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September 14th, 2009
10:39 AM ET

Serena Williams' tennis outburst under review

A profanity-laced outburst by tennis superstar Serena Williams could cost her a lot more than originally thought. Williams has already been hit with a $10,000 fine for swearing and waving her racquet at a line judge. She was also fined an additional $500 for racquet abuse when she threw her racquet and broke it earlier in the match.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/14/wertheim.art.jpg caption="Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated calls Serena Williams' outburst unprecedented."]

The incident with the line judge occurred after she was called on a foot fault in the semifinals of this weekend’s U.S. Open. If officials decide Williams committed a major offense under the Grand Slam rules, she could lose all of her prize money and maybe even suspended from a future Grand Slam event.

Jon Wertheim has been covering the U.S. Open for Sports Illustrated where he's the senior tennis writer. He joined John Roberts on CNN’s “American Morning” Monday. Below is an edited transcript of the interview.

John Roberts: Have you ever seen anything like this?

Jon Wertheim: Not like that. And certainly not from Serena. We've seen players lose it with officials but to get that close and threaten like that. Also, at that stage – a Grand Slam semifinal. That was unprecedented as far as I’ve seen.

Roberts: There is no clear angle that I have seen on the foot fault. Apparently that line judge, though, she's very good. She's very confident in the calls that she makes. Serena had been called for a foot fault a couple – three games earlier on the other side of the court by a different line judge. If it was an infraction, it was a minor one. She wasn’t a foot into the court or anything like that. Maybe she touched the line. Looking at it, John McEnroe said you don't call something like that at that point in the game. It was 15-30 with Serena serving, and she touched the line. Should that even have been called?

Wertheim: I mean, you know, in a perfect world it never happens, but I don't think you can waive off infractions. You get on slippery terrain pretty quickly when you make calls or don't make calls based on where you are in the match. I mean, you're either over the line or not. Unfortunately, you wish one way or the other there was conclusive video. It was a pretty shaky call, but that in no way excuses what followed.

Roberts: You see her when she's serving up the second serve there she lifts the toe of her left foot, does it wander over onto the line? It’s really unclear. In the press conference afterwards, which you were at, she didn't say whether or not she actually foot faulted. She said maybe I did. She didn't apologize but talked about the encounter between her and the line judge.

She said, “I think she said I would kill you and I was like what? I was like wait a minute. But then I had misheard, she had never said that. That was just something - I was like whoa. I was like wait a minute. Let's not, because I'm not that way.”

Maybe she didn't say “I'm going to kill you,” but what she did apparently say, because we've seen it on camera, “I swear I [expletive] want to take this ball and shove it down your [expletive] throat.” You were at that presser. What did you think of her appearance?

Wertheim: She had calmed down considerably, which is good. But you would have liked to see a little more contrition. This was a pretty big violation. … This was way over the line. Serena had calmed down and was even sort of joking about it but not a whole lot of apology. That was disappointing.

Roberts: John McEnroe, famous as one of the bad boys of tennis when he was playing, said you can't defend the indefensible. Look at what McEnroe has done over the years. I was reviewing an old match that he had with Lendl and the umpire called an ace and McEnroe comes over and there's so many expletives coming out of his mouth it’s really unsuitable for television. He was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. What's the difference between the way he behaved and how Serena behaved on Saturday night?

Wertheim: He faced consequences. I don’t think there’s a double standard here where people turned a blind eye. Also, I don't recall John McEnroe approaching the official and making a physical threat like that.

Roberts: So what do you think is going to happen? Sportscaster Mary Carillo was mocking the fine that was assessed to her. She says she could be suspended from the game, at least suspended from a Grand Slam event. What do you think?

Wertheim: I think maybe there's a creative solution. I mean, a fine is going to be silly no matter what. She'll make $500,000 this tournament alone. $10,000 is chopping money. By the same token, she's done an awful lot of good for the sport. We've seen players whack balls at fans in anger and not be suspended. I think a suspension is hard to justify. But there’s got to be another alternative there. Clearly, this needs to go punished but I think there are options other than a fine or suspension.

Roberts: She has new book coming out this week, "On the Line." She's supposed to be here on Wednesday to chat about that, so we'll see if she makes it. Hopefully we'll get her side of the story.


Filed under: Sports
soundoff (522 Responses)
  1. M

    If the US Open takes back any of her prize money from this tournament, then they should have to refund the tickets for every person who bought passes to see her play. It's ridiculous how much they play up drama during their ads to sell airtime and tickets, and then suddenly "fine" or threaten to take back prize money from their stars.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  2. MR.R

    Give it a rest you hot heads who want her suspended "indefinitely" or even at all for that matter. As the article said, it was a very intense situation for Serena before the foot fault was called. She was no doubt frustrated already. Add to that, a highly questionable call at a very crucial point. Have none of you guys ever lost your cool in a place where you probably shouldn't have. No was assualted. No one threw anything. Give her the fine and have her make a donation to a charity. She's already likely to lose an endorsement or two. Cut her some slack...nobody can be perfect all the time. Now...as for that idiot lines-woman.... I'm not sure how long she's been certified or if she's ever called lines in a match of this magnitude, but there is a great deal of subjectivity in calling foot faults. You have to HEAR the racquet hit the ball and SEE the foot touch the line (you can't watch both simultaneously). The acoustics and background noise in a stadium like that – even 20-30 feet away – could change the timing of when a person hears a sound. Has her hearing been tested, has she had an eye exam lately? Perhaps if the tournament had prepped they're lines-people better, none of this would have happened. And if they did train their people with these things in mind, then the lines-person should be suspended until she is retrained and passes proper tests.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  3. Matt Miller

    Money! Competition! Winning and Losing!
    Does one want to 'feel' anger?
    I watch, because I appreciate the shots!
    Many parts of our society are based on the wrong ethos!

    PS The default camera angle from above sucks !
    And the camera angle from 'knee high' ?
    What's wrong with a head high camera?

    PPS A foot fault replay would solve this tiny issue 🙂

    September 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  4. wally

    Serena think she is the Queen but she is a looser , suspension for a year at least and do not allow her to play again the US Open, She is a very bad role model!!!!! for our kids and feature players.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  5. Race is still an issue!

