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Thread: US Open Tennis 2009

  1. #21
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: US Open Tennis 2009

    Williams fined $10,000; new investigation opened
    By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich, Ap Tennis Writer – 6 mins ago

    NEW YORK – Serena Williams' profanity-laced, finger-pointing tirade at a U.S. Open linesperson drew a $10,000 fine Sunday, and more punishment could follow from a broader investigation into what the head of the tournament called her "threatening manner."

    The fine — not quite 3 percent of the $350,000 in prize money Williams earned by reaching the semifinals — is the maximum on-site penalty that can be issued for unsportsmanlike conduct at a Grand Slam tournament.

    "The average individual would look at that and say, 'A $10,000 fine for what she did? What are you guys, crazy?' The answer is: the process isn't over," tournament director Jim Curley said in an interview with The Associated Press.

    Bill Babcock, the top administrator for Grand Slam tournaments, will review what happened Saturday night, when Williams yelled at a linesperson who called a foot fault with the defending champion two points away from losing to Kim Clijsters in the semifinals.

    If Babcock determines Williams committed a "major offense," she could be fined all of her prize money from the tournament.

    Williams also was docked $500 for smashing her racket after the first set of the match. Because she was issued a warning then, her later actions resulted in the loss of a point.

    The foot fault resulted in a double-fault, which moved Clijsters one point from victory. Williams then was penalized a point for her outburst; because it happened to come on match point, it ended the semifinal with Clijsters ahead 6-4, 7-5.

    Babcock did not immediately respond to requests for comment. But Curley said the inquiry probably would include reviewing TV footage, checking additional audio feeds from courtside microphones and interviewing Williams, the linesperson, the chair umpire and possibly spectators.

    "What she did was unacceptable. It's unacceptable behavior under any circumstances. When you're on the court, and you are waving your racket toward a linesperson and using profanity, it's just simply unacceptable," Curley told the AP. "When you look at the tape, it's pretty clear that the way she approached the linesperson, with her racket and in that manner, it was a threatening manner. It certainly was."

    The names of linespersons are not disclosed as a matter of practice at the tournament.

    He also said the tournament considered — and decided against — preventing Williams and her older sister Venus from participating in the women's doubles final Monday. Venus put in some work on a U.S. Open practice court Sunday; Serena wasn't with her.

    Serena Williams released a statement through a public relations firm, acknowledging that "in the heat of battle I let my passion and emotion get the better of me and as a result handled the situation poorly."

    She did not apologize for the outburst, which made the "most viewed" page of YouTube with four different versions that totaled more than half a million clicks as of Sunday night.

    After what may be recalled as the most significant foot fault in tennis history, Williams paused, retrieved a ball to serve again and then stopped. She stepped toward the official, screaming, cursing and shaking the ball at her.

    "If I could, I would take this ... ball and shove it down your ... throat," Williams said, according to a tennis official who watched a replay Saturday night.

    The official also said Williams used the word "kill." The official declined to be identified because the tape was still being reviewed.

    Fans began booing and whistling, making it difficult to hear the entirety of what Williams said — and she refused to discuss specifics afterward at a news conference. An AP reporter — provided access to replays — could not verify Williams used the word "kill."

    When Williams turned her back, the line judge went over to the chair umpire to report what was going on. The line judge then returned to her seat, and Williams pointed and began walking toward her. The line judge then headed back to the chair umpire's stand. By now, tournament referee Brian Earley was on the court, too.

    Earley could be heard asking the linesperson what Williams said.

    That's when Williams walked over and said to the line judge: "Are you scared? Because I said I would hit you? I'm sorry, but there's a lot of people who've said way worse."

    Earley again asked the linesperson what Williams said. Whatever the linesperson said, her reply seemed to startle Williams, who said: "I didn't say I would kill you. Are you serious? Are you serious? I didn't say that." The line judge then said, "Yes."

    The episode dominated conversation at the U.S. Open on Sunday, including whether the line judge should have made the call in the first place. Foot faults are rarely called at this level, particularly in possibly the final moments of such a significant match.

    "In my opinion, you can't call a foot fault there. Just out of question. Can't do it. It was so close. Not as if it was an obvious foot fault — it was minuscule," TV commentator John McEnroe said. "I've seen Serena come back from that position a dozen times against top-flight opponents. The match was not over."

    The chairman and CEO of the women's tennis tour, Stacey Allaster, issued a statement calling Williams' conduct "inappropriate and unprofessional."

