the media for OUR consumption. As for parents, you should be teaching your children good sportsman-like behavior and not leave it to professional athlethes to be role models for your children.

Finally, contempt for the press? Just because she didn’t answer the way some of you wanted her to respond? Distance often provides clarity and I’m sure that will be the case.

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Augie Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:27 am
Serena stated she forgot what she yelled at the ref during the press conference, so I thought I would attach the transcript to refresh her memory:

“i swear to god i’m f**king going take this ball and shove it down your f**king throat. okay. i swear to god. okay. you don’t f**k me like that. understand. you don’t f**k me like that. you don’t call that”

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Pete Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:28 am
As all other aspects of the dead horse have been repeatedly flailed I wanted to mention that there is no reason that an electronic system could not be developed to call foot faults with the same certainty as the current shot reviews. I suspect players would not want this system in place, as from what I see more foot faults are missed than called.

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Gear$Head Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:29 am
The video replay showed forward movement of Serena’s front foot closer to the service line. I believe a foot fault was the result and the line judge was completely correct to issue the foot fault call, but that is not what her penalty point was about.

Brandishing a tennis racquet at a line judge while yelling f-words is clearly unacceptable in tennis. A seasoned professional tennis player and a champion should understand that, regardless of the how competitive the situation might have become. If you have a grievance, always talk to the umpire, not any of the other officials on court. Perhaps the line judge in this case is an Asian female and Serena felt she can make a big impression on her.

Glossing over these faults and not apologizing for these actions complete Serena’s fall from Grace. Serena should be fined and Nike should pull her contract.

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Barbara Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:30 am
I was a bit confused when this happened. Can a player challenge a foot fault like a line call? Apparently this was not done, but I wondered if Serena could have questioned the call. It was hard to see as it was from the back. I thought that perhaps her foot was on the line as she started to serve, but then again, it looked like she pulled her foot back. I have been an umpire and foot faults are the worst, even the obvious ones. No matter what you do, someone is mad at you. I was cheering on Kim, love her to death and I think she would have won regardless. Perhaps Serena was aware of that as well, and threw up this enormous smoke screen, even though she lost, to take away from actually losing the match. Who knows! I am just happy Kim is in the finals. I am not a fan of Serena in any way, but, like all loses, life will go on; especially for all of us!

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Dottie Cambell Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:30 am
I’m glad to read that most posters agree that Serena’s behavior should not be tolerated. I was stunned to see the whole drama play out, and very disappointed to hear Mac say that he didn’t see evidence of a foot fault when the only camera angle was from behind the line — you cannot possibly tell if she is touching the line when looking at it from behind the line! Mac is the last person who should interject his opinion. If someone were to call a ball out on him from behind the line, he would have gone ballistic…. And to say that it was too important a point to call a foot fault, or that even if it was a foot fault, it didn’t help her out — the same can be said about offsides in football or soccer or rules in any sport. The rules are rules regardless if breaking the rule helps you out or not. You still are penalized.

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James Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:31 am
It does not matter if the call was good or not. All athletes professional or amateur know that mistakes can be made and threatening an official is completely unacceptable. Definitely not the behaviour of a lady and definitely not one of a champion… DISGRACEFUL behaviour…

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Sam Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:39 am
I am totally shocked by someone posted this comment “Horrible call… I’m not surprised Serena lost it. They should have canned that line judge, what a tool.” Obviously, Serena has no class at all and never had. Venus is the one with class. There are rules and players must follow. Serena could have walked to the chair umpire to contest the call instead of showing the whole tennis world how low she really is. She should be ashamed of herself for such unexceptable behavior.

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Peter Lang Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:43 am
Line judges are mandated to call it. They are humans too and if ever they make mistakes, the player should approach the umpire and make a formal complaint. Serena always want to justify her losses by looking for a scape goat. When she loses she blames anything except herself. When she wins it is because she is number 1 and a champion.

A true champion is mild-mannered, very professional and has good ethics. Serena lacks these values.

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Vajira, Sri Lankan National Women’s Tennis Champion Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:53 am
I totally agree with David, as the TV footage suggest it is not a foot fault, and in the given circumstances Serena William’s reaction is perfectly understandable. People that criticize her today, don’t understand tournament level Tennis. And as for others, that left nasty comments about Serena Williams criticizing the kind of person she is, I say shame on you, those comments are motivated by something ugly and certainly not motivated by a love for Tennis.

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Sally Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 11:01 am
Wow, some of these comments are ridiculous. Are you serious? Terminate her contract? I think that the display of ignorance and extreme level of judgement displayed here is frightening. Come on now, we are all human. I understand that this behavioral display was televised for all to see but consider this. This is a sport and Serena’s career. Imagine something “minor” comparable to a line infraction derailing your plans at work. How would you feel? Just think before you begin insulting someone’s character and going off the deep end.

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MC Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 11:08 am
I seriously cannot believe she did not apologize and thinks that her behaviour was acceptable…or at least no worse than other players’ antics. It was disgraceful. She’s a huge, hulking woman, with a tennis racket in her hand standing over and yelling at a very small line judge. I also think the fact the judge is Japanese makes her — from a cultural perspective — more inclined to report such a lack of respect. Serena got what she deserved. She crossed the line, both literally and figuratively. If she had a bit more control, she wouldn’t have been in that situation to begin with. But she’s the one who smashed up her racket earlier. Again, she got what she deserved.

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Deborah Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 11:15 am
I am a huge Serena fan, but this type of behaviour should not be tolerated. We could argue all day about the foot fault, but the fact is, the foot fault is not the issue. The foot fault did not cost Serena the game. Serena’s reaction to it is what cost her the game. She clearly acted in a threatening manner to the judge. Regardless of when she did or did not say, her physical actions alone were threatening. Judges can not be in fear of making a correct call because of what the players might do, because it would affect the integrity of their calls. They were right in faulting Serena for this, and I hope she has learned a lesson in how a professional is to behave towards officials. Serena is a great player, but let’s face it, she’s not always a good sport. Hopefully next year she will be respectful of everyone out there and win this tournament.

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RAM Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 11:17 am
The foot fault call was correct. A point is a point. Foot faults are called in Junior Tennis, College and most certainly at the proffessional level.

Ok – so Serena lost her cool. We all do. She should simply apologize for her actions and the world of tennis will let it pass.

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Deborah Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 11:23 am
“There certainly was NOT an obvious foot fault, and while Serena’s behavior was not “professional”, her outburst is that of a champion wanting to win.”

Call me naive, but I believe there is more to being a champion that a desire to win at all cost. Sportsmanship and integrity are essential, particularly in a game like tennis. Could you imagine Roger Federer behaving like this? I don’t think so.

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TennisPlayer Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 11:35 am
I am an amateur tennis player, and we don’t call foot-faults, as we play for fun/competition. We all love to win, but, we win without cheating. I too have lost my temper and hit my racquet on the ground.

That said, this is Professional Tennis. They play for $$$ and have rules.
Those that never played tennis have no idea what they are talking about (eg. dont call a foot-fault at that time; I don’t see the toe touching the line, etc.).

If Serena believed that she did not foot-fault, she should complain directly to the chair-umpire. Period.
If Serena is very angry, she should say all the profanity she wants “under her breath” or in a direction not towards the officials or opponent.

That said, the officials were correct in the penalty-point, Match-point or no-Match-point.

Should she be more penalized? That is the judgement of the USTA.

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Mom2KidsNoMortgage Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 11:42 am
The linesperson’s foot fault call was NOT A BAD CALL. From the camera angle on the replays, there is no way to tell definitively, as the camera angle is BEHIND THE LINE. But as you watch, you CAN tell that when Serena rocked back on her heel during that 2nd serve, she then turns her foot at a better angle toward the net and rocks forward on the balls of her foot, appearing to PLACE THE TOES OF HER FOOT ON THE BASELINE. Then you see her heel move forward toward the net, and it then appears the whole left edge of her left foot is ON THE BASELINE as she jumps into her serve. This would then create a foot fault (flagrant, or otherwise) worthy of the call at that point, or any other point in the match for that matter.