    Roger September 14th, 2009 12:33 pm ET

    There is a misunderstanding the John McEnroe routinely threatened the judges. He swore at them and generally acted badly, but he did not directly threaten the judges. If he had, he would have gotten the ban that Serena deserves.
    ----------

    Just like someone wanted to post before. Swearing, outbursts, etc., can be considered terrorist threats... So go do more research on the bad boy of tennis!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  6. JGP

    Her conduct was unbecoming and her lack of an apology during her post press conference was disappointing. I do hope that she personally apologizes to the lines woman/judge and has learned something from this. I also hope that this incident is not spun into a "race issue". Contrary to her father's popular belief, the Williams sisters have many, many Caucasian fans across the world. She is a great champion and deserves a second chance.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  7. Marc

    A suspension is required. These kind of actions (from anyone) should never be tolerated. As a professional, she should learn how to deal with stressful situations in a more dignified and respectable manner. Her actions were an embarassement to herself, her family, and most anyone else who veiwed her outburst. Anyone saying it was acceptable is a disgrace to our society for thinking that way.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  8. chris jackson

    What a MESS!! The issue is there was no Foot Fault !!! Thats what you should be looking at? It should of shown an review of it, just going on her saying fault was not enough for me. I dont feel she threated the woman either. Racism still exist I see. All you had to do was show the replay and I bet that would of solved it all in a NUT shell.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  9. Vijay

    An american girl playing in front of American crowd – but her opponent routinely gets a lot more support than when a foreigner plays a white american opponent. And then a local line judge makes critical wrong calls at wrong time – who wouldn't get frustrated at that?

    Mary Carrillo – She never had any thing good to say about Williams Sisters. Whenever she opens her mouth – I mute my TV.

    My read as a neutral (I am brown) observer is – Not many white american tennis fans like Williams sisters. The obvious reason I can see is that hey happen to be BLACK and confident.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  10. Please

    Frank –

    "We" have got to come out of our close of racism?

    Maybe that will start to begin as soon as "you" get rid of:

    Congressional Black Caucus
    Black History Month
    Black Hair Magazine
    Jet Magazine
    Miss Black USA Pageant
    Black Family Reunion Day
    all-black colleges
    Black Student Union
    Black Voices in America (on AOL)
    There are dozens more.

    Also, when "you" are charged with a crime or doing something wrong, not whine the word "racism" when "you" know you did it.

    And being as important an event as this match was, I hardly believe the judges weren't the best.

    Can we say "Kanye" West? Could he have been jealous because a "black" female didn't win the award? In most people's eye, he has been trash and that will certainly be the proof now.

    I am beginning to read everyday now where a "popular" black (sports figure) has committed a crime. Why is that? Or is it just "racism" also? Snicker, snicker!

    I live in a county that is predominantly White, but there are very few murders and crime around my county. Next door, there is a city and State with a predominantly black population and there are hundreds - yes hundreds - of murders and crimes every year. Would you care to explain that?

    September 14, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  11. Race is still an issue!

    race card September 14th, 2009 12:26 pm ET

    OK, if you want to bring the race card, how about asking these questions:

    1) Could Serena be racist against Asians? Has anyone investigated her past?

    2) If the line judge had been black and looked like her mom, would she still have cursed at her and physically threatened her?

    Who’s racist now?
    ---------------

    What's your point? None of your questions have any legitimate answers. They are just speculation and there is enough reported about how Serena grew up and trained that make your questions moot!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  12. Gabriel

    Why is everyone surprised? It's been going on for awhile........bad-mouthing/interrupting President's.........Bush and now Obama......did anyone think that because Bush left office that good manners would previal once again. Remember......you reep what you sow.......shoe throwing at Bush in Iraq? That wasn't an insult at Bush; it was in insult at the United States people. Get a grip and realize that ALL actions; good or bad at Americans; even by Americans at Americans......let's others know what they can or can not get away with.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  13. Kim

    She should be suspended...money is nothing to her, for to threaten a line judge is unacceptable. I don't care how much she has done for this sport! Acting like a spoiled brat and using language like that on the court is just UNACCEPTABLE!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  14. Lakshmi

    What is this hue and cry about Serena's behavior? yes. she over reacted- so what? She was fighting to stay alive in the match. Kim had 6 games and Serena had 5 games. She would have recovered, gone all the way to be the champion. She posed no threat to the silly idiot line judege, chair umpire or anyone for that matter. They all over reacted and robbed Serena of her champioship. Racket abuse-violation number one-what non sense-through out the match men and women were smashing the racket-nobody was penalized. Why Serena? Double standardness. Even the sweet hear Melanie Oudin smashed her racket. Women cannot stand another woman's success especially if happens to be a black woman. racism is still alive and well in this country. If I were Serena I would not play again in US open.You have no good tennis players in the USA apart from Willia sisters. leave Serena alone. She has done so much for Tennis. To err is human. The organizers should dismiss the line judge. She is responsible for the whole unhappy episode.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  15. dave

    Yea, go ahead and suspend the only attraction tennis has. Im sure people will still watch. (Well at least every besides America) RLMAO!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  16. Keith

    She lost herself in the moment. At a press conference, it’s easy to be yourself—in an intensively physical game, anybody could loose control from time-to-time. Especially when your one of the best in the world, I’m sure the pressure is unreal.

    Luckily for me, I’ve heard much worse in my life, and I find it rather easy to explain human nature to my children. Btw, tennis owes a lot to Serena and her sister for a marketing standpoint. I think a fine and short suspension will be fine.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  17. MEC

    In my opinion, Serena should not be allowed to play in the 2010 US Open, and she should not receive any prize money for this year's Open. Her behavior was way over the top – and it wasn't even spontaneous: she had started to serve the ball when it appeared she made a conscious decision to go back and scream at the lines person. As far as letting the foot fault go – that's ridiculous. Do you let service faults go?

    September 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  18. Aquinas

    Diogenes wrote:
    "The line judge was being anti-black."