    "No matter what the circumstances, no player should be allowed to engage in such behavior without suffering consequences," Allaster said. "I have spoken with the USTA about this matter and I agree with the action they have taken."
    Williams fined $10,000; new investigation opened - Yahoo! News
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  2. #22
    Lux et Veritas chrisg's Avatar
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    Re: US Open Tennis 2009

    Thanks for the article, Critical and sorry to everyone in the thread that I was so slow on the uptake w/ regard to what Serena said. I was going on initial observations from last night and it seems like they showed tape and talked about it during Fed's match on CBS. I missed most of that and on ESPN2 during Rafa's match I don't think they brought it up much.

    It will be interesting to see what the crowd reaction is to Serena when she and Venus play the doubles final. I wasn't going to DVR it but I might just to see what the crowd reaction is and how she handles it. They also said something during Kim's match on the ESPN ticker about the Grand Slam Committee reviewing Serena's behavior. This is the first I've heard of a Grand Slam Committee but maybe they'll elect to take some additional action as well.

    Here’s the schedule for anyone who wants to DVR Monday:

    Women’s Doubles Final 1pm (EST) on ESPN2
    Men’s Singles Final 4pm (EST) on CBS

    Kim's daughter is adorable! I think Kim is a great example of how you can mix your choices of career and motherhood. Every choice is valid when it comes to motherhood but it's nice encouragement for those women who take some time off to focus exclusively on motherhood and then decide to get back into a career schedule that you can take that route and be successful -- even when you're a professional athlete.
    "Do you want to change the world?...Think Different, Be Different...Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish…Now, let’s go invent tomorrow.” – Steven Paul Jobs

  3. #23
    FORT Fanatic imajunkie2's Avatar
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    Re: US Open Tennis 2009

    Serena was way out of line but there is more than that that is bugging me. First off what is being reported is only half of the truth. From the article critical posted:

    When Williams turned her back, the line judge went over to the chair umpire to report what was going on. The line judge then returned to her seat, and Williams pointed and began walking toward her. The line judge then headed back to the chair umpire's stand. By now, tournament referee Brian Earley was on the court, too.
    If you watch it it is clear the chair umpire called the lineswoman over. The press is making it sound as though the lineswoman waited until Serena had turned around and then the lineswoman initiated the conversation with the chair umpire.

    This is the other part that bugs me:

    The episode dominated conversation at the U.S. Open on Sunday, including whether the line judge should have made the call in the first place. Foot faults are rarely called at this level, particularly in possibly the final moments of such a significant match.

    "In my opinion, you can't call a foot fault there. Just out of question. Can't do it. It was so close. Not as if it was an obvious foot fault — it was minuscule," TV commentator John McEnroe said. "I've seen Serena come back from that position a dozen times against top-flight opponents. The match was not over."
    I don't care what level, what game, the rules are the rules and to have people like McEnroe tell the entire world that it shouldn't have been called is utterly ridiculous. Rules are rules and it shouldn't matter who and when they are broken.

    On a happier note I was bawlling like a baby when Clijsters won. Such a great lady and inspiration to all us moms!
    Last edited by imajunkie2; 09-14-2009 at 01:12 PM. Reason: uggggh quotes

  4. #24
    FORT Fogey smartguy24's Avatar
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    Re: US Open Tennis 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by imajunkie2;3700751;
    I don't care what level, what game, the rules are the rules and to have people like McEnroe tell the entire world that it shouldn't have been called is utterly ridiculous. Rules are rules and it shouldn't matter who and when they are broken.
    Oh I disagree.

    For arguments sake lets say Serena actually committed this foot fault. I'm with McEnroe. Her foot only creeped onto the line by no more than an inch at the absolute most.

    Do you think Kim's fans cared? Do you think the people in Arthur Ashe stadium cared? Do you think the people watching on TV cared, much less would even notice? And probably most importantly, do you think Clijsters herself cared? No. The impact of this marginal fault on the match was negligible. If and when a rule is broken that it has a tangible effect on the match, by all means, make your call. But by calling this fault at the point in time that it was, the game was removed from the hands of the players and put squarely onto this linesperson.

    Not cool. Not cool at all.

    I don't condone her blow-up, but I sure as hell understand it.

  5. #25
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    Re: US Open Tennis 2009

    I agree with imajunkie. The rules of a game should be the same for everyone and at every point in the game for all sports. If it's a foot fault, it should be called or else don't have the rule at all. Same with traveling in basketball, certain fouls in football, etc. Otherwise, all it does is show kids that if you become what fans think is an important enough person in your sport, you can cheat.