Much has been made of the timing of the call, but the correct call of the foot fault at that juncture was just as critical to Kim Clijsters as it was to Serena Williams. Kim Clijsters should not be denied a fair play on receiving serve when she’s up a few points close to winning the match any more than Serena should be allowed an advantage when she’s down a few points on her service game.

Lastly, her press conference was atrocious: smug, arrogant, dismissive of her behavior, actually smiling / smirking as she lied through her teeth, without apology / remorse to anyone! Ugh!

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Steve Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 11:48 am
I agree wholeheartedly with what Ben said above. You are in very dangerous waters when a lines person begins to bend the rules because he/she thinks its a significant situation. Lines persons can never be instructed to overlook a violation at a significant moment. Its impossible to regulate. What if they overlook double faults and long returns?

Any respect I had for Serena is gone and she deserves further repercussions for damages done to the respectful sport of tennis.

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Cece Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 11:51 am
I think people are being a bit harsh in their criticism of Serena. It was an extremely emotional moment, she was down and close to losing the match. The call was close, and she lost control. Maybe just PMS?

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AnotherRef Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 11:54 am
It was unbelievable to watch her lose it like that. As someone who has officiated another sport at the national level, her 2nd verbal attack on the linesperson earned her the penalty. If she had just been totally rude and out of line just once they’d probaby have let it go (but really, who says they’re going to shove a ball down an officials throat?), but the 2nd time did the trick.

BTW, what other sport would you talk like that to the face of an official and not get ejected and fined/suspended? Is it tennis or pro wrestling out there?

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RVdave Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:04 pm
It’s not the job of the line judge to weigh the impact of a rules infraction. They are hired for the sole purpose of seeing and calling rules violations, nothing more, nothing less. It’s the job of the Referee to determine whether a penalty will be accessed. Both did their jobs, but Serena didn’t do hers. That’s life, even in the world of tennis…..you do the crime, you pay the fine!

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Vincent Clement Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:05 pm
Chris: A law is a collection or group of rules. Many jurisdictions have a Highway Traffic Act or something similar. That law contains various rules. One of the rules is that you cannot exceed the posted limit.

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Jim Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:11 pm
The line judge was completely out of place calling what, according to John McEnroe, wasn’t even a foot fault causing Serena to face two match points instead of having a chance to battle it out in Tiebreak. If you’re playing a semifinal match in one of the biggest tournaments in the world and some lowly LINESPERSON takes that chance away from you, you would be pissed too. Serena just lost her temper which is acceptable considering the gravity of the situation.

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Steve Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:31 pm
Haven’t seen a down the line shot of it, but from behind, it looked as if at worst her toe might have been on the very back of the line. And to be honest, it didn’t really look like it was. Its fine to say that the linesman should make the call no matter at what point in the match (although I disagree), but if you’re going to make it then, it had better be a real footfault where advantage is gained and I just don’t see that here.

Too bad that Serena will probably be forced to face the music for her outburst, just like others have (I’m thinking of the Oregon football player). I really don’t blame her for being upset, and I think given the nature of what was a phantom call at a crucial emotional stage of the match, we ought to just let her be without significant consequence.

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TD Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:41 pm
Hmmm….

I wonder if the same folks who think the foot fault should have been called think that every person who has ever jaywalked across a street should be given a ticket. I would love to follow around the “Rule are Rules” folks for a day and just hand them out tickets for breaking the silly rules that we have…..

you know its illegal in North Dakota to have Beer & pretzels served at the same time in any bar or restaurant….there are zillions of other rules that would drive you nuts if enforced.

the foot fault was either a bad call or wasn’t. if it wasn’t, it did not provide any advantage and should not have been called especially given the situation

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George Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 12:43 pm
If you were watching the match you can see that Serena starts her second serve motion with her foot on the line. That is a clear violation called a foot fault so the line judge was within her right to call it and did. Serena received the point penalty and then proceeded to lose her temper. If you were listening she said “I should shove this F—ing ball down your f—ing throat until you choke and it f—ing kills you” I doubt very much if we will ever see the trans scrip of these comments. Nor is it important; the tournament officials had no other recourse than to award the match to Kim.
However it is also a hollow victory for Kim as well. Players need to keep it together and play the game by the rules, this wasn’t a missed call these violations actually happened it was unfortunate that the match wasn’t completed by the players. This wasn’t about Kim Clister this was all about Serena Williams her temper, and the rules of tennis.
Maybe someone should give Serena your articles on What you can Control in tennis and Arousal Levels. As for cutting her some slack You Never Reward Bad Behavior.

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sam Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:10 pm
@martha Says:
“September 12th, 2009 at 10:56 pm
She should not be allowed to play pro tennis, ever again. You cannot threaten the life of a line judge.”

You can’t be serious. People lose their cool and have the right to be. Do you really think Serena would ever do anything?

Honestly, we celebrate John McEnroe and his antics. Why is Serena any different? Sure she was a bit harsher, but this was a bad call at a bad time, and I know John would have gone basaltic.

This could be a sexist view of this situation. Women in tennis are suppose to bow (in Wimbeldon) and have always been seen as prim and proper, so outbursts like this from woman are un-called for right? Wrong, they are humans, just like men.

I’m not going to go down the racist road, but it could be a possibility.

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Ed Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:27 pm
The basketball analoigy is the best one. Not the elbows flailing in the last minute for a foul. That’s a judgement call. But if you step across the line while making the tieing free throw, it won’t count! A footfault is a clear, pretty easy to call rule if you’re looking down the base line.

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MarieB Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:28 pm
Absolutely a sucky call. That’s irrelevant now. Serena was on her way to losing to Clijsters. She knew it. She took advantage of the opportunity, her tantrum diverted attention away from Clijsters, and guess who everyone’s talking about today. Not Clijsters! Sure the call was sucky, but Serena decided to react. She was always in control. Contrast her demeanour with Federer’s. No contest. And Federer acknowledges his opponent’s skill after a loss. here:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/10/sports/tennis/10federer.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=federer&st=cse

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Ric Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:30 pm
YES… Serena got what she deserved.

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The Lev Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:33 pm
The linesperson called it as she saw it. That’s her job, to watch the line regardless of the score, who is playing, first serve or second serve, first round or semi finals. A linesperson doesn’t have a different set of criteria for different matches. Whether she made a good or bad call is really irrelavent. It cost her a point, not a match. She was outplayed the entire match! Otherwise that point wouldn’t have been as significant. Then her behavior towards the linesperson was horrific and inexcusable. For those of you trying to pull out the race card – Give me a break! So the Asian intentionally made a bad call on the African American player? So then in turn did the African American player lose her temper, yell profanities and clearly threaten the linesperson because she was Asian? Please, come on!

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Lovey Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 1:47 pm
I agree with Janice (waaayy at the top) I think Serena knew what she was doing. She has been playing for years and knows the rules too well. There was too much of a pause between getting the ball and then turning on the line judge. I think she was weighing the publicity pros and cons of ending with a fine or loss. Odd choice, though….

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gkshell Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:02 pm
I can’t believe there are people who actually support Serena on this. What a classless thing to do. This is why I NEVER could support her. The saddest part is having no accountability or remorse in the presser. She had time to collect her thoughts and at least apologize and give Kim more credit….but she put on her acting hat and played ignorant.

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Sylvia Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:18 pm
Serena’s behavior is an embarrasment to women’s tennis. I’ve worked as a volunteer for many years at ATP/WTA events and never encountered a line judge that was rude or unprofessional toward any of the players….certainly not deserving of the hostility shown by Ms. Williams. Serena definitely did not deserve to win!!

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John Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:21 pm
A few commentors have said that the line judge was wrong to call it a foot fault ‘because it was only a little one’ or ‘because it was a very important point’. Where in the rules does it say that line judges have the authority to modify their calls according to how severe the fault was or how important the point? The line judges’ job is to call what they see, without being biased by any such considerations. This line judge called clearly and positively, with no hesitation, and should be given credit for doing her job in a situation where it would have been easier to keep quiet. She certainly did not deserve to be threatened and abused for it, least of all by such a privileged person as Serena Williams.

