Google Down the Line!: (UPDATED) PHOTO OP: Serena loses her mind...then the match

Saturday, September 12, 2009

(UPDATED) PHOTO OP: Serena loses her mind...then the match

Serena Williams lost her US Open crown on a second code violation and a point penalty on match point ultimately falling 6-4, 7-5 in the semifinals to Kim Clijsters. The Belgian lady baller will face first time finalist Caroline Wozniacki, who dismissed Yanina Wickmayer 6-3, 6-3, in the final tomorrow.

An irate ReRe had already broken her racquet at the end of the first set (earning the first code violation) and, after being called for a foot fault after delivering a second serve at 15-30, she lost it berating and cursing at the linesperson for the call and then receiving the penalty.

Check out her post-match presser here. More updates tomorrow.

And to think we still have the boys' semis to go.

What a tourney.

Kimmie's presser transcript here.

In case you missed it, here's the vid.

UPDATE #3: The New York Times' article on the incident -

Reporters who were courtside said that Williams approached the line judge and they heard Williams shout profanity at her. Holding a ball, Williams said to the lineswoman that “you don’t know me,” appearing to inject it with profanity. Then Williams added that the linewoman was lucky that Williams was not, according to The Miami Herald, “shoving this ball down your throat.”

Bad timing on the call for sure but ReRe's reaction and language towards the linesperson were completely unacceptable.

UPDATE #4: Possible suspension and/or fine for ReRe currently being discussed. Still developing.

UPDATE #5: She'll be fined $10,500 - $10,000 for the incident and $500 for racquet abuse. An investigation has been opened to see if additional fines should be levied. Her statement below along with WTA CEO Stacy Allaster...


Last night everyone could truly see the passion I have for my job. Now that I have had time to gain my composure, I can see that while I don't agree with the unfair line call, in the heat of battle I let my passion and emotion get the better of me and as a result handled the situation poorly. I would like to thank my fans and supporters for understanding that I am human and I look forward to continuing the journey, both professionally and personally, with you all as I move forward and grow from this experience.


Serena is a great player who has done so much for our sport and I am certain she will continue to be a role model to millions of young women who want to play the game and excel as Serena has done. As a role model, it's important for a leader like Serena to step forward and recognize her behavior last night was unacceptable, and I believe that her statement earlier today is an acknowledgement of her responsibility to her fans.

(Photo: Getty)


  1. the official website got a little confused amid all the drama -

  2. Was somebody from the official website watching the match? LOL
    The foot fault call on match point may have been unnecessary, but Serena, you've brought this on yourself, girl. She said to the lineswoman, "I'm going to shove this ball down your throat". Go Kim!

  3. So before people start raggin on Serena, she totally admits that she should of handled it better AND that kimmie played better. I thought everything that happened was somewhat unecessary and somewhat understandable, but overall bad timing. Serena was just not prepared today

  4. Serena's tirade was unacceptable but totally understandable. She didnt' foot fault, it was a crap call but the real damage was the timing. I can't believe that lineswoman made that (totally incorrect) call at such a crucial moment. Also, I don't think point penalties should be given on match point for something like a footfault maybe they should just replay the point or something of the sort.

    Kim got robbed too. She didn't get to enjoy her victory. Oh well, I totally hope she wins tomorrow.

  5. Sara, you just don't twist the rules, it doesn't matter if it was a crucial point or match point. So do you think players should be free from foot faults even on match points? So they're free to break whatever rule they want?

    And you have no proof that the lineswoman made an incorrect call. The replay doesn't show whether Serena stepped on the line before the her racket hit the ball. We have no evidence to prove that she's wrong, neither or the proof that she's right. But she's a lineswoman -- do you honestly think Serena knows whether her feet touched the line better than someone who's staring at her feet?

  6. Were you able to watch it live, Rich?

  7. Either way, I am going to sleep soundly tonight knowing that the Serena curse is still alive and well. Knowing that she'll have two slams to defend next year, I think she's getting scared. >;)

    I believe Maria, Kimmie, and the younguns are smelling blood + the impending retirement of the Williams sisters.

  8. Serena is crazy!!!

    I shit my paints in my house, now imagine that little asian judge!!!
    OH GOD, her life pass in her eyes!!!!

    Best match point ever!!!

  9. The whole thing left me speechless.

    I can't believe this slam isn't over yet. lol I feel like the daily dose of drama is going to age me twenty years...