    I'm sure Serena's foot fault was not intentionally done to gain an advantage, but if it was a foot fault, I applaud the lines person for calling it. If an infraction is only rarely called at that level, then that is what should be changed. If a football player is offsides by only a fraction, it's called. If a baseball pitcher balks the tiniest little bit, it's called. Professional or amateur, play by the rules or don't play at all.

    I love watching tennis, but I do have a lot of problems with what is now tolerated in the sport.
    Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
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  6. #26
    Rumbelle - so many feels Little Sew&Sew's Avatar
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    Re: US Open Tennis 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by smartguy24;3701086;
    ........ Her foot only creeped onto the line by no more than an inch at the absolute most.

    So . . . where do we draw the line? An inch is okay today, next week it's an inch and a half, etc . . . etc . . .

    Do we just do away with the rule completely?
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  7. #27
    FORT Fogey smartguy24's Avatar
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    Re: US Open Tennis 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by Florimel;3701123;
    Otherwise, all it does is show kids that if you become what fans think is an important enough person in your sport, you can cheat.
    Cheat? Having your foot graze the line while serving is not cheating.

    Cheating would be serving from the service box.

    Do we just do away with the rule completely?
    No, we do away with calling the fault when either:

    A) It is neither blatant or conclusive enough. And judging from what we have available, it wasn't.

    Or

    B) It has no effect on the point. Which it didn't. Although I guess I should say "wouldn't".

    Corresponding example A: It's no secret referees put their whistle away if a hockey game extends into overtime because they're waiting for something blatantly obvious so they can keep things in the hands of the players as much as they can.

    Corresponding example B: There is some form of holding on every play in football. So by rule the flags should be thrown every play too. There is also carrying on every possession in basketball which should bring the whistle out every time, but it never does. And why? Because the infraction of these rules do not impact the situation. Or more importantly, the opposition.

    If I'm Clijsters, I guarantee you I'm not worried about my opponent's feet. I'm too busy waiting for a fuzzy yellow ball to come at me at over 100mph to worry if she MAY have stepped an inch too far.

  8. #28
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    Re: US Open Tennis 2009

    It's kind of like in my condominium when homeowners will get dinged, but simply respond, "Oh, that law doesn't apply to me - it only applies to the tenants in the building."!!
    Rules and laws should be respected and whether we like it or not, when people break them, some penalty should be applied.
    There should be no such thing as - well, the rule was only broken a little. What a terrible example to set for children.
    To Thine Own Self Be True

  9. #29
    FORT Fogey Namaste's Avatar
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    Re: US Open Tennis 2009

    Yay for Kim, couldn't have happened to a nicer player, her win reminds me of Seles when she came back and won the Australian Open, such a wonderful thing for the game. As far as the foot fault incidence, I feel they need to be consistant on this rule, which they aren't. Graf used to foot fault all the time back in the day and it was almost never called on her. As far as Serena's outburst...totally uncalled for, that's why she's a professional, she knows better. However, as I watch the Federer/Delpo match today, Federer totally reamed the chair umpire during a change of sides in the third set and nothing, guess that's a perk of being the best player ever.
    Adversity reveals genius. -Horace

  10. #30
    Lux et Veritas chrisg's Avatar
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    Re: US Open Tennis 2009

    I think Serena's serve was clean. It is a very subjective call but that's how I saw it from the slow mo replays. That, however, is a separate issue from Serena's behavior after the call. She had an opportunity to pull herself together, serve a second serve and let play determine the outcome of the match as it should be. Instead, she had a meltdown and deserved the default. But the serve looked clean to me in the numerous replays they've shown of it.

    And John McEnroe is addressing human error in that quote and that when something is that close you should factor in the possibility that you're not seeing it accurately since everything moves so quickly in tennis. I was talking to a friend of mine about this today and she was at Fed's match yesterday and was seated close to the service line. The chair overruled a serve that the linesperson called in, calling it out. The replay showed the serve was clearly in -- in fact it was on the inside of the line meaning it was fairly clearly in. So human beings are quite fallible and that's what John is addressing -- ultimately, though, all they can do is the make the calls they feel they see. Thankfully there are replays in tennis now to cover where the balls hit w/ regard to the lines but they unfortunately don't cover foot faults.

    I saw Fed's mini-meltdown just now, too, Namaste. The chair told him to be quiet, though, which was a little out of line from the chair, IMO.
    "Do you want to change the world?...Think Different, Be Different...Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish…Now, let’s go invent tomorrow.” – Steven Paul Jobs

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