    Right. That's because blacks are an under-represented minority in the world of professional athletes.

    I can barely control my laughter to complete this post.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  19. Jo

    People are always so quick to say don't bring race into the issue. But when you see some of the ugly and mean spirited comments, you can't help but believe that some of the ugliness has to do with race. America has come a long way; but let's not ever think that just because we have a black President; that race is no longer an issue.

    In regards to this situation, I agree 100% that Serena could have handled the situation differently. However, I've watched tennis for many years and have seen some very heated exchanges. John McEnroe was one of my favorite tennis players; but his sportmanship and conduct was horrible and I don't recall him ever being suspended or banned.

    I think people are making way to much of this and one has to ask the question, why? To the lady whose daughter got upset watching the match; I think it could have been a great teaching moment for you. You could have explained that Serena's action were totally inappropriate and that you can't let emotions get the best of you, no matter the situation. When you turn on the TV; you might see anything. Last week we saw a congressman disgrace the President of the United States and this country, by calling our President a lie.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  20. S.E.Herman

    I have been around long enough to remember the worst of "NASTY" Nastase and Jimmy Conners -calling Mr Ashe the N word during his Wimbeldon finals- and lets not forget Mr. MacEnroe. No one cried out for their suspensions and banning. At the time behaviors of the individuals above were also unprecedented. Therefore I don't doubt a racist mentality towards Ms. Williams and her family comes to play here. Mr Jon Wertheim should get off his high horse and speak the truth about the situation. A foot fault could be called on 2 out six serves in every set in a normal match, therefore given the history of the williams family with the Tennis establishment -remember this not a image of Tiger Woods and his father- I would definitely say racism played a major in the call and response from all those calling for Ms. Willams banning.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  21. Adam Ant

    To the posters on their racist soapboxes, enough is enough. The reverse could be said about Kanye's outburst on the MTV Awards last night. Every time something like this happens to an african american, you can't just flip over the race card automatically. Give me a break. I don't care what nationality or race the player would have been, whoever would have done what Serena did would be completely out of line. I'm not saying she needs to be banned for a year, but there needs to be something more than a $10k fine. She probably carries that in her racket bag. She is supposed to be a professional and a role model, and the way she acted, she was neither. Speaking of acting, she should get an Oscar for her performance in the post-match press conference. What a joke.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  22. Gabor

    This was the combination of errors and silly things.

    1. What is racquet abuse? It sound like wife abuse, but it isn't. It is an object owned by the player. Why couldn't he or she "abuse" it? Isn't it the same in principle, if she would have pulled a hairpin out of her hair and broke it into two?

    2. We have a complex technology with some twenty cameras and a computer system which can check whether the ball was in or out. Why isn't there another four cameras looking for these alleged foot faults?

    3. A tennis match should never END on a penalty point. Just as in football, if a team is on the 4 yard line and the other team draws a 5 yards penalty, it isn't an automatic touchdown (never mind a game ending action).

    4. A threat is a threat. Physically Serena didn't even touch the line judge. As for the language, was ever any line drawn what is acceptable and what is not? Besides, a tennis ball can't be shoved down on anybody's throat, because it is too large.

    Overall, the entire story is blown way out of proportion.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  23. le-idiot

    Serena was right...why was the call dusted off just for her?

    Maybe she was considering changing agents...or the European colonials running non-sports like tennis, golf, rugby and soccer wanted that Babylonian mother and child act that the Vatican uses so often?

    Serena and her sister have dominated the non-sport forever and I guess El Lay forgot its place–New York makes the real media deals.

    In my opinion she spoke truthfully and as a free, citizen of the United States...as shown on her birth certificate. Two white guys talking to one another about a Black woman really shouldn't be televised anyway...

    September 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  24. Don Anderson

    We shall overcome one day....we shall overcome...leave this brilliant SISTER alone!!! We shall overcome....sing it with me people!!

    I feel the HATE from the RACISTS here... Some of you dont even realize how racist you are!!! it is AMAZING!!!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  25. mande

    I'm more disappointed by the fact that she has not taken responsibility for her inexcusable, but not unforgiveable actions, and apologized. While the fact that she threw the tantrum is terrible, it is worse that she has only tried to justify her actions – not take full responsibility for them and apologize.

    Even if her PR people are giving her this bad advice, she is her own person: she knows what she did was wrong – apologize and move on. People will forgive her for bad judgement – they won't forgive her for her lack of contrition.

    One of her excuses – – "I've heard way worse" – reveals a character flaw. So because other people do something wrong, it justifies what you do?

    You've lost many admirers over this Serena.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  26. Deb

    Bottom line it was extremely bad sportsmanship especially being the US Open in Serena's own country !!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  27. Michael

    With all the cameras at the US Open, I feel sure there wasn't a foot fault, otherwise we would have seen it. Serena's response was excessive. But, growing up watching tennis, I thought so were McEnroe's, and was amazed that most of the commentary treated him like it was funny! Why this double standard? Also, Mary Carillo's comments should be ignored. The buzz among many fans is she does particularly biased commentary on the Williams sisters. Old school thoughts – right is right for everybody. Double standards minimize respect for respectful behavior, generally. Michael

    September 14, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  28. Jabber

    I think that she should be banned from participating in the US Open next year. As a matter of fact, banned from being allowed on the grounds to watch any matches.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  29. Jaynicia

    Is John Werthein nuts? How old is he? I'm old enough to remember the outbursts of Ilie Nastase, Jimmy Conners and John McEnroe. Hell, I remember matches being held up until they bullied the judges into giving them their points. Even Martina Navratilova was good for causing a dramatic scene on the court. I love it when people say that Serena has an attitude but these are fans that never embraced her in the sport. That Ouidan girl beat three Russians and became the darling of the game overnight with every reporter falling all over her. Serena and Venus can't muster their country's support of them. Gee, I wonder why not.