  10. The idea that there is some absolute sanctity to rules in tennis and that's why the foot fault just had to be called is laughable. Players are supposed to take 20 seconds between points, too. How often is that called? And who would call it if it meant setting up match point?

    The foot fault was marginal if it existed at all and should not have been called. In fact, I don't think that linesperson should work again. However, what Serena did was completely outside the bounds of modern on-court conduct and she deserved the point penalty. A horrendous ending to a great match.

  11. The foot fault IS necessary, no matter how marginal we think it is. A few centimeters on that baseline can mean the difference between a valid 129 m/h serve by Serena OR a weaker serve/double fault. And the 20 second rule, I hardly think that it's violated at all. The players will usually go over time when there is a distraction, like when winds blow debris/paper, planes fly by, or if people in the audience are making unnecessary noises/movements.

    Serena of course was obviously frustrated because Kim got everything back and she probably knows at the back of her mind that she can't beat her.

  12. Foot fault call is necessary because it is only to fair to the player who is receiving the serve. If a foot fault is not called and the server makes an Ace, then it not be fair. A rule is a rule, and it was created to preserve the fairness of the game.

    Serena lost the match. Not by default, but by losing the last point for unsportman like conduct. It is equivalent to a double fault, or to hitting the point in the net. There is no question or what-if etc. She lost it.

  13. Sad end to a terrific match. I feel badly for Serena. She succumbed to the tension and pressure.

  14. LOL Lays Guerrrero!!
    Serena says that she didn't tell the lineswoman she would kill her. But shoving a ball down the woman's throat and killing her --is the same thing, right??
    Anyways trust Serena to provide some entertainment and gossip this US open.:P

  15. I think if it had been another player there wouldn't have been such a fuss about it but it's a Williams and "omg!" it's Serena so people (not here though) act as if she committed a murder or she lost her temper, big deal! Have you seen McEnroe or Roddick? I'm not saying she was right but anyone does/says stupid/irrational things in the heat of the moment. It's too bad that it had to end that way but congrats to Kim, she was the better player and deserves to be in the final. (sorry for the mistakes, I'm not English or American)

  16. This is the real Serena Williams. She should have been suspended from tennis for threatening Maria Jose Sanchez Martinez in the third round of the French Open, when Senera told her: "I'm going to get you in a locker room for that" becaue Martinez wouldn't agree that she lost a point Serena believed she won.

    It doesn't matter if you agree with the foot fault call. Civilized adults don't go around threatening violence against others - this is the second time Serena did it in two Grand Slams.

    She needs to be suspended for awhile. What a disgrace.

  17. Obviously Kim outplayed Serena and deserved to win. Congrats to her for an amazing run!

    That said, however, I agree with Craig Hickman's assessment after this year's French Open that this [US Open incident] seems to be another Williams Sister Slam match where another curious incident in which one of the sisters is robbed of a point. I don't know if he thinks this is in the same league but here's what he has said during the French Open and I end to agree with it:
    Curious coincidence. Notice the pattern:

    2003: In a semifinal match at Roland Garros, Justine Henin raises her hand to say she's not ready, Serena serves a fault and the referee refuses to give Serena a first serve. Serena complains and the crowd completely turns against her. Serena wins the game, but loses the match.

    2004: Umpire Marina Alves calls a point CLEARLY inside the line (on the far side of the court) OUT and awarding the point to Jennifer Capriati in the US Open semifinal match against Serena. [Note: there were about four other points that were badly called against Serena in addition to the one Craig mentions here] Serena loses the match. The clamor for electronic line calling grows and becomes standard within 3 years.

    2004: in a 2nd round match against Karolina Sprem at Wimbledon the umpire called the SCORE incorrectly, awarding Venus' opponent a point she did not earn. Venus loses the match.

    2009: in a 3rd round match against Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, Serena nailed a ball at her opponent at the net on breakpoint down which clearly hit the Spaniard's right arm (in multiple replays) and then her racquet, to go over the net. The umpire awards the point and game to Serena's opponent, over Serena's protests. Serena wins the match.

    These are just the curious incidents that I remember off the top of my head.

    Do people REALLY THINK this has nothing to do with race? Why does this not happen to any other American players? Why is it just Williams sisters, and more often than not Serena especially?


