Concrete Elbow by Steve Tignor - "Much Better"
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"Much Better" 09/15/2009 - 6:50 PM

Dp It was the perfect ending; I was wrong again. Juan Martin del Potro beat Roger Federer in a chaotic Arthur Ashe Stadium yesterday and sent the tournament out with a festive buzz. From an instantly infamous outburst—forever to be known as “The Tirade” in tennis lore—to the best shot ever hit by the best player ever, to a spunky new American on the horizon, to a pair of appealingly humble champions, it was an Open that we’ll be seeing more of in future highlight reels. For now, let the snap judgments begin.

Juan Martin del Potro

What will I remember from this most logical and inevitable—though still stunning—Grand Slam breakthrough?

—Del Potro lumbering slowly behind the baseline as he set up to serve, and finishing by blowing on the heel of his right hand. It was a ritual that exuded self-assurance, and seemed to help him gather more of it with each point.

—Del Potro enlarging the court and ranging backward behind the baseline to track down a forehand in the corner and unleashing a flat line drive past his opponent. There were two remarkable aspects to this shot: It had absolutely no arc, and when it hit the DecoTurf, it didn’t so much bounce as skid, like something coming off ice.

—The Argentine, from the third set on, forcing Federer back with his heavier, thuddier shots. The world’s best was suddenly just hanging on for dear life, surviving with his squash shot. From my perspective in the 10th row off the baseline, it seemed like, if del Potro believed in himself, that it was only a matter of time before he would overwhelm Federer. For the day, at least, the sport had been handed over to a new, taller, rangier, more physical, and powerful generation.

—Del Potro’s player box. For anyone who’s seen all he ever needs to see of Anna Wintour’s straw helmet, Gavin Rossdale’s ever-ascending forehead, and his wife, what’s her name, this kid from small-town Argentina couldn’t have been a bigger breath of fresh air. He had his manager, his coach, Davin, and his trainer, Orazi (when I see the similar-looking Davin and Orazi next to del Potro at tournaments, my brain always goes, “Hi, my name’s Larry, this is my brother, Darrell, and this is my other brother, Darrell.”) Behind them were two rows of very empty, and very desirable, seats. When DP clambered up there afterward, all they could do was hug each other over and over; they didn’t have anyone else. The vibe wasn’t “us against the world,” though, the way it is with Maria Sharapova’s player box; DP doesn’t do confrontation. It was just “us.” 

—Dick Enberg opening the trophy presentation by asking del Potro how he felt, considering that the Argentine had claimed that the previous day, when he'd crushed Rafael Nadal, had been the best of his life. DP answered without missing a beat, and with maximum brevity: He said he felt "much better." 

—The sight of del Potro in the press room afterward. One of my favorite rituals at the Slams is the champion bringing the trophy with him up to the dais. I wasn’t shocked by DP’s win yesterday until I saw him behind the same silver cup that Rod Laver raised at Forest Hills when he completed the Grand Slam in 1969. Del Potro hunched low and, as always answered questions slowly and thickly. Finally, an Italian reporter had had enough. He asked, with mock exasperation:

“You always talk so quietly with this soft voice. Do you ever shout in your life, in your private life? Do you ever get angry?”

Del Potro, slowly and thickly, barely looking up: “Yeah, of course.”

—Finally, yesterday on the way into the National Tennis Center, as I passed through security and bag check and traipsed across the grounds to the stultifying press room one last time, I told myself how happy I was not to have to go anywhere near the place for the next 12 months. But as I walked out in the opposite direction after the final, behind a couple in matching blue and white Argentine soccer shirts who had their arms draped around each other, I’d changed my mind. There was a buzz around the grounds and in the air that I was going to miss; I wanted to see more tennis. A few minutes later, I got on the train back into Manhattan. The woman sitting next to me, who was coming from somewhere else, said, “Did you see del Potro?”

“Yes, I saw him.”

“I liked to watch him when he won,” she said, and put her hands over her face to imitate his emotional reaction after the final point. She had hit it: That was why I wanted to see more tennis, to see that emotion and relief that only a player who has won his first major can conjure. It doesn’t happen all that often nowadays, which only made the last moments of yesterday’s final that much more exhilarating. Thanks for sharing it with us, DP. A+

Kc Kim Clijsters

I wonder if she even feels like she’s playing her best yet. Give Clijsters credit: She saw an opening at the top, and she filled it. And she appeared to me to be hitting with more aggression—intelligent aggression—than ever, while the only difference in her movement was that she didn’t do quite as many splits as she did in the old days (that’s a good thing, by the way). While I’m surprised she beat both Williams sisters and went all the way so soon, I knew she would bounce back with no trouble. As with Jennifer Capriati in her comeback at the start of the decade, if you can hit big and through the court on the women’s tour, you always have a chance. Kim can do that, and she can move with a gymnast’s sure-footedness—she seemed to enjoy scaling the wall to get to her husband after the final as much as anything she did on court. More important, she put a smile back on the face of women’s tennis a day after Serena had scowled her way out of the tournament. The trophy ceremony was a love fest and a big welcome back for a favorite of everyone involved in the sport. Her daughter danced, Mary Jo gave her a hug, and the guy crying next to her husband was John Dolan, a WTA pr guy who has had more than his fill of pro egos, but who couldn’t help but become a friend of Kim’s. Would she have beaten Serena anyway? It’s not a lock, given Williams’ history of returns from the dead. But Clijsters deserved the win anyway. You should get something for not dropping an f-bomb at a line judge, shouldn’t you? A+