    Do I think she need to be banned? No but she got her fine and that's good enough for me. Tennis isn't going to make or break anyone. She got caught up in the moment at a cruicial point and the judge made a crappy call. She was wrong for the outburst and tirade and deserve to lose the point. I guess no one saw her be conciliatory to Kim Clisjters and congrats to Kim for winning the title.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  30. C Lewis

    The line judge's ethics and competency should be brought. At the very least her call should be reviewed. What was her motivation? Thanks Serena for standing up to this incompetency!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  31. jay m

    The same bloggers that was for Joe Wilson are now against Serena Williams for speaking out.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  32. Race is still an issue!

    south central joe September 14th, 2009 12:27 pm ET

    Finally we see the REAL Serena from the ghetto known as South Central L.A. You can never hide your roots. I’m surprised she didn’t pull a knife!

    ---------
    And here is another racist proving that he is a card carrying member of the kluless klucking klann...

    September 14, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  33. Debbie

    gonzo you are ridiculous, you don't get to attack refs or umps in other sports without being ejected fined or supsended or all three, whether it was a bad call or not. She should grow up. I bet you defended Kanye's bullying childish behavior as well.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  34. Bob Camp

    A suspension for this is OK if it's just for the next Open. It's overkill, though. Withholding the prize money is a good idea - that's a $350k fine.
    Otherwise, a public apology would be good enough.

    Or maybe they can all have a beer together.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  35. carol

    It is unsportsmanlike conduct, or are there any penalties for that anymore? Joe Wilson should be asked to resign if he does not apologize to the House.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  36. Tommyjohn

    Why is this stupid thing getting so much play? She was given a lousy call that was more than questionable by an idiot line judge. Serena just lost it. They kicked her out and she lost the match. If I had been competing against her, I would have been over there and up the ass of the umpire INSISTING on letting her continue playing. She would have to have actually MURDERED or assaulted the line judge before I would consent to let her be thrown out of a match that I was competing in. Who wants to win by default? Leave her alone and stop all this whining.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  37. Paul

    Hello Christimarie, you hit the nail on the head. Serena should be banned from any further activities in the US Open; meaning she should be banned from the womens doubles and in addition she should be suspended from entering any WTA tournamewnts for at least 6 month.

    This should also answer any questions about who is number one in womens tennis. Serena deserves a no mention in the list.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  38. Race is still an issue!

    Joan Wheeler September 14th, 2009 12:25 pm ET

    In the law, when someone threatens another person, it is considered a ‘terroristic threat” if the person has the means to carry it out . Serena did make threatening gestures with her racquet and did have the means (physical proximity and size, etc.) to carry it out. The lines person was a very small woman and I’m sure she was quite frightened. Serena was aggressive, verbally abusive and obviously out of control. What a disgrace. Even Johnny Mac, with all his verbal abuse of officials, never threatened them physically. His arms were always at his sides when he argued with lines people. Sticks and stones ……. etc.

    ------------

    Oh really????

    McEnroe threw his racquet and a tantrum Sunday while leading his fourth-ten round match against Mikael Pernfors and was defaulted by the umpire. The action, which led to $6,500 in fines against McEnroe, made him the first player ejected for misconduct in any Grand Slam since pros and amateurs began playing together at the start of the open era in 1968.

    THROWING A RACKET CAN BE CONSIDERED A THREAT, TOO.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  39. K-Lo

    I LOVE the comment about the quote from MLK Jr. THANK YOU. It is about Serena's character, which is selfish, pompous, and completely transparent. So...in the bottom of the 9th in game 7 of the World Series do you REALLY think that it should be an unspoken rule for all umpires to not call any infractions? Just because they KNOW how critical the game is at this time? GIME ME A BREAK! I'm pretty sure that would count as 'fixing' the game...AKA cheating, dishonest...call it what you like. That lineswomen was doing her job...wouldn't it actually be BEST if the officials DIDN'T know the score, regardless of sport?! Hmm, honesty...that's new! The point in the match should have absolutely NO bearing on whether or not one calls a fault.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  40. Biased World

    Just like CNN, the tennis commentator's are biased.

    The public will never get the whole truth.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  41. Chris

    Tim, Tim, Tim. The wrong call at the wrong time? Since when does it matter in any sporting event at what point a violation is called? If something is against the rules at the start of a match, it most certainly is a violation at the end of a match. These athletes are paid unbelievable amounts of money for playing a game and there is no way that this type of behavior can be defended and certainly by writing it off as the wrong call at the wrong time.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  42. You got to be kidding me

    where was the outrage of all you people when Serena got screwed at French Open and Venus at Wimbeldon? l play tennis a lot and whoever tells me there is no racism got to be blind. In the club that l belong old ladies and gentelman have been referring to sisters as monkeys, cotton pickers and openly hate black people. Now, l am not condoning what Serena did, but the line judge is having all the breaks in the world, also. The only reason the USTA is not penalizing Serena is because they lose money if the mixed double is not played today. And do not give me that BS.. that USTA is all about tennis. NO it is all about the money. It is a pity for the sport. Wimbeldon should be an example of how a tournament can stay classy, not US Open. USTA is a joke...And Mary Carillo the so called "journalist" needs to shut up. l would really like to shove a tennis ball down her throat...

    September 14, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  43. Curtis_PA

    While John McEnroe has been WAY out of line numerous times during his career, I do not recall him EVER threatening physical violence against an official. Serena thinks she's above anyone in the sport. She thinks she's above the rules. She is a disgrace. I sincerely hope they not only disqualify her from any winnings for this tournament, she should be banned for at least 12 months.

    McEnroe never threatened an official like she did. She's an embarassment.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  44. gonzo is an idiot

    Wow, Gonzo you really show how stupid and unethical people can be. People are tested and treated with respect for how they deal with adversity. Was it a bad call, maybe, maybe not! The point is if Serena hadn't been a baby and ruined her racket in the first set and then couldn't take actually getting her ass kicked by her opponent without crying about it, it wouldn't have happened. If she had kept her cool throughout the match she wouldn't have been penalized a point and possibly not lost that set.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  45. GiveMeABreak

    The linewoman made the call, and it was questionable. It's a difficult call to make for anyone, and yes they should have cameras setup to review, nevertheless the call was made. Serena was completely out of line and needs to appologize.... even if the call was in error (which cannot be proven).

