When Serena Williams loses, we should all rejoice. And more so when the loss comes as she is heading for a major achievement.
Serena is so wrapped up in herself that she was describing the calendar Grand Slam which she was trying to achieve as a “Serena Slam”. Can anyone be more egotistical?
Thankfully for all humanity, an Italian player by the name of Flavia Pennetta got in the way of Serena’s ambitions and dumped her from the US Open.
We should be all the more grateful to Pennetta because if she had not thrashed Serena, then the latter would have equalled the record of the great Steffi Graf. And that should never happen.
Williams is an obnoxious individual, as bad as the Australian Nick Kyrgios.
On the other hand, it would be difficult to find a more gracious champion than Graf. For years the German dominated women’s tennis but never behaved as though winning was her right.
In 1988, Graf thrashed Russian Natasha Zvereva 6-0, 6-0 in the final of the French Open in 34 minutes – the shortest and most one-side Grand Slam final on record. And Zvereva had beaten Martina Navratilova en route to the final!
Yet Graf was low-key at the presentation. She did not laud it over Zvereva, she did not indulge in triumphalism. One shudders to think of the way Serena would have carried on in such a situation.
Serena is often said to be one of the better women’s tennis players of the modern era. That may well be true. But she is also an ugly example of American arrogance, someone who can never be wrong, someone who carries a chip on her shoulder that is even bigger than her behind (and the latter does take some beating).
In 2011, when Williams met Australian Samantha Stosur in the final of the US Open, she was soundly beaten – but made her own news by behaving like a buffoon.
When she was rightly penalised for shouting during a point, Williams unleashed a tirade of abuse against the referee.
She has form in this regard. In 2009, she abused a Chinese lineswoman in racial terms. She was on the losing end that time too.
Whenever she is asked about her ugly behaviour, Williams always has the same excuse – she was in the “zone”. Whatever that is. She claims that she cannot remember what she did. It serves as an excuse for the vilest displays of bad behaviour.
But American officials always go easy on her. Perhaps they are scared that she will play the race card if she is levied a fine that is proportional to her stupid outbursts. For her outburst in 2009, she was fined a pathetic $US10,500. In 2011, she was asked to pay $US2000.
Such fines are not a deterrent. Williams earned $US1.4 million from the US Open in 2011. When officialdom reacts in this way, it is practically inviting her to behave in a similar fashion in the future.