If the line judge had ignored what she had seen, and Williams had gone on to win the match, would the line judge have been praised for her good judgement if she had later announced, “Well, I saw a foot fault, but it was only a little one, and it was such an important point that I decided to ignore it.” The Clijsters camp would surely have complained bitterly, and the line judge would have been given corrective training or banned from officiating.

The officials all responded calmly and appropriately. No player should be allowed to intimidate officials into bending the rules in their favour (as McEnroe sometimes was), because it would give them an unfair advantage over those who do not indulge in such behaviour.

For the person who asked what exactly a foot fault is, here is the relevant rule from the ITF Rules of Tennis 2009 (http://www.itftennis.com/shared/medialibrary/pdf/original/IO_38810_original.PDF):

The relevant part of the rule here is b. The YouTube video appears to show (although not very clearly) Williams’ left foot sliding forward and touching the line befotre she jumps in the air to hit her serve. This is apparently what the line judge saw, and she had a much better view of it than we can see on the video.

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John Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:23 pm
18. FOOT FAULT
During the service motion, the server shall not:

a. Change position by walking or running, although slight movements of the feet
are permitted; or
b. Touch the baseline or the court with either foot; or
c. Touch the area outside the imaginary extension of the sideline with either
foot; or
d. Touch the imaginary extension of the centre mark with either foot.

If the server breaks this rule it is a “Foot Fault”.

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Kurt Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:31 pm
I’m surprised at the 15% of you supporting Serena. Did you not know what she said? If that is the case, here it is “I swear to God I’m f***ing going to take this f***ing ball and shove it down your f***ing throat, you hear that? I swear to God”. If you 15% still support Serena’s actions, I’d be willing to bet that all of you probably voted for George W Bush for his 2nd term. Your mentality is my country right or wrong, my president right or wrong, and now my player right or wrong. The USTA has a tough decision to make concerning Serena. To ban her from the game would hurt the pocketbook of the USTA (and the Williams sisters arrogantly know this) so that is unlikely. To fine her the total 2009 US Open purse she has won to this point and pull her from doubles would send the message that her actions will not be tolerated. I know that this is unfair to Venus, but all doubles players should pick their partners wisely.

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Max Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:33 pm
Okay, everybody calm the heck down. Have we forgotten about John McInroe and other famous tennis players who demonstrated unsportsmanship like conduct? How often do we see the William’s sisters blow steam? She does it once and the gets these types of extreme comments. After reading these comments, one wonders if there isn’t a racial attitude poking its ugly head out. She accepts the ruling and acknowledges her mistake. I agree with Rob.

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Dave Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:37 pm
Watch what happens to Serenas career. An incident like this does not blow over very easily. The fans will boo her every time she steps on the court.
She really should have apologized. I find it interesting that no one has mentioned that she foot faulted on her first serve. I know when I hit the net on my first serve I’m not about to point my tennis raquet at the and crank up the ol’ “F” bomb, how stupid would that be. Serena still had a chance to win the point but instead decided to throw a sissy fit. Can you imagine if Kim would have danced a little jig after winning her match like Serena did after winning one of her earlier matches at the U.S. open.
Serena will get exactly what she deserves, mark my words. This will end her career.

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Benjamin Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:39 pm
Foot fault or not, Serena’s behavior / tirade was uncalled for and downright unacceptable. I’m glad the USTA officials did not tolerate or allow Serena to negotiate her case. It is what it is: unsportsmanlike conduct and total disrespect. I think Serena is a great striker of the ball, but she is not above all of us who play the game at all levels that she thinks she’s privileged to cuss out the lineswoman and then pretend that she didn’t remember anything she said during the press conference.

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hchase Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 2:48 pm
“Should the line judge have overlooked the minute foot fault that Serena made considering the weight of the situation?”
—> Of course not. Silly question.

Should the main umpire or the referee let Serena get away with her behavior?
—> Of course not. Even sillier question.

And should Serena carry all the responsibility for what happened?
—> Well, I am certainly not going to carry the responsibility for what happened. Are you? Of course she should carry full responsibility.

The real crime was in the post game interview. Given the opportunity to express guilt, horror, embarrassment and sorrow, this “professional” athlete instead chose to throw her nose in the air and offer no apologies, saying, in essence, “Well, that’s what I’m like.”

If I were “president” of the ATP, I would, at the very least, strip her of any points earned at the US Open. Financial penalties will have no impact.

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duck Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 3:15 pm
Besides the sportman like conduct issues, following the rules decides who gets the $320,000 at stake and all the endorsements and other money that goes along with following the rules to determine who the real winner should be.

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John Arnold Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 3:49 pm
Well…Serena was wrong to dispute the call…since there is no way in her serve to see if her foot touched the line.

Play the next point…

Besides, what’s with breaking the racket?

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Michael Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 4:07 pm
In response to Richard Mills post:

To be called on a foot fault, the feet do have to be in contact with the ground and in or over the base line during the serve. On the other hand, if your body and feet go over the line in the air during the follow through after starting from behind the line, that doesn’t count as a foot fault as long as the serve lands on the opponent’s side of the court before the server’s foot/feet make contact again with the ground. Confusing rule, ¿no?

By the way, Serena was called on Thursday for a blatant foot fault in the US Open Women’s Doubles Semifinal, (which match the Williams sisters won), where she stepped over the base line a full foot and a half (!) before or during making contact with the ball on her serve. It was such an obvious foot fault that it looked sloppy and wrong. Needless to say, she got called for that one. By the way, the commentator for that match even made a comment at that moment that she worried what the misstep foretold about S. William’s service game in her upcoming singles matches. In other words, was this a harbinger of things to come?

Maybe she’s having issues with her service motion? Sure does seem like it.

A little coaching on many levels might be just what’s needed!!

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Bob Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 6:28 pm
A $10,500.00 fine and she can still play her doubles match. I guess the only balls the USTA have are fuzzy yellow ones. And yes to an earlier question, she is still a Jehovah’s Witness.

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terri Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 6:41 pm
The responses to this makes it clear to me that many, many, of you out there have been waiting for Serena to make a mistake so you can chew her out. She is not the only athlete that hs made a mistake but then again she is a threat in the game of tennis to everyone who is not like her. Serena stands next to her sister as one of the worlds best. That is a big no for many people. But guess what… she will continue to be the best no matter what your ill wishes for her. As for those of you who have gone so far as to say she should never be allowed to play again…remember that she is human just like John Mc Enroe he lost his temper many a time but no one called him out to say he should not be allowed to play. Besides that I ask all you nay sayers this “Are you going to receive a million bucks for the most hateful comment on the situation?????”

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Ray Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 6:45 pm
Serena dropped all her false beauty queen type of waves and show her real manacing bullybehaviour.

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Brennan Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 6:50 pm
PLEASE READ THIS:
1. Serena is one of the classiest tennis players so think about what has happened to her in the past. Does anyone recall her US Open semi final match against Jennifer Capriatti? Calls in that match were obsurd and she handled it perfect when she lost BECAUSE of the line judge.
2. No lines judge in their right mind calls a footfault to give an opponent match point. Do you know how many little foot faults their are throughout tournaments.
3. This to me is the most important. Serena lost the match because she had the 2 warnings so she lost a point. DOES ANYONE EVER GET A WARNING WHEN THEY TAKE OVER 30 SECONDS TO SERVE. Djokavich does it almost every game and nothing is called…or how about vera zvonareva slapping her knees and acting like a 2 year old against flavia penetta.. did she get a warning for saying the f word various times? NO. and how many times do people break their raquet of scream the f word if you want to play by the rules then be more consistent.
4. Does anyone recall the LLeyton hewitt match where he made the racial comment and THEN made the african american line judge get up and move to another place. NO POINT PENALTY FOR HIM.