Caroline Wozniacki

She wasn’t the edgiest runner-up in history—the bloodthirsty sporting rivalry between the Danes and the Belgians just doesn’t register in the Big Apple—or the most famous. A few minutes before the final, I was walking in the hallway under Ashe next to a blonde with two racquets who was wearing a nondescript gray sweatshirt. I didn’t realize it was Wozniacki until I got back to my desk in the pressroom. And I’ve spoken to her before.

I feared a nervous meltdown in the final, but she didn’t show much, if any, fear. Wozniacki is refreshing all around: She doesn’t shriek or look up to her box all that often. She uses her brain, makes adjustments during rallies, and plays purposeful defense. She solved the riddle of Oudin by employing the moonball, and used it again to good effect in the final—let’s just hope the dark days of Andrea Jaeger are not upon us once again. Wozniacki is a natural at the game who also knows how to move forward, even if her volley is an adventure. She made Clijsters, a superior ball-striker, work for everything she got. A

Roger Federer

What does the greatest do after he’s the greatest? Pete Sampras went into a deep slump, rallied for one more major, and retired. He was 32, though, while Federer’s tennis afterlife is beginning at 28. Yesterday he was dwarfed by his younger opponent, and as the match progressed he had to work harder than del Potro to get on the offensive. But while he was outplayed by DP for long stretches, and on his heels much of the time, you might still say that Federer let this one slip away. He went to DP’s forehand a lot, even after the big guy found a monstrous groove with it. And serving for a two-set lead at 5-4 in the second, Federer opted for a drop shot on a key point that he ended up losing. It’s the shot that won him their French Open semi, but maybe he fell a little too in love with it here. Will Federer become overly besotted with his maestro image now that all the heavy lifting is done? His finest moment of the tournament was a between-the-legs shot. Don’t panic yet, though. Even Federer, who was two points from the title, termed this loss “acceptable.” After the year he's had, both professionally and personally, he better say that. A

Melanie Oudin

The only image that could match del Potro’s victory plunge was the celebration Oudin patented after her three upsets: staggering forward, hands-in the-air, eyes bugged out, she was the slightly berserk face of teen triumph, American-style. Don't try to resist. A

Mary Carillo

Right from the start, she was tough but dead-on in her assessment of the Serena situation, blaming the player, not the official, and calling for a suspension. A

Rafael Nadal

Making his second straight Open semi was an accomplishment. Enduring another, very different injury immediately after the knee problem was troubling. Getting run out of town by del Potro was embarrassing, and a possibly a reputation-diminisher in the locker room. But he’s been here before—remember Tsonga in Melbourne?—and returned stronger than ever. The down moments in his career just seem to make him hungrier. If that's possible. B+

Jimmy Connors

Who would have thought we’d wish that Jimmy Connors would loosen up a little? At least undo the top button on your shirt, before you strangle yourself. And stop asking Martina what she thinks—she's gonna tell you anyway. What you said, when you said it, was pretty strong. B

John McEnroe

Mac, Mac, and more Mac. Mac on your TV, Mac in your ear in the stadium, Mac’s eternally-not-quite-balding (how much Rogaine can one man use?) head hovering over the National Tennis Center. He didn’t waste any time making ESPN his territory. I think Brad Gilbert is in witness protection—who was that man in black doing a mixed doubles match on Court 12?—and Darren Cahill didn’t get a whole lot of love either.

But Mac is good. He’s still enthusiastic, and his insights aren't overworked—he never tries to claim that there’s more going on strategically out there than there really is. But his argument that “you just can’t call a foot fault” in the Serena situation was flawed (more on why below). He remains a player chauvinist to a fault. B

Novak Djokovic

What happened to the days when the Serb and his wacky family fought Federer tooth and nail? Now he’s been mesmerized and softly intimidated like the rest of the tour. In their semi, he stuck his butt out for Federer to hit, he prayed to the lord for help, he never acted like he could win the match, and he wrapped it up, as always, with a nice big hug. Smiling is great, but that’s not what most of us want out of a tennis match. C+

Dinara Safina

I’d have more sympathy for her last-minute move to Armstrong if she’d showed a little more in the match she lost there. As it was, Kvitova appeared to me to be every bit as good as the No. 1 player in the world. Reaching that spot may have been the worst thing that ever happened to Dinara. C

