Wednesday, 17 April 2013


Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Williams is the only player to have achieved a Career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles. Her 30 Grand Slam titles ties her for eighth on the all-time list: 15 in singles, 13 in women's doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles. She is the most recent player, male or female, to have held all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously ('02–'03) and only the fifth 
woman ever to do so. Her total of 15 Grand Slam singles titles is sixth on the all-time list, and fourth in the open era, behind Steffi Graf (22 titles) and Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova (18 titles each). Among active players, male or female, she holds the most Major titles amid singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. She has won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles with her sister Venus Williams and the pair is unbeaten in Grand Slam finals. Serena Williams is also a three time winner of the WTA Tour Championships.
Williams has won four Olympic gold medals, one in women's singles and three in women's doubles.
In the past three to four years, Serena Williams has threatened to shove a ball down a lines woman's throat and threatened a chair umpire during major matches at the U.S. Open. With the recent wave of Serena goodwill that's accompanied her triumphs at Wimbledon and the Olympics, now would be the perfect time to apologize and lay all the controversy to rest.
If you thought that was happening, then you don't know Serena.
The tennis star once again passed up an opportunity to show contrition for her actions, this time in John Jeremiah Sullivan's must-read profile of Serena and her sister, Venus, in The New York Times Magazine.

Sullivan asked Serena about the tirade against lines woman Shino Tsurubuchi in 2009;

"I was definitely stressed, and I was angry. I don't foot-fault. Like, I have in the past, but this woman should never make a call in the semifinals of a Grand Slam on a person who doesn't foot-fault. She was totally wrong. I'm sorry. I'm not sorry. I looked at her like — I tried to warn her. And then she did it again. And I'm thinking, 'This is ridiculous.' "
What Serena fails to mention -- what she always fails to mention -- is that no one criticized her for questioning the foot fault call. They criticized her for threatening to shove the ball down the lineswoman's throat.

Sullivan also asked about the US OPEN final outburst against chair umpire Eva Asderaki:

"Like last year I got a point penalty because of a grunt. Meanwhile, I can name five girls who grunt way louder than I do and the umpire didn't even give them a warning. And then I had the ball called out that was this far in. It's always something. I'm thinking, already, something's gonna happen this year at the Open. I'm just thinking, 'Serena, say your prayers, fall on your knees.' It's frustrating, because it's my home country, you're playing for the home, but it's like, the way the umpires have been makes me not want to play there. I'd rather play in Australia, or I'd rather play at Wimbledon."
Again, Serena waves her hand over here (bringing up the confusing hindrance rule that ignores grunting) to distract from what's going on over here (raging against a chair umpire in a U.S. Open final).
Here's what she told USA Today's Doug Robson in 2011 about the foot fault tirade:
"What I did was totally uncalled for and unnecessary and you know, bratty and whatever. I apologized. But I told her I need an apology, too, because I didn't foot fault."

She dialed it back with those quotes, but notice the parsing. She never gives an outright apology and instead refers to one we didn't hear.
Serena isn't sorry. And she's not going to say she's sorry if she doesn't mean it. That, at least, is respectable. Serena could easily avoid the outburst question in every major interview if she'd allow herself some false contrition. She refuses. Yet in trying not to be phony, she comes off as exactly that because she's forced to defend actions that are indefensible. She's both true to herself and a hypocrite, an open book and an enigma.

For better or worse, that's Serena Williams.


  1. Serena the is a legend! Controversy or not.