Any normal person would have reacted like serena did. yes she said horrible things but she has been cheated various times at the US open…AND SHES AN AMERICAN. That line judge was smirking as she made the foot fault also. In conclusion the USTA needs to be WAY more consistent if they want to give a semifinal match away over saying curse words.

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Monette Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 7:06 pm
What is the discussion about? A foot fault is a foot fault. It should be called in Pro, Adult, or Juniors. If you threaten a judge, you should be ejected. If you curse, you should get a code violation. Rules are rules.

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Amanda Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 7:53 pm
Serena CLEARLY lost it last night!!!! Under no circumstances should she treat anyone at anytime the way she treated that lines women!!! She was like a little kid that didn’t get her way. I have never really been a big fan of Serena’s because of her attitude and better than you posture!!! She got what she deserved and I feel she should also be eliminated from all grand Slams for one year and maybe ousted from tennis all together!! It was dispicable to watch her last night in her rage and I will never watch her again. She is a disgrace to the game!! Lost any hope of me ever becoming a fan!!! Kim Clijsters out played her big time and I say ” you go girl!” Kim is a true champion!!! I agree, Serena probably did do this to turn the focus off of her loss!!! Disgraceful!!!

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Camille Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 8:45 pm
Banned from playing tennis? Are you kidding me? How many tennis players have we heard cursing on the courts? Plenty.
I just love the words used… aggression, test her hormones, taking the girl out of Compton, her grunts. We act as if we haven’t seen other tennis players behave badly on the court. Why do you need to talk about her hormones and Compton? Just say that her attitude was unacceptable.
Say what you really want to say. Many of you are tired of seeing black women rule in tennis. When you say “tennis is a ladies’ sport” what you mean is “tennis is a white woman’s sport.” But sorry to tell you, black players aren’t going anywhere. And when the Williams sisters do retire, there will be more to take their places.

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Bernadette Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 8:46 pm
I thought it was a terrible display from someone who is suppose to be setting a good example for all us juniors out there. If I had of done that I am sure I would receive a suspension for 6 months if not more serious. I think she should have to suffer some sort of punishment for such a deplorable display of lack of self control!

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Kevin Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:12 pm
This is professional tennis. If you want to give leeway in a personal match because you may think the foot fault is trivial, fine by me. In professional tennis there are clear rules that define the sport. Just because foot faults are an uncommon occurrence does not lessen the fact that they are part of the rules and part of the game.

The manner in which Serena acted was completely unprofessional and unsportsmanlike. The aggravated hurling of profanity and threats at the lineswoman gives such a bad image to the sport of tennis. The only thing worse than her tirade is the fact that no where in either her press conference or her prepared statement the next day, does she apologize for her actions but she skirts around the issue by saying that maybe her emotions got the better of her. This shows no remorse for her acting inappropriately. Her punishment should reflect this and she should get the maximum penalty at both the Grand Slam level and the WTA level. Suspension should not be out of the question. Her behavior needs to be made an example of and there should not be any preferential treatment given just because she is the world #2.

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Kevin Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:16 pm
Also there is a difference between simply using profanity as a sign of frustration, and directing it at a person who is just trying to do their job.

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Tran Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:18 pm
There is no other way around this: Serena is completely wrong and, being a very top professional tennis player for years she must know all about faults and consequences, I afraid I must suspect a foul play here. She did way too much in comparison to just an outburst, especially with repeats after the umpire had called the linesjudge to ask about what has been said and even when the referee has come.

That and what she said in the interview completely convince me she cheated. Yes I know it is a harsh word, but cheating it was.

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cottonshirt Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:24 pm
The penalty is too small for such an act, she should be banned from all grand slams atleast for a year, disgraceful !!

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kai Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 9:33 pm
First off, for those people using hockey etc as examples, I want to make a distinction between a judgement call and a technical call. Fouls are judgment calls and I agree that referees should (and do) swallow their whistles at critical endgames. Technical calls are not interpretations – it touched outside the court or it didn’t. Period. Footfaults and linecalls are technical calls. More to the point, a foot fault is what a line judge sees is a footfault. Differences in opinion are only allowed to be addressed in the prescribed manner per the rulebook. In most sports, only the captain is allowed to address the referee (never the minor officials). In any case
abuse is NEVER allowed in any sport for any reason. Egregious violations are usually handed stiff suspensions (fines being meaningless) as leniency would weakend the authority of the referees (and the rules) and lead quickly to the ruin of the sport.

Serena seems to be of that celebrity mindset that feels rules are not for them. Any kind of rules. Social ones even.

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Tomaz Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:09 pm
Here’s the latest development on the story:

http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/news?slug=ro-serenafine091309&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

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Nick Says:
September 13th, 2009 at 10:27 pm
Thanks for the link Tomaz;

To summarize the article Serena was charged $10,500 for her conduct during the Semi-final match. She may be banned from future Grandslam tournaments. She is receiving negative feedback from fans because of her lack of apology and from sponsors.

New Questions That This Raises:

Does she deserve being banned from future Grandslams?
If so how many?
The majority of people believe that her actions were wrong, but to what extent should she be punished for them (fines, bans etc.)?

-Nick

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noyb Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 3:25 am
all doesn’t matter. she was going to lose anyway… infraction or not. what cost her the game was response under the circumstances. the measure of a person is not what they do when things are favorable, but what they do when things become unfavorable. Serena showed us her true colors and that is the bottom line (fault or no fault).

Excusing bad behavior would encourage more of it. The right thing was done… whether or not the rules should allow such a point to end the entire match-up is an issue for some Tennis Association Rule Board, not in defense of “Serena’s Ego”.

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hasnat Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 3:56 am
I always feel tenis is a sports of gentle people.Indeed, i am a great fan of Serena.I always expect good gesture out of her.If Serena were not convinced she might go for polite complain to match refree.Its really hurt me.Tennis ground shouldnt be like football ground or like cricket ground.My humble suggestion is that everyone should get a lesson from the great player Roger Fedrer.I also witnessed that Player use slang,through racket.Its really hurt tennis lover like us.I wanna say that the tennis player become great using their racket.How could they dishonour thier racket

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Benjamin Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 4:02 am
The difference between John McEnroe’s tantrums and Serena’s tirade (if I remember) was that John never actually threatened a linesperson (in gestures or words). John hurled insults like “You piece of moron!” and proceeded to smash his drinking cup, chair, bag, etc. on his side during the changeover. Serena, on the other hand, verbally threatened the lineswoman. “I’m going to shove this f***ing ball down your f***ing throat with this f***ing racket!!!” I don’t personally condone either behavior.

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Tunde Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 4:31 am
I have been watching top tennis matches in the last four years and have not seen where a pro has foot faulted. It is common in club tennis but rare or never existed on both tour. Although she over reacted. it’s human. When you know the penalty or the consequence of your behavior you can go ahead and do it and damn what ever happens, Whatever she said, she’s wrong and taken the responsibility for it. that why she human! She had other options of using the racket the hit the line jugde, she wont do because she will go to jail for that. Clisters would have won no matter what happen, she was clearly the better player on the day

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Mark Harrison Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 5:27 am
Some people made the analogy of getting a speeding ticket, and others responded, “Hey, rules are rules.” So, to those folks, I ask, “Wouldn’t U be royally pissed off if U got a $150 ticket for going 1mph over the speed limit?” Hey… rules are rules, right?

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sagar shrivastava Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 5:57 am
Act of Srena was totally uncalled for, although she was feeling the desperation of losing the match, yet her act is beyond the game spirit and civilized society. She should learn the lesson from the incident.

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John Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 6:35 am
At the time the foot fault was called, how could she have known it was unfair? Her head was up and she was looking at the ball she was in the process of serving. She might have thought that she hadn’t moved her foot onto the line before jumping and hitting the ball, but there was no way she could have know for sure, because she wasn’t looking at her foot.