Andy Murray

Has he become too methodical in his preparation, to the point where he’s ironed out his creativity? For a player of such vaunted variety, he had no options once he got behind Marin Cilic. There’s no substitute for power and aggression, as del Potro, who just left the Scot and his many Masters titles in the dust, has proven again. C-

Serena Williams

A foot fault is different from a line call for at least one major reason: No matter how much control a player has over his or her feet, they can’t know for sure whether the call was right or wrong, because they’re looking at the ball at that moment. Could Serena have been that confident she didn’t foot fault at the moment she went berserk? She had been called for three others during the tournament, so it couldn’t have been a shock. Rather, she was protesting the idea of the call, of someone having the gall to whistle her for it on a second serve at 5-6 in the second set of the semifinals of the U.S. Open.

There are defenders, most prominently McEnroe, of the idea that “you just don’t make that call at that stage.” The concept comes from basketball, where referees typically try not to decide a game with a foul call. But refereeing in basketball is relatively subjective to begin with; there’s some kind of illegal contact on hundreds of plays during a game. In the final seconds, it’s just a matter of the refs raising their threshold a little for what constitutes a foul. Can we ask this of tennis officials? When should we tell them not to do their jobs and call foot faults? Only on second serves at 5-6 in the second set of the semis of the Open? On match points? In tiebreakers? After the eighth game of a set? No, the simplest answer, as usual, is the best—they should call foot faults when they see them, and players should make sure they don’t commit them. It isn't a trivial rule, either: There obviously needs to be a uniform place where players start points, and the back of the baseline is the easiest spot for it. If you start to allow players to cross the line by half an inch, it will soon become an inch or two inches or three inches, until no one is sure what they can do, or what they can call. 

If there’s a rule of thumb that we should import from another sport, it should come from the NFL. Foot faults, like overruled calls in football, should only be made when they’re indisputable in the eye of the line judge. If there’s doubt, don’t call it. But that criteria should hold true at every stage of the match. If the lineswoman in the Serena semifinal believed without doubt she saw a foot fault, she was right to call it. It’s the player’s job not to cut it that close. And whatever the reason for the call, its obviously the player's job not to threaten anyone.

Serena was angry, at the line judge and at herself. You could see her frustration building during the match. Now, like McEnroe, she’ll have a new, unwelcome addendum to her career bio: A Slam loss because of multiple code violations, because she said—screamed—words that should never be used on a tennis court, brandished her racquet at a line judge, and even went back toward her a second time. As with McEnroe, her temper and her talent are intertwined; as weak as her first apology was, there’s no question that the fierce emotion she showed in her outburst is, when it’s harnessed, part of what has made her an 11-time Slam champion. But that’s what makes her punishment for it all the more necessary, so we can get more of Serena the champion, the Serena who rarely argues calls, in the future. For our purposes today, two f-words—foot-fault—led to more f-words by Serena; they can only be answered in kind here. F

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Posted by TB 09/16/2009 at 11:07 AM

Samantha Elin and others who apparently have a strange way of deciding whether or not an act is moral. Based on your logic it seems to me that you’re saying that an act is judged to be right or wrong mainly by whether or not it was punished in the past? You seem like a broken record when you keep citing that no one answered "OK's" question when I in fact did address it. To repeat, I too think consistency is important and there should be some reliable standard of conduct and rule which is applied to tennis, but to sit around and find cases where someone didn’t get fined or penalized does NOT determine if what Serena did was right or wrong. I am willing to concede that if Agassi fired a ball at an official on purpose then he should have received a warning or point penalty, but if he didn’t, does that mean rules are completely arbitrary and its anything goes?!?

And seriously, if people can’t distinguish between FEd using a couple curse words at an ump, while sitting down, during a disagreement VERSUS Serena threatening a lines person with physical violence, then Im not sure that you’re really capable of having a meaningful discussion about this topic. Curse words are just words, they have no intrinsic meaning, and do not necessarily imply violence, but we as a society acknowledge that maybe they are frowned upon or considered impolite. In contrast, approaching someone, pointing at them and stating that you wish to physically harm them is a different issue and should be considered as such. I realize that the likelihood that Serena was actually going shove a ball down this poor women's throat is very low, but that doesn’t mean she should be allowed to act in such a way.

Posted by Master Ace 09/16/2009 at 11:13 AM

Agree with your grade on as I was able to see any match I wanted whether at home or at the day job(Yes, day job did not block the USO as it normally do other sites).
Jake Garner lost control of the match for me when he let Juan Martin reverse an ace that Roger did when replays show clearly he was ready to serve. Then, the Roger outburst after Jake allowed Juan Martin to challenge when both guys were at their chair. Finally, as you mentioned, allowed Roger to challenge after someone in the crowd shouted out and Juan Martin tapped the ball into the open court for winner. Jake allowed Juan Martin another first serve due to the action being stopped for a few minutes due to the crowd and allowing Roger to challenge. I think he should have had