    I can only scratch my head at the comments here that the call should not be made at that point in the match! How are the rules to be written if they are only to be enforced under certain circumstances? That is such a foolish arguement.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  46. the kid

    Ah get over it a whole year suspension for one understandful lash out @ a over officiated call people like u are the reason America has no heart

    September 14, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  47. Turner

    I love how everyone is comparing Serena's comment to Joe Wilson and Kayne West. That's just absurd. Also, for those of you who have been commenting on the deteriorating state of America based on the actions of Serena Williams, Joe Wilson, and Kayne West - I say, get a life and stop getting your news from US Weekly. Clearly you have no idea what you're talking about.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  48. Rizwan

    I am very disappointed in her. She was very mean and so very un-professional.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  49. KE

    Are you people serious?

    – McEnroe
    – Curier
    – Martina Navratilova
    – Jimmy Connors
    – Pete Sampras

    All had similar meltdowns during their competitive days. A year suspension are you out of your mind.

    Do you know how many TV viewers would not turn in if such a penalty were levied? The Willimas sisters are an endorsement and TV audience gold mine. Get real...as usual the HATERS are out to ridicule Serena because she is an outspoken WINNER. This is yet another example of small minded people attempting to gang up and put an African American in her supposed "PLACE". She got riled up in the moment of competition ...angered by an incorrect and outrageous call that cost her millions in US Open prize money, a US OPEN opportunity to compete for a championship, and further extend her legacy of winning.

    Much of this blog's commentary is consistent with the outcome of Serena's semi-final match...incorrect judgments and total overkill.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  50. IICCEE

    How soon we forget John McEnroe who made a career out his outbursts. Then it was thought to be entertaining. Some people went to his matches just to see what type of outburst would come next. Would he curse out the line judge or throw his racket?

    Suspension and some say for life? Give me a break. Everyone gets angry at work for time to time.

    Yes a fine is in order for her conduct. But let it go and move on

    September 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  51. Don Anderson

    Once again, SOME white folks and others cant see racism, because they believe the world is pure and people are all good. RACISM permeates everything and we saw it on the tennis court!!! Serena is a CLASS ACT!!

    We shall overcome.....we shall overcome......!!!!!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  52. Crawford

    The overreaction to Serena's outburst is ridiculous. Tennis is absolutely boring without the Williams sisters and Serena is the best female tennis player currently on the tour. She said she used poor judgement and was fined. People need to move on - this is sports - sometimes things get emotional. I've heard professional coaches in other sports say worse things to their players and officials.

    If she were a man would there be the same response or amount of heated outrage?

    If this were football would there be?

    If she were white would there be?

    September 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  53. Ardent

    The line judge should be fined and banned from tennis.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  54. Ray

    My thoughts are that In basketball, if it's a foul in the first 30 seconds of the game, it better be called a foul in the last 30 seconds of the game. In football, if it's pass interference in the first minute, it better be pass interference in the last minute. Be consistent. I don't think officials should be the focus of any game, but they need to enforce/be allowed to enforce the rules regardless of who's playing, how big a game it is, or at what point in the game it might be. An official making what they believe is the correct call should not bring the familiar complaint that "the officials cost me the game"...not really...you cost yourself the game by committing the foul, interfering witht the receiver, or stepping your foot over the line. A foul is a foul and a foot fault is a foot fault, period.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  55. Bob

    It happened she paid big time for it both in a title and money! Let it go now. If it happens again then she should be made to pay three fold. Certainly she was not as bad as those in hockey, football, baseball, etc where players are allowed to get away with fighting with little punishment. But then again that seems to be America's new down the toilet thinking. Both in sports and politics.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  56. Paul

    If it would've been a player from middle east or south east asia, US would've banned them from ever playing tennis for this kind of outburst. Same should be done to a US player.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  57. Karen-San Antonio

    Too surprised that Serena would act like....especially with her mother and father present. So sad to see a star act like that. Get a grip Serena. You should be better than that!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  58. Fair and Balanced

    Rule 6 about foot faults is quite explicit. No part of her foot can even touch the baseline. It is clear that while her foot is not over the line, it is firmly on the line. That is a foot fault. Whether it should be called is up for interpretation. This line judge made what appears to be a legitimate call. The question people have is whether the level of the violation warranted being called at this stage of the game (implying that either the rule should be changed to not be so explicit, or that at some point in a tournament you change the rule – perhaps make it so only a foot OVER the line counts) Either way, you have problems. However, just think about pro basketball where they do not bother calling travelling or carrying violations while they are called quite frequently in college games (the rule still exists, the refs just ignore it)

    September 14, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  59. Jon

    Unprecedented? John MacInroe is sending her flowers!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  60. wayne, Phoenix, AZ

    How ridiculous is this? Serena should be fined, or even suspended for a period of time for her terrible display. But, for some of the lame people on here to say she should be banned permanently from the sport is laughable. Can we say McEnroe? There was hardly a match where John McEnroe didn't unleash a string of expletives about a bad call. I don't recall a lynch mob advocating him being banned from the sport. Why? Because McEnroe = $$$ for tennis. Different decade, gender, generation, same equation. Serena = $$$ for the world of tennis.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  61. Trey

    Well, the judge felt threatened because it wasn't some flouncy, cute little white girl but a big strong evil black woman....Can't say for sure that it was race related but I can say that tensions ran high on both sides and the punishment should fit the crime....As with everyone else, if McEnroe got away with it, then so should she....double standard?? Or perhaps it's the fear of a minority winning a white dominated sport (which brings to mind Muhammed Ali's title strip for the war)....If you can't beat them the right way, backdoor your way in....gotta love sports!!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  62. Nikki

    No, this is not unprecidented in tennis.
    Yes, John McEnroe has approached judges in threatening manners
    Yes, he was punished for it
    Yes, people have done worse (hitting fans with tennis balls, thus actual physical violence) and simply been fined or not punished at all. Part of McEnroe's problem was he was a repeat and blatant offender

    If you think she needs to be further punished or banned entirely from the game, you really need to check the historics and justify that versus just a knee-jerk...oh, Serena is so mean and classless.

