US Open

OPINION: Disgraced Serena's false claims

2018-09-10 08:41
Serena Williams
Serena Williams (AP)

Cape Town - As though her actions were not bad enough, Serena Williams' shame has now been aggravated by the unsupported claim that umpire Carlos Ramos' action against her crude and hysterical behaviour during the humbling 6-2, 6-4 defeat against Japan's ebullient, 20-year-old Naomi Osaka in the US Open women's final at Flushing Meadows on Saturday was sexist motivated.

READ: Mother of all meltdowns... Did Serena overstep the mark?

"It could never have been directed at a male player," exploded Williams afterwards and echo again on CNN TV - yet John McEnroe was in fact disqualified from the Australian Open in 1990 for his behaviour in a fourth round game against Sweden's Mikael Pernfors, while the disgraced 36-year-old icon of women's tennis was penalised one game only in accordance with the entrenched rules of the tournament.

And as renowned author HL Mencken once proclaimed in explaining Williams' ranting and raving: "Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings more is justice."
Williams, despite her awesome record of 23 Grand Slam singles titles, has an extended record of apparently pursuing a behaviour course that permits her to behave in a different and more coarse manner on the court than others.

She called Ramos "a thief and a liar." Among other insults, for following the rules of first issuing her with a warning for the admitted attempts of her coach to influence her performance; then handing out a penalty point when she smashed her racquet to smithereens as the bitter prospect of defeat beckoned and finally penalising her a game for her unbecoming insults.

And despite this, a rabid 14 000 crowd made up overwhelmingly of Williams' fans booed the unfortunate and impeccable Ramos for doing his job properly instead by making exceptions for Williams because of who she was.

Then officials of the WTA and the United States Tennis Association pandered further to Williams' whims by largely ignoring her outburst and actually praising her at an untimely moment for her admirable contributions to tennis over a lengthy period - which no one has doubted - instead of dishing out an additional hefty fine for her outburst.

As to Williams' red herring sexist claim, it should be pointed out that 23 male players have been fined for behaviour violations in the current US Open against 10 women - among whom her own $17 000 fine is totally inadequate in view of the $1.85 million she has received as a beaten finalist.

And while finally after she had cooled down offering conditional praise to the contrastingly faultlessly-behaved Osaka, Williams never went as far as conceding that an infinitely better player on the day had beaten her.

Williams was under additional pressure because of the knowledge that a victory against Osaka would have meant equalling Margaret Court's all-time recording of 24 Grand Slam women's singles titles - and then having the dream shattered against probably all expectations.

But the most regrettable result of the traumatic occasion that will now forever be tarnished with notoriety, is that Osaka's masterly display will be underscored, with attention heaped on the villain of the piece instead of the hero!

ALSO READ: WTA chief backs Serena as 'sexism' row grows

Read more on:    wta tour  |  us open  |  serena williams  |  naomi osaka  |  tennis


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