It follows that what she must have thought (and still apparently thinks) ‘unfair’ was that the lineswoman called a foot-fault on such an important point for her (Williams). She certainly wouldn’t have protested like that if Clijsters had been foot-faulted on a similar point! In fact, in the absence of a rule that says, ‘Foot-faults shall not be called on important points’, it would have been unfair to her opponent if the lineswoman had not called the foot-fault. For some reason, Williams seems to think that she shoud have been given special treatment, and that it is ‘unfair’ that she wasn’t.

It must be incredibly frustrating to lose a point like that in such a way, but Williams should have controlled her anger. Even after having time to reflect, she shows little understanding of the unacceptability of her behaviour and tries to excuse it by saying it was due to her passion for the sport. Does she think we are all stupid? Passion is good – other tennis champions are equally passionate – but what was displayed here was ugly, foul-mouthed agression, demeaning to its perpetrator and demeaning to the sport.

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john – tenerife Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 7:00 am
Yes Serena reacted badly to the call, and unfortunately for her, she will have to live with this for the rest of her tennis career.

A shame, as she is such a great player, but hopefully this will not take away what she has done for the game.

But “rules are rules” be it that this foot fault must have been by a centimetre – but if you allow this, then why have lines on the court?

Hawk eye for line judges maybe, then take away the human element altogether – look at that call Novak got at a really important part of the game!!!

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w campbell Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 8:20 am
Guilty.
Think about the punishment. $10,000.00 is nothing considering what she’s going to have to pay. Adios Nike. Watch what happens when she steps on the court for the dubs. She’ll be forever remembered for this regrettable immature incident through memory and replay.

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Dottie Cambell Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 9:21 am
People making the analogy to traffic violations are way off mark. Tennis is a sport with rules on how to play. Line judges and referees exist to ensure that the rules are followed. They do not have to decide whether, or not, to enforce the rules depending upon the severity of the violation; rather, they have to enforce all the rules regardless of the time of the game, the score, the rule and so forth. Police officers, on the other hand, are given discretion as to when to pull someone over and when to not because there are simply not enough police officers to monitor every street every minute of the day — however, there are enough line judges to monitor every line every point of the match. It makes no sense to try to compare a line judge calling a foot fault to a police officer pulling someone over for speeding 1mpg over the limit. You are better off using another sports analogy — if there is 1 second left in the basketball game and the guy shooting the free throw steps on the line and his team is behind by 1 point, does the basket count? NO! Rules of the sport are rules of the sport.

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Irena Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 11:04 am
As much as I wanted Serena to loose I do not agree with most of all your comments. The line referee culd not see or even run like any sport referee -where did you find her?? with such a bad sight ? She needs eye doctor ASAP !
Serene brought all tehse sponsors for the last 10 years…Before , tennis stadium was very limited to only white rich people, since the Williams girls the sport became very commercial and very popular. The sponsors did not come for the line umpire ,they are coming every year for players like Serena. she was many times before judged poorly, and usually she was just staring at the umpire for long time, this time she explodes..so waht, how many other players damaged the raquest or cursed badly but since it was not in English nobody understood. Nobody said anything bad on Serena in the past ,because it was not allowed…now,double hipocrysy win! Everybody talks !!!I wonder what Mary Joe Fernands ahs to say as she was always always on the sisters side never given the fair judgment in the times when was needed.

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Nancy Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 12:53 pm
nobody is perfect , we all loose our temper at some point we all break rules, we all were in huge anger for something. that’s normal and human but punishment is not “unfair”

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pc Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 1:06 pm
What an embarrasment to the game of tennis! Dropping the “F”bombs didn’t help her cause or the threats with the racquet. Looks like her father is coming thru toward the tennis community with his rage transferring it to Serena… very sad day…

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martina Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 1:12 pm
Hey all you Serena Haters~
Yes, Serena was REAL wrong, but hey, I’m betting a large majority of you watched every match MacEnroe ‘performed’ in and loved every minute of him acting an utter fool. Is it that she’s female that you guys are so harsh with her??

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Jaime Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 1:31 pm
Some of the comments on this (obviously from people who dislike or are not fans of Serena) are absured. One person says “she should not be allowed to play pro tennis ever again.” How riduculous is that! Did you do drugs and get caught more than once…now that would warrant a lifetime ban. Let’s be reasonable, I am not a big Serena fan either, but I admire her passion, power, athletism, and her unmatched will to win…that sets her apart from the crowd. And yes, she is a sore looser, hates to loose, never acknowledges that her opponent was better in a match. She could be more gracious, but she is not the only athlete like that…now is she? Now…on the call, and wether she deserves what she got. She didn’t get anything, the RULES OF TENNIS and of the tournament were simply enforced…thats’ it. The linesperson apparently saw a footfault (foot on the line before the service was struck) and called it. Rules are rules, she is not supposed to pick when to call it and when not to call it based on game/match situations. Serena was completely out of line and deserves the fine and if a suspension comes later, she deserves that too! The elite players don’t deserve special treatment. If you don’t enforce the rules, why have them? Other facts, Serena Williams is good for tennis and tennis is good to Serena. With Kim Clisters back, it’s another exciting rivalry being renewed. Pro Tennis ought to take a cue from other professional pros where the superstars are fined and suspended just like the average pros…no exceptions. Having said that I think it’s a terrible call to make in that situation…I don’t like a foot fault deciding a critical point in a big match. I guarantee you in many cases linespeople overlook the foot fault unless it’s really clearly a significant foot fault, and you just don’t get those from the pros, men or women.

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carlos Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 1:54 pm
I would have done the same thing Serena did. That was a bad call by the line judge. Most people don’t have any idea how much and hard tennis training is to be able to compete at this level; to let one dumb line judge take away all his effort! It’s not the first time Serena has been cheated by line judges; and actually last time they did the call was so bad; that it prompted the challenger system to avoid bad mistakes like that. How many time are the line judges proven wrong with the challenge hawkeye system!

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10sgirl Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 1:57 pm
No excuses for Serena’s court behavior. Absolutely wrong and very regrettable. Not what we need for tennis. But it was a bad call. And after watching the Fed/Djokovic match…I’m left to wonder where the USTA finds these line judges. I think Djokovic had 6 challenges and 5 of them overruled the line judge calls. Some of the calls against Djokovic were badly missed calls…shockingly bad at that level of play and given the circumstances of the match. That’s part, if not all, of the problem. Who trains these folks? Quite frankly I’d like to see the line judge in Serena’s match and the others in the Fed/Djokovic match sidelined until they get some remedial training. Shame on the USTA for doing such a bad job in providing qualified people to make line calls. They should be embarrassed. The US Open should have the very, very best line people calling the match…I don’t think that was the case. Serena should be embarrassed. I have always been a huge fan and I am terribly disappointed in her behavior.

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Tasos Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 3:52 pm
Come on to much noise for nothing, I am Kim’s fan but the situation was serious and two milimeters forward does not affect the serve’s pace and performance.
I am conviced that Serena didn’t do that on puprose; it’s like football, the ball hits the hand of the player but sometimes the referee shuts his eyes down and the games goes on. It’s depends from the moment from the player’s intentions and so on. I think that the line judje went by book and messed the game. What the difference on Serena’s perfomance would be if she were two bloody milimeters back?

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mike Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 4:02 pm
I was at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston this past April. As you enter the facility there are signs saying it is a Non Smoking Facility. Venus’ daddy Richard was there, standing on the main steps into the main grandstand court smoking a cigarette. But rules don’t apply to Richard Williams.

Frankly, I am sick of Williamses!

I play tennis and a foot fault is real easy to avoid. McEnroe was wrong saying it should not have been called. of course it should be called, and if it loses you the match don’t do it!

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Nate Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 5:10 pm
Well it’s a good thing that Serena is God. Because according to some on this board, she is not human; God doesn’t make mistakes. When the mighty falter, how quickly they are pounced on as if the detractors themselves have never did or said anything that they have regreted. I’m sure everyone on this board would love to have a time machine to go back in the past to correct something we did or said to someone that cost us dearly; a job, a marriage, a goal, a transaction,a business partner, a family relationship, a friendship, freedom and much more.