    She made a mistake. She wasn't just fined...she lost a match not based on skill, but because of her outburst. So yes, her fine was much bigger than you think. Her punishment much worse. How many times in tennis can you point to an outburst leading to such a monumental lost at such a crucial moment. Bad calls? Yes. But bad words? Unthinkable.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  63. HJS

    I've played and watched tennis for most of my life. I've never seen anything like this on a match point, but I suspect that players have pushed the limits before. I think that Serena lost her cool and deserved to lose the match. As for punishment, taking her out of tournaments might hurt the game moreso than help it. (BTW, Serena is normally pleasant and professional on the court.) I think the best punishment is intense and prolonged humiliation off the court. Make her attend anger management; have her apologize profusely and publicly to the officials, the tournament, and the fans; and force her to talk about her bad behavior to tennis youths throughout the next year.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  64. eleanor

    You just knew that someone had to play the race card. It doesn't matter what race (BTW, there's only one race, the human race). Suspend for a short time and get over it.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  65. Thanatos

    I think she should have went ahead and shoved the ball down the line judge's throat! Hell, if you're going to catch the grief a lot of you idiots are putting out, you may as well make it count!

    What's the matter all you White tennis lovers? Big Black girl with an attitude make you nervous?!?! That's pretty much what it sounds like. I'm White BTW, so don't go there – I WILL shove the ball on down!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  66. bobby g

    It is more than the verbal hectoring of a McEnroe or Connors, this was a physical threat by one of the most physically intimidating athletes in the world against a very tiny judge. It is not a valid comparison.
    While I still believe a suspension is appropriate, the forfeiture of match point in a Grand Slam semifinal will shake up every bad-tempered tennis pro in the world and will regulate behavior far better than any suspension ever could.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  67. Brendan

    All these comments are hilarious. She made a big mistake. I am sure everyone who wrote something about this has made a big mistake at some point in their lives. But to be banned, suspended, fined, not allowed to promote her book, that one is ridiculous (by the way how funny that it's called "On the Line") and all the other things you people would like to see happen to her is just silly.

    There should be consequences for her actions. There already have been some.

    I do think that once a person enters the public eye, as a role model they should be held to a higher standard. And for Charles Barkley, too bad bud, you are a role model, it came with the job as a professional sports athlete.

    However, I will state it again, she has been punished. I am sure she is sorry, stressed out over this and I am willing to be that within 24 hours we hear a public apology. So lets just all move on.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  68. The Film Professor

    What also bothers me about this is what it took away from Kim Clijsters, and what a great match she played. All the focus is on Serena, even in defeat.

    What would be helpful would be a sincere apology. Yes, I think the line judge made a terrible call at a really inappropriate time in the match, and I am guessing that she will pay a price for this; I will be shocked if we ever see her in the US Open again.

    But Serena was way out of line in her reaction. Others are also guilty, but Serena can largely solve this situation by just recognizing what she did and apologizing. Most human beings have to do this in their lives, and all of us need to apologize when we screw up like this.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  69. Brooke

    OMG – TAKE THE RACE CARD OUT OF THIS PEOPLE!!!! (Successful Black woman, envious Asian judge, white skinned man... are you kidding me?)

    She is a brilliant tennis star, who was already losing and lost her cool on what appeared to be a bad call. She needs to apologize for the outburst! That's it! When she steps on the court she knows she must abide by the judge's call, right or wrong. Thats why there are cameras and instant replay, people make mistakes.

    She is a role model to all kids (all races, all sexes) and she showed poor judgment and character.

    By the way – two wrongs don't make a right and it was wrong with McEnroe did it too!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  70. AK

    who cares?? the us open feels like it's been going on since July anyway. moving on...

    September 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  71. Joe

    Frank Blocker you're out of your element. Freedom of speech in the United States doesn't come without consequences. If you don't understand that by now then you need to consider moving to Canada. You can't just go around threatening people. Secondly, what's with all of these outbursts and "hate" in politics and sports lately? Blount (Oregon football player), Wilson (against Obama), Serena Williams, and last night Kanye. These people are a disgrace to America. The only reason why they're continuing this erratic behavior is because the penalties that follow them are a joke. Kick Blount out of school, put Wilson on probation, suspend Serena for a year and fine her actual dollars not cents, and stop playing Kanye's songs on the radio... simple solution. This type of behavior is what fuels the United States' reputation as an arrogant bully. And lastly, for people saying "stop being racist" – that is an absurd comment. When are people of different races going to accept responsibility for their actions and stop pulling the race card? It's worn its welcome.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  72. Ben

    Daniel – The fact is that IT SHOULD NOT BE ABOUT THE CALL. It was a bad call, happens EVERY DAY IN EVERY SPORT, it's how people deal with adversity when they lose. NOVAK DJOKOVIC PLAYED A WONDERFULLY GOOD MATCH against RFed, every break went against him and there was nothing he could do...he didn't cry about it and swear at the refs, he basically said wow, Fed beat me tonight...Serena, nothing but tantrum.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  73. Double J

    Wow – First let me state that I am not a big tennis fan and don't follow it that closely. I don't know what the final decision on Serena's punishment should be and frankly don't care. I am, however, tired of watching athletes as well as others in the public eye being treated with such deferrence as if they are somehow different and subject to a different set of rules.

    The bottom line is that a tournament official made a call...and was subsequently berated and threatened by Serena. What she said and the manner in which it was said has been shown on numerous replays of the event. So on that point there really is no question. She violated the rules of tennis and the tournament and was penalized in accordance with those rules. That it happened at match point was unfortunate for Serena but is no different than a football game being decided on the final play because the offense was called for pass interference thus negating a touchdown.

    To Mr. F Blocker: Tennis has had it's share of 'bad boys'...Ilie Nastase, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe in the past. In the 70's and 80's, they were notorious for their oncourt outbursts...especially McEnroe's famous "you can't be serious...". However, I dare say that none were ever phrased in the context of bodily injury that the player would or would like to do to the official. You sir, are the one who perhaps should review the First Amendment to learn the true meaning of 'freedom of speech'.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  74. Alex Winter

    Disgraceful. She should be fined more than $10,000 for her insanity. Any professional tennis player who behaves like that should get a monetary smack down big time.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  75. Race is still an issue!

