Saturday, September 12, 2009

Serena Williams Threatens Line Judge, Is Disqualified From Match

Whoa, scary Serena!

After losing a point on a questionable foot fault call, Serena thought about it for a moment, and then walked over to the lineswoman and threatened to shove a tennis ball down her throat. With a few choice f-bombs sprinkled in for good measure. While brandishing her raquet in a threatening manner.

She then walked back to serve, match point down, but decided it would be better to approach the lineswoman again. After another threatening tirade, the tournament director was summoned to the court to solve the dispute.

There wasn't much to solve. Serena had already received a code violation for smashing a racquet. The rules dictate that the next code violation results in a disqualification, even if you're Serena Williams.

Disqualifications in a Grand Slam tournament are rare. It only happens every 20 years or so. John McEnroe was disqualified from the Australian Open in 1990, and Willie Alvarez of Spain was qualified at the 1963 French Open.

The more interesting debate here is the way players deal with anger. Serena is heads and shoulders above the entire women's field, but when she finds herself being pushed by a contender, she doesn't always react well. She's loathe to credit her opponents when they beat her. She wears obnoxious t-shirts to press conferences with statements like “Can’t spell dynasty without nasty.”

In her post-match interview, I didn't hear Serena apologize for her threatening outburst, or even acknowledge that she was out of line. She reminded us what a passionate person she was, and told us John McEnroe was her favorite player.

She wasn't wearing her "Dynasty" shirt, however.

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