When I look back on my 55 years, I can truly say that every decade contains some moments I initiated that dramatically changed my life; and not neccessarily for the better. How I wish I could rectify those things. Though life may give you a chance at redemption in some way, it doesn’t give you a do-over. That thing has been done and you can’t go back and undo it. My uncle used to say, “you can’t unscramble eggs.”

Whenever I see someone, especially those in the public eye, saying or doing something seemingly so unforgivable that makes me want to chastise them for their behavior, my mind almost always returns to a similar incident in my life, on a much smaller scale mind you, that caused someone of pain and suffereing which led to my regret and guilty concious. That’s when I stop passing judgment, not my disdain of the thing done, but the pointing finger syndrome. Think about that terrible thing you did this year, last year, 3 years ago, 10, 15, 20 or more years ago that had you been caught, restrained yourself or held your peace maybe you would have that job, reached that dream, still with your spouse, kids or friends. This was an unfortunate situation with Serena. I’m sure she greatly regrets it by now; as I regret what I did years ago.

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Declan Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 7:47 pm
Serena knew exactly what she was doing and the consequences of her actions! Down 2 match points and out of sorts she did what she had to do to deny Kim a legitimate 2nd victory over her!! Serena has never been a good sport eg when beaten by Stosur a few weeks ago Serena said she “was a good framer” in other words Serena was saying that Stosur couldn’t beat her otherwise.

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Ric Says:
September 14th, 2009 at 9:18 pm
Only a YES or NO answer is necessary for the questions asked by Tomaz. Anything more is UNnecessary albiet colorful.

Therefore…

Did Serena Williams deserve what she got?
YES or NO

Was the line judge right to call the foot fault?
YES or NO

Was the tournament referee – Brian Earley right to enforce another warning to Serena and thus a penalty point?
YES or NO

Should the line judge have overlooked the minute foot fault that Serena made considering the weight of the situation?
YES or NO

Should the main umpire or the referee let Serena get away with her behavior?
YES or NO

And should Serena carry all the responsibility for what happened?
YES or NO

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Raju Says:
September 15th, 2009 at 12:12 am
If the Lines person repeated the same EXACT WORDS back to serena, She would have been banned from her job for ever… Why not serena ? Is she soo above the LAW and HUMANITY that ONLY she has the right to treat somebody’s mother, somebody’s wife with utter disrespect and with disgustingly Inhumane boorish attitude… And if those who sponsor her overlooks this Inhumane behaviour… they will only be supporting an idiot to represent them…. What if the lines person was serena’s mother…would she still shove the ball down her throat… and say Iam sooo over it…

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Lyn Says:
September 15th, 2009 at 9:52 am
Serena is more than well-versed regarding how to complain about a call. Unfortunately, once she broke protocol, the main issue was no longer whether or not the call was bad. Dealing with the out of control player had to take precedence over dealing with the accuracy of the call, hence the penalty point. And it’s a shame b/c there is serious doubt that a foot fault occurred. If Serena had appealed to the chair, she may very well have had the chance to finish out the match in good form — maybe even win. There is speculation that she knew she was about to lose, so to save her ego, she created controversy to avoid having to deal with, what was in her mind, a “legitimate” loss. Before this outburst, I would not have believed that Serena’s mind worked like that. Now, I’m not so sure. But who knows what she was thinking in the moment? I’m sad for Serena. Still admire her skills, but hope she will step up and take responsibility for the sake of the young people who follow her. Everybody has bad days, mature people and immature people. The difference in the mature and the immature, is that the mature own up. The immature try to “move on” – try to make light of it – as if it was no big deal. I like to believe that once Serena has some time to cool off, she will do the right thing. She is after all, like it or not, a role model.

[Reply]

Jack Says:
September 15th, 2009 at 11:26 am
Ok, let’s assume for a minute that the linesperson made a bad call. What other professional sport would allow such disgraceful behavior?

If a home plate umpire called a strike on a 3-2 count with base loaded in the bottom of the ninth on say – A-Rod, and A-Rod grabbed the baseball from the catcher, turned to the Ump and said the same things as Serena (while pointing the bat in his face) – he would be done in MLB. DONE!

Think through similar comparisons in football, hockey, basketball, etc. At the very least, you are facing record fines, suspensions and reprimands.

There has to be respect for umpires. Serena knows the rules (I hope) and should have taken her case to the Chair Umpire.

In my view, she is not a professional – just another piece of trash.

[Reply]

Bill Says:
September 15th, 2009 at 9:21 pm
Shame on you…Take off your color glasses and look at it objectively. What these two sisters have achieved will be an example for years to come. I know the whole world is en vie of them. Richard will go down in history as genius.
Did any one notice that the line judge was not wearing her glasses when she called the foot fault? Reading your comments here..you should be called for “mentality fault”. Wake up..its 21st century….learn to respect the talent, the hard work these girls have put up…don’t be en vie of there hard earn fame and fortune….Hey Sarena my hats off to you for standing up for your belief…you believed that the line judge was wrong and you voiced it in spite of knowing that will cost you the match and lots of money…You showed your sportsmanship by being first to tell Kim she has won. For me your the real winner..hip hip hurray….For those of you still wearing color glass…shame on you….

[Reply]

Tomaz Reply:
September 16th, 2009 at 8:04 am

A question Serena must ponder now is whether she would prefer to be right (it was not a foot fault so let’s argue about it) and lose or whether she would prefer to be wrong (I believe it was foot fault but I’ll accept the wrong call OR It was the foot fault and I really made a mistake) and win the US Open.

Because when she reacted to the line judge’s call, she forgot what she actually prefers. That’s one thing professional tennis players who devote their entire time to success on the court must not forget.

Winning the match is always more important that trying to prove that you are right (even when you really are and you got a bad line call).

The emotions that arise when you start arguing about right and wrong almost always affect your game negatively and at least in the modern era I have never seen a call being reversed after being made.

So logically, there is no point in arguing – except perhaps sending a few signals to the umpire that you disagree which may help raise the alertness level of the chair umpire so that there will be less mistakes in the future.

The only one who loses when arguing is the player – so that’s the lesson all tennis players can learn from this…

[Reply]

hochiminh Says:
September 16th, 2009 at 2:57 pm
she could allow to play tennis with entry fee of $50,000.00 per game, we could use this money to help those homeless people. Hey we are living in the capitalism world, I could see money talk here.

[Reply]

Armer Says:
September 16th, 2009 at 9:31 pm
Well said sir Tomaz.
But Serena knew exactly what she was doing and the consequences of her actions. Down 2 match points and out of sorts she did what she had to do to deny Kim a legitimate 2nd victory over her!! Serena has never been a good sport.

[Reply]

FeFe Says:
September 17th, 2009 at 11:02 am
She apologized only after Nike stepped in. So now the story is about how she wants to be a positive role model for kids and not about her #1 claim. Clever girl. With record US Open attendance, I saw not evidence of it in this match or their doubles title. How many times will the WTA bend the rules for the Williams?

[Reply]

Rafael Vital Jr. Says:
September 17th, 2009 at 11:53 am
You can put the blame on 3 entities here – the USTA head official, the linesman, and Serena. The USTA head official should have chosen the very best linesman for the vital match, someone with good eyes and bigger in size. Players are less likely to overreact to someone big wearing no thick glasses.

The rules in tennis are constantly broken, ie the 25 second time limit between points. The lines lady made a questionable call (instant replays were inconclusive) for whatever reason at a very critical stage of the match. That non-obvious foot fault should have never been called at that stage of the match.

Serena’s behavior/anger was uncalled for. Ok, the call was questionable, but you allowed your feet to get too close to that line and as such you should accept the consequences. Viciously breaking that racket is wrong and it sends bad messages to our youth. Saying those things to the umpire is really really wrong. And, not owning up to your bad actions/behaviour and brushing it aside as something insignificant is really really wrong too. She should strive to work on her anger more so that her brilliant game.