    Bob Dog September 14th, 2009 12:22 pm ET

    Serena should drop out of tennis and go into the NFL. He bulk and power would make her a great outside linebacker.

    But she also had brutal power and a terrible temper. She might also want to be a defensive end, rush the passer, and get a few sacks. There would have to be alot of interested teams.

    -----typical stereotyping of an assertive woman. Why don't you crawl back into that cave that you crawled out of?

    September 14, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  76. Eric Tedford

    What she did was wrong. Give her credit for calming down very quickly. She was fined, and may have to give back her winnings. Call it a day. To say she should be suspended because the money doesn't matter is just plain bull. So, if a 'nobody' did the same, we can fine her and be done with it because she doesn't make as much money? How absurd. Serena is an amazing tennis player and had this hiccup in her career. Move on people.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  77. Roger

    There is a misunderstanding the John McEnroe routinely threatened the judges. He swore at them and generally acted badly, but he did not directly threaten the judges. If he had, he would have gotten the ban that Serena deserves.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  78. Fernando F.

    If the ball, in the replay, touches the line 1mm is in, otherwise is out.
    the line-woman saw her foot touch the line, and her job is to make the call. She is payed to do that, so she did. There is no good video angle, but I'm able to watch her foot rotating forward when she is serving, so I guess that was enough to be at fault. Serena had a chance of shutting her mouth, but she couldn't, and the umpire started to question what is going on, and ..... "you are out Serena!".

    September 14, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  79. Oh Please

    Serena was wrong for coming out of the mouth like that. Granted. But she has done no more than what other players have done in the past. There are those that hate the Williams sisters because they have dominated in this sport since they've been playing and would love to see them go bye-bye. Anything I guess to make that a reality...huh?

    September 14, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  80. Dom Sarducci

    With all the millions of dollars they make, why can't Venus and Serena get some professional etiquette lessons and learn to conduct themselves with grace? Their boorish behavior is a strain on the ATP and causes them tremendous loss of fan support.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  81. Janice

    Serena should be penalized for her profane outrage. The outrage is possible with anyone in a competitive situation but the profanity is not acceptable. Foul mouths never accomplish a good result in any matter. She cannot be compared to Joe Wilson, his outburst is his opinion and acceptable no matter what the situation, president or not, it is his opinion and no profanity was used. Have you ever observed the English Parliament in action?? Yes, they get totally honest with their opinions and no one is offended, that is normal there why not here as well?

    September 14, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  82. Phil

    To the person who said that it is OK for athletes to blow up, and that the line judge should apologize. Really? so if Brett Favre is upset with a call he should just tell the Ref that he really wants to go to the guys house and kill him in his sleep? If Kobe doesn't like a call he should tell the Ref that he wants to use a tire iron on the guy out in the parking lot, and that is all OK with you. That is what you want to teach kids? that if you don't like something that an authority figure says you just tell them what you want to do to them. Then they should apologize to you and let you do what you want?

    September 14, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  83. Judy

    Whether the call was correct or not is irrelevant. Even a horribly botched call doesn't excuse that kind of behavior. To curse out a linesman, to get that close and shake your racquet in somebody's face like that is disgraceful, and Mary Carillo is correct in saying that the punishment so far has been a joke. What makes it worse is that Serena has said nothing so far that indicates that she thinks she did something wrong, or that she treated that woman in a despicable manner. John McEnroe calling an umpire "the pits of the world" and yelling "you can NOT be serious" pales in comparison to "I feeling like taking this *** ball and shoving it down your *** throat."

    If a male athlete acted like this, it wouldn't be long before somebody suggested that the response wasn't "passion", as Serena has called it, but maybe "roid rage."

    September 14, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  84. Race is still an issue!

    s.k There is room for discussion of racism, so don't hide your head in the sand and pretend it is not there! I guess you either never saw the racist words on Fox Sports when Michael Vick was being discussed. Over 100+ pages with about 20 comments to each page before they deleted it.

    peta was inciting racism about that and about Aretha Franklin when she wore a fur coat, although there were plenty of White celebrities in the picture with fur coats on. The focus by peta and the racist posters were all about Ms. Franklin.

    I consider peta a lunatic fringe organization and would never contribute a penny to their cause. The ASPCA reserved judgment and is allowing Michael Vick to prove that he will try to get the word out about animal abuse. But the same people who are against him, Serena, etc., are the same that want to help animals, but wouldn't spare a dime for a human being.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  85. Bill

    Foot fault or not this is not appropriate behavior. I never liked John Mac's behavior. $10,500 is a joke. A more severe penalty and suspension seems appropriate. I hope the USTA officials make a sound judgement after reviewing the tape. It does not matter what she has done for the game or her ranking. If there was threatening and inappropriate language, they need to send a signal that this will not be tolerated.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  86. Chic

    I'm amazed that folks are turning this to a race issue. Can we call a spade a spade please? The lineswoman made a call. Refrees have made worst calls. Mavs vs Nuggets playoffs anyone?
    Just because McEnroe and Andy get away with it doesn't mean it's right. We really need to start addressing this issue now. I hope her punishment serves as a lesson to other tennis players. No it is not ok to threaten the officials or fans!!!!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  87. Brett

    People think Serena is the victim of racist discrimination? The racist people making these false statements easily forget that Serena was the one that threw her racquet earlier because she lost the set and that Serena threatened a minority woman!!!

    Was Kanye the victim of racism from a white country singer during his own interruption? It’s probably because “George Bush hates black people” isn’t it?

    September 14, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  88. Jnywest

    The "ill shove this ball down your throat" part was over the top. But this whole event is a sympton of our decaying society. Wilson, Williams, West, and all of the jerks that leave offensive comments here and on youtube and other places.
    All republics fall ladies and gentlemen. A democracy needs noble and gentle citizens if it is to function. Whatever powers that are at work in this world have done a fine job of turning us into something less than noble and gentle We are going to have one hell of a show here in a few years guys. Many of us have read about the fall of Rome, Greece, Persia and other empires and kingdoms in the past. Hope you are all ready...lol

    September 14, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  89. Lloyd Gallant

    First let's clarify a couple of things. Foot faults in tennis are not quite as simple as they might seem. There are two kinds:

    1) The server is standing inside the court while making the serve.