    I find that this US Open incident should be added to that list. Serena did not foot fault at all. And I believe that there needs to be a serious look into electronic/ computerized foot faulting at all major championships where a player can protest the call. I do not believe the official called it right and Serena had no recourse in the match. Regardless of her behavior, Serena was correct that she did not foot fault. As I hear people justify the situation because the rules were being followed--how come the rules don't apply to Nadal or Djokovic when it comes to how long they take between points? Sounds hypocritical of the sport to claim to be by the book when they don't apply the rules evenly. Was Federer given a warning when he smashed his raquet earlier this year in Miami against Djokovic? Is this kind of warning at the sole discretion of the Chair Umpire? There are some matches where players don't get penalized and some where they do--there needs to be automatic standard penalties given that are not subjective.

    Again--I am happy that Clijsters won. She deserved that win! She beat Serena--period. But that call just reminded me of so many bad calls aimed at one of the Williams sisters. There wouldn't have been any incident if the bad call had never been made to begin with.

    Now go KIM! What an amazing story THAT is!

  18. So why was Marat Safin not penalized here with a chair warning like Serena was--she was warned about her racquet earlier in her match with the awesome Kim Clijsters? Why are some players penalized and other not penalized? It feels too subjective to me.

  19. So no apology in her statement. Stay classy, Serena. I hope she'll be fined more money, $10,000 is loose change for her.

  20. Anon 5:54: Because Safin didn't threaten the linesperson, Serena did. And Safin has been fined many times. Conspiracy theories about the Williams sisters are ridiculous. Serena's always been a bully with her opponents. She bullied a lineswoman now and it backfired on her. She deserved to lose that match.

  21. Serena cursed at the lineswoman, was fined because of it, she lost the match, acknowledged Kim's victory but I guess in the mind of a hater it's never enough. And even if she had "apologized" people would still find something to whine about. The whole thing is over now so get over it. (And congratulations to Kim!)

  22. I have always wondered how the Williams sister's feel in a sport where they are clearly TOLERATED. I would really like to know exactlty what they feel deep down inside.
    They are always transformed into beasts that the maidens on the other side have to fear and when the other side wins, it becomes 'Oh I have survived a descent in the jungle.
    It always feels like there is an underlying resentement, a bandwagon that needs to be derailed because one is better without it.
    Anybody losing their cool is not nice to see but the darker a certain tone of something, the same action is seen as a transgration of the land of purity. Enough is enough. Serena has been a long time on the tour, has she ever had such an outburst? and one is

  23. I love it how every time a fan doesn't like someone's opinion they call the other person a "hater". And yes, what Serena did is not enough, she should apologize, with no quotation marks.

  24. what i saw was little asian woman scared of black human. i've seen it before, even from asians that you would think are strong and shouldn't be so easily scared.
    sorry to get into race, it's usually a better idea to paper over it, suck it up and just try to be so superfabulous that it doesn't matter, but sometimes...
    hehe it's personal. deep breath :)

    I just read a comment about "bully." That's a good point. I do the black swagger too, like just to intimidate a little bit. I've been away from the States for a couple of years now so I don't need it. Barack affects a different defense mechanism. Next time you see the black swagger, it doesn't mean they're going to beat you up, they're just trying to carry themselves with dignity and overshooting the mark a bit. I'm soooooo non-violent and so exhausted remembering race-relations and the fact that I'll have to deal with that crap again soon.

  25. Serena does not even have the decency to apologize to the linesperson. And yet this is a woman that is supposed to be a role model for other young tennis players?

    She should have been bounced from the tourney and not be allowed to play her doubles final match.

  26. Sorry, the "bully" thing has nothing to do with race here. I sometimes thinks that Sharapova bullies opponents with her shrieks, and she's not black. Race has nothing to do with what happened here. Serena's brought this on herself. And about the Asian woman, again, race has nothing to do with this. I saw a tiny woman scared of a bigger woman who was motioning ger racquet towards her in a menacing way while telling her that she would "shove this ball down your throat."

  27. I am sorry for my European ignorance in this, since in the USA this whole matter is naturally one where people get sensitive and should so or be so. But as I watched this unfold with my eyes and my upbringing and socialization, what I saw was a sportswoman in a very crucial game situation losing her cool. The rules were clear and she accepted the results. But she didn't appear to be a victim in this. So what I don't get is why people are making her a victim now. It was a matter of really bad timing and unlucky circumstances.
    (My verification word is "rantings". How funny is that?)

  28. I hate the Williams sisters and proud of it.

  29. best comment, Linda. rantings :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...