[Reply]

gil utanes Says:
September 17th, 2009 at 10:16 pm
Bottom line is, it’s the principle of the thing. What are guidelines for if they can be compromised – for superstars or for the “seriousness of the moment”? Scrap them! Integrity my foot. Or why have umpires, referees, linespersons, etc. There are better ways to decorate the court.

[Reply]

Jeff Says:
September 18th, 2009 at 1:01 am
JEEZ! calm down and win the round!

She lost it mainly because of the pressure, its like distilled water in a microwave.

Not cool.

[Reply]

Jason Says:
September 24th, 2009 at 3:46 pm
The main thing is that a foot fault is NOT a subjective call.
It’s either the player stepped on the line or the player did not.

For all the people saying the line judge shouldn’t call it at that time, is like telling a referee not to call OUT OF BOUNDS on an NBA Player in the last few seconds, or an NFL player on the last play.

[Reply]

toast Says:
November 27th, 2009 at 12:37 am
“Some people made the analogy of getting a speeding ticket, and others responded, “Hey, rules are rules.” So, to those folks, I ask, “Wouldn’t U be royally pissed off if U got a $150 ticket for going 1mph over the speed limit?” Hey… rules are rules, right?”

Well, I wouldn’t be stupid enough to threaten the officer. If I did, I’d fully expect to have escalated the situation to the point where I’d be having to step out the vehicle. Even if I’d been going UNDER, I’d keep my mouth shut and dispute the ticket in court wherein I’d continue to try not to act like a mental case.

[Reply]

Cameron Says:
December 18th, 2009 at 3:32 am
“Try setting your clock earlier so you don’t have to speed to get to your huge presentation… Rules are made to be followed… if they aren’t, then why have rules? Why was Serena so pissed when a ball grazed the wrist of her opponent in the French Open?”

I side with Trey’s comments who says that the importance, closeness of the situation really derived the decision of the linesperson to call a footfault.

There is difference between the incident at the US open and at the french. Serena’s opponent knows she got hit, Serena knows she hit her but still she does not come forward. Therefore, she cheated. In video evidence, we see the ball hit her opponent. However, the evidence is not so strong for the lineswoman with some people stating that Serena probably didn’t committ a foot fault. It doesn’t look like it from the vision i’ve seen. Therefore, the call is up for interpretation and we have to go on belief of one person rather than video evidence. And in 2004, with what happened to Serena at the US open in the Quarters against Capriati, i feel that she had right to feel cheated. Go Serena. Win the Aussie Open xo

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Handling Cheating and Gamesmanship In Tennis

Handling Cheating and Gamesmanship In Tennis

by Alexander Claussen

You and your opponent just walked out on the court. You warm-up, and the match starts. You start off the match with an error in the net, and a “C’mon, right here,” rings in your ears. You let it go. Next point, your opponent says loudly the same phrase just as you begin your ball toss. You double-fault.

It is one thing if your opponent is trying to pump himself up, but I don’t think this is the case. During the many years of my playing of tennis, I have encountered players whose strategies heavily rely on this concept, gamesmanship (and cheating too).

And of all the cases I have encountered, it wasn’t the actual acts of gamesmanship that won the match, but the overreaction of the victim player.

If you are an active player, you’ve probably experienced players like this many times. Whether it’s stalling, questioning every line call, or like the example presented above, we all need to learn how to handle gamesmanship that leads to on-court meltdowns and ultimately the match.

The trick is to tame your own game and not get caught up in your opponent’s behavior. If your game begins to weaken because of gamesmanship or cheating, try these strategies that will help you win more matches against players who don’t deserve them.

1. Focus on Now. When you begin to feel frustrated, you have to forget the points of the past and regain your concentration. Take your time before points, and image the point that you are about to play.

Breathing before and after points will prevent you from rushing and you may even irritate your opponent. While playing the point, just focus on the ball and don’t let anything distract you.

2. Play Longer Points. If you can get more balls in play, you will have time to build your momentum before hitting a winning shot — or wait for the error that your opponent will make. More than likely, if you are frustrated with your opponent, you will feel rushed and try to go for an amazing winner. Just wait a little bit longer and you will see results.

3. Don’t Ask “Are You Sure?” If you know your opponent is cheating, don’t ask, “Are you sure?” When cheaters cheat, they choose to call balls out that are so close to the line that they can get away with it. And if you did call a good ball out, would you like to face the crowd and admit your lie? I don’t think so.

Maybe ask it once or twice to make sure they know that you know they are cheating, but don’t embarrass yourself. Instead, ask an umpire to watch the match. Your opponent will then know you are serious.

4. Know it Goes Both Ways. Even though I wrote this article because as a junior, I was so frustrated with all the little cheaters out there, I have probably given my share of bad calls. You don’t have to argue about every single close ball. You may be wrong, but don’t sit there without action.

And don’t be a jerk about it either, because it will just make it worse. Tell your opponent directly, or try the methods I have listed above, and you will see fewer losses to cheaters and players you have worked hard to beat.

Related posts:

Did Serena Williams Deserve What She Got?
Dealing With Gamesmanship And Mind Games
Example Of How Tough Tennis Can Be On The Mind
How To Avoid Playing Short Balls Under Pressure
Tennis Retrievers: “Pushing” it Over the Limit

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Trained Tennis Players And The Rest Of Us
Thursday, July 21st, 2011
I just played in the National Tournament (for club players) in the over 50s age group.

I had the bad luck of playing the #1 seed – who is actually one of the top 3 players in the world in this age group.

But I am a 3.5/4.0 player and my opponent beat me easily. She made few mistakes. My best serves were not good enough & there was no apparent way to get to the net. She won 0 & 0.

I am not sure what I learned from this experience. It felt humiliating? Embarrassing? Playing the top seed in front of a crowd of her friends and other players etc.

So tomorrow I have a consolation match against a mortal – someone I might normally be competitive with.

Any advice on recovering from the shell shock of playing the #1 seed and pulling together an aggressive game for tomorrow? I am trying to remember why I was excited to enter this tournament. (more…)

Posted in Mental Tennis | 5 Comments »

How To Break Opponent’s Zone Play
Thursday, June 30th, 2011
Sometimes your opponent will enter the zone and play their best tennis which will be at much higher level than they usually play on.

The recent win of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga over Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarter-finals was a great example of that.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeats Roger Federer in Wimbledon 2011 QF
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeats Roger Federer in Wimbledon 2011 QF (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Once Tsonga was 2 sets to love down, he felt he had nothing to lose. He started to go for shots and was not afraid to miss.

He simply entered the zone and Federer was unable to take him out of the zone.

Actually, in my opinion Federer never tried to break Tsonga’s zone and I am not sure he even knows that such an approach exists. (more…)

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Alexander Claussen | How To Play Better Tennis – Tips From A Professional Tennis Coach

Archive for the ‘Alexander Claussen’ Category
Handling Cheating and Gamesmanship In Tennis
Monday, December 1st, 2008
by Alexander Claussen

You and your opponent just walked out on the court. You warm-up, and the match starts. You start off the match with an error in the net, and a “C’mon, right here,” rings in your ears. You let it go. Next point, your opponent says loudly the same phrase just as you begin your ball toss. You double-fault.

It is one thing if your opponent is trying to pump himself up, but I don’t think this is the case. During the many years of my playing of tennis, I have encountered players whose strategies heavily rely on this concept, gamesmanship (and cheating too).

And of all the cases I have encountered, it wasn’t the actual acts of gamesmanship that won the match, but the overreaction of the victim player.

If you are an active player, you’ve probably experienced players like this many times. Whether it’s stalling, questioning every line call, or like the example presented above, we all need to learn how to handle gamesmanship that leads to on-court meltdowns and ultimately the match.

(more…)

Posted in Alexander Claussen, Mental Tennis | 1 Comment »

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About me | How To Play Better Tennis – Tips From A Professional Tennis Coach

About me
Tomaz MencingerHi, my name is Tomaz Mencinger and I come from Slovenia.