    2) The server's foot lands inside the court before her ball touches the court in the opponent's service box.

    The first kind, while illegal, doesn't really afford the server a significant advantage. It is this kind that might be construed as a nuisance call on an important point. After all, how much unfair advantage does a server get because her foot was one inch further forward than it should have been? In fact, it might even result in the ball going an inch long!

    The second kind is a much more serious matter. In the case of a serve-volleyer, you have a server who's in effect doing a "jump serve", where her body is moving forward as she strikes the ball. She lands inside the court and hits it running. She'll arrive at the net significantly sooner than she has a right to and this does result in a measurable unfair advantage.

    Which kind was she called on? At this point, only the line judge knows. Replay footage might tell the tale in the coming days.

    A common misconception in this incident is that the foot-fault was called on match point. It wasn't. It was called on second serve at 15-30. The fault resulted in the score moving to 15-40 and the ensuing donnybrook caused a code violation, costing Serena the one point she couldn't afford.

    For now, and for several good reasons, let's assume that a foot fault did occur. On that basis, are we to expect a line judge to look the other way? Really? How do we decide when to enforce the rules? After all, if a player is close to losing a match, shouldn't we be a bit more lenient? Start calling balls that are only a tiny bit out "close enough"? Of course not. If a foot-fault did occur, calling it is the only fair thing to do, anything else is unfair to her opponent.

    Serena's formal statement, issued on Sunday, is a joke. "Now people can see how much passion I truly have for my job." Wow. This is someone who just doesn't get it. No sense of responsibility whatsoever. When asked if she felt she owed the line judge an apology she replied, "Me? For what?" ...uh, for advancing menacingly on her shaking your racket and threatening to jam it down her throat? Oh, sorry! We forgot, you're the queen of tennis and you get to do anything you please.

    Serena admitted in the post-match interview that she probably foot-faulted, then in the formal statement a day later referred to it as "an unfair call". This is why the USTA forced her to sit for a post-match interview, because before she has time to think things over, what comes out of her mouth is likely to be closer to the truth.

    The seriousness of the crime (and it is actually a crime) coupled with the total lack of remorse calls for a stiff penalty from the Slam Committee, and I for one hope they throw the book at her. Months of suspension and a fine that will sting.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  90. John

    Every time a black person is involved the race card is played and it usually a black person accusing a white person of racism. You would think with a black President this would stop, but even the President isn't beyond playing the race card.....remember the Professor incident. Anyways Serena should be banned for what she did, it doesn't matter if the official was right or wrong in the foot fault there's no excuse for bad behavior. Serena won't get a banned for two reasons : 1 She's Black and 2. She too popular to have her sit on the sidelines.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  91. Debbie

    Some of you can defend her if you want, and I'll certainly say McEnroe was worse because he behaved badly on a regular basis, but it was up to her to keep her temper in check and not doing so cost her the match. too bad sooooo sad.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  92. Golden Rules

    Venus and Serena generate too much money for the sport and others benefit handsomely.

    Those wishing she will be banned for a year .... or a Grand Slam Tourney are dreaming .... I don't think you want to go there.

    Don't you remember how paranoid folks were just because Venus and Serena have other outside interests and therefore, might walk away from the game without warning ???

    September 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  93. Johnson

    At least Serena did not slap the woman like Martina Hingis did to a linesperson – suprisingly she received no punishment. John McEnroe told a chair umpire to -- his mother; ummmmm. While her behavior was inexcusable, she has been fined accordingly and should be suspended for the rest of the year.

    Additionally,the lines people need to be trained or from foreign countries. During the entire US Open Series I have never seen such poor calls on a regular basis and they just kept getting worse and worse.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  94. J Williamson

    Proof, yet again, that money will never buy class!!!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  95. Izzie Nutz

    that steroid fueled outburst deserves the same 50 game suspension that Manny Ramirez got.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  96. gonzo

    almost everyone misses the point here....
    serena has no history of acting this way, so there must have been superlative circumstances, and there was....
    it was a bad call.
    no one is really talking about the fact that McEnroe himself said he did not see a fault.....look at how many bad calls have been made throughout this entire tournament.... and been challenged...... and won. somebody should tally THAT up.
    point is, this never would have happened, if it hadn't been for an incredibly stupid call at an incredibly stupid time.
    the person that should be punished, is that line judge.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  97. Bubba Jones

    Will someone please define exactly where in a match a foot fault SHOULD be called ? (not after 2-2, second set, women's....not after 2-2, 4th set, men's???). Akin to saying a foul shouldn't be called in the last minute of an NBA game.

    And her call wasn't "shaky", as the line judge is seated on the line for a reason (she had the best seat in the house with regard to calling foot faults).

    If the best view was from where the replay camera was positioned, i'm sure that's where she'd have been seated. Serena had the worst view of all (as she looks upward when she serves, as do all players).

    September 14, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  98. JG

    Serena's behavior is definitely unacceptable. But look at how incompetent the line judge was as well. Replays showed it wasn't a foot fault. The incompetency of the line judges/chair umps re-surfaced in the Federer Djoko match, where most of the challenges Djoko made turned out to be correct. Shouldn't the line judges be screened more carefully?

    September 14, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  99. ardent

    I guess African Americans should count their blessings. If she were a Black male, I'm afraid she would be in jail right now for making a terrorist threat and banned from tennis for life. The racism that still abounds in America is astounding.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  100. William Hunter

    I can not believe most of the comments. Lets just ban Serena for life and take back all the money has won since she started playing tennis. And while we are at it lets put her in jail for life.. We seem to have a short memory. Serena has a long way to go to catch up with John McEnroe and John is back on TV during adds for National Rent A Car promoting what he use to do when he was playing. Do we have a double standard in this country?

    September 14, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
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