I’ve been in the tennis field for the last 20 years and have shared many of my ideas on my primary website TennisMindGame.com.

You’ll find a more detailed “about me” page there.

Since English is not my first language my posts might not be grammatically perfect, but I hope I can still provide you with valuable tennis tips and instruction.

I currently live in Slovenia and teach private lessons and do mental coaching.

You can also connect with me at Google Plus: Tomaz Mencinger+

If you want to contact me, please use the form below

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How To Play Better Tennis -Tips From A Professional Tennis Coach

Roger’s 70th Win In A 100th Final
November 27th, 2011

Roger Federer did it again – winning the year end masters tournament for the 6th time. He had to beat Jo Wilfried Tsonga for the third time in 3 weeks to confirm his supremacy over Jo.

Roger Federer winning 6th ATP World Tour Finals title / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK
Roger Federer winning 6th ATP World Tour Finals title / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK

I followed the match and did my usual analysis but there’s nothing spectacular to report except that all sets were decided in flashes of brilliance of both players. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Roger Federer | 3 Comments »

What do Steve Jobs and Novak Djokovic Have in Common?
November 1st, 2011
Steve JobsThe last month has witnessed the loss of an icon in the computing industry. Today everyone is directly affected by Steve Jobs in one way or another.

Many people across the world have used iTunes at some point and many of us have ipods, ipads and/or iphones.

But there is an interesting lesson for those of us who play tennis here.

What is less well known, is that Steve Jobs had very few computer programming or assembly skills. You could call this a weakness but his strength was an incredible strength.

In his autobiography, he is described as having magical thinking. He would actually think of things that no one else would. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Arturo’s Tips | 4 Comments »

Tennis Through The Eyes Of A 14 Year Old
October 21st, 2011
This is a guest post by Tom who loves the game of tennis and is sharing his views on tennis on his blog tomthetennisblogger.blogspot.com/.

————————————————

My name is Tom Hutchinson and I am a 14 year old Tennis enthusiast who is hungry to gain knowledge in the art of Tennis.

My story starts when I am 11, when I first got exposed to tennis. At this time I was a keen long distance runner and had an interest in badminton.

Looking back now it was quite funny thinking that when I saw people playing tennis I would try and pick out how people were hitting the ball subconsciously. Back then though I thought that Badminton was the best racket sport.

Gradually after many times at lunch looking over the tennis courts at my local sports centre I decided I wanted to learn a little bit more about the sport.

The first time I really watched Tennis was the Australian Open in 2008. Ever since that tournament I have been a tennis addict and a huge enthusiast for the sport. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Tennis Online | 4 Comments »

Novak Djokovic And His Domination Of Federer And Nadal
September 13th, 2011
Novak Djokovic’s amazing run continues with his fourth career Grand Slam title at the US Open and his 64-2 match record in 2011.

Novak Djokovic at the 2011 US Open
Novak Djokovic at the 2011 US Open (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

He was lucky though – but that’s what happens often in some players’ best years.

Here are my thoughts on the semifinals and finals of the US Open 2011…

Semifinals: Novak Djokovic – Roger Federer 6-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5

I think that two first two sets Federer asserted himself mentally especially in Novak’s mind.

Federer is a legend and he has beaten Novak many times in the past. In fact he ended his run at Roland Garros this year which was simply incredible when you consider Novak’s level of play at that period in the year.

So Novak has huge respect for Federer and I believe that held him back in the first two sets. He lost them in the mind when he faced a legend and saw him play his best tennis.

He didn’t feel that he was equal and that’s the small difference in the mindset that makes a big difference in the end result. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Novak Djokovic | 21 Comments »

The Difference Between Hard Court Tennis And Clay Court Tennis
July 23rd, 2011
Q: Dear Tomaz, some time ago I bought your books and I really enjoy them.

I am writing to ask you some tips because I am getting really frustrated.

I recently moved from the US to Italy. Before moving I was playing the best tennis of my life.

I was able to battle playing against 5.0 guys.

My game is very aggressive from the baseline. Big forehand. Solid 1 handed backhand (mainly topspin).

Since I moved to Italy I have no choice but to play on red clay. And this transition from hard court to clay is killing me.

I lose with players I should take easily. But for some reason my tennis is going down the drain.

I think I need a plan to react but I am not yet able to clearly analyze my problems. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Tennis Strategy | 9 Comments »

Trained Tennis Players And The Rest Of Us
July 21st, 2011
I just played in the National Tournament (for club players) in the over 50s age group.

I had the bad luck of playing the #1 seed – who is actually one of the top 3 players in the world in this age group.

But I am a 3.5/4.0 player and my opponent beat me easily. She made few mistakes. My best serves were not good enough & there was no apparent way to get to the net. She won 0 & 0.

I am not sure what I learned from this experience. It felt humiliating? Embarrassing? Playing the top seed in front of a crowd of her friends and other players etc.

So tomorrow I have a consolation match against a mortal – someone I might normally be competitive with.

Any advice on recovering from the shell shock of playing the #1 seed and pulling together an aggressive game for tomorrow? I am trying to remember why I was excited to enter this tournament. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Mental Tennis | 5 Comments »

Novak Djokovic – Rafael Nadal Wimbledon 2011 Match Analysis
July 3rd, 2011
Novak Djokovic has set another milestone in his fantastic year of 2011 – he beat Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon 2011 final and justified his new #1 ranking.

Novak Djokovic wins the Wimbledon 2011
Novak Djokovic wins the Wimbledon 2011 (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Let’s see what happened in match and where Nole got the better of Rafa…

First set

Djokovic started his service games with extra special care when he was bouncing the ball before the serve. It seemed too deliberate too me – since that’s not his usual rhythm.

And when you ‘re not looking to find your usual rhythm, you’ll also have troubles finding the zone. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Wimbledon | 17 Comments »

How To Break Opponent’s Zone Play
June 30th, 2011
Sometimes your opponent will enter the zone and play their best tennis which will be at much higher level than they usually play on.

The recent win of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga over Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarter-finals was a great example of that.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeats Roger Federer in Wimbledon 2011 QF
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeats Roger Federer in Wimbledon 2011 QF (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Once Tsonga was 2 sets to love down, he felt he had nothing to lose. He started to go for shots and was not afraid to miss.

He simply entered the zone and Federer was unable to take him out of the zone.

Actually, in my opinion Federer never tried to break Tsonga’s zone and I am not sure he even knows that such an approach exists. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Mental Tennis | 4 Comments »

Nadal – Federer Grand Slam Final #8 – And Win #6 For Rafa
June 8th, 2011
Rafael Nadal scored another win in the Grand Slam finals against Roger Federer with the recent win at the Roland Garros 2011.

Rafael Nadal beats Roger Federer in Roland Garros 2011 Final
Rafael Nadal beats Roger Federer in Roland Garros 2011 Final (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

Nadal now leads 6-2 in the Grand Slam finals against Federer.

The question that many ponder is what would have happened if Federer won the first set.

He was a break up and missed a drop shot by a centimeter at a set point which would have given him a 6-2 first set. That would surely send a very strong message to both players.

Federer would really start to believe that he has a chance. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer | 11 Comments »

3 Shot Combinations That Helped Li Na Win Roland Garros 2011
June 4th, 2011
Li Na of China won her first Grand Slam title today by beating Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-4, 7-6 in the Roland Garros final.

Li Na wins Roland Garros 2011
Li Na wins Roland Garros 2011 / Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Li Na played her usual game with relatively flat and fast groundstrokes which keep her opponents under pressure but she used three shot combinations that I think made the difference.

1. Serve to the forehand of Francesca
Francesca perfers to play her forehand more than her backhand so most opponents keeps serving to her backhand.

She expects serves to backhand more and Li Na surprised her quite a few times with a serve to the forehand – especially on the advantage side. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in French Open | 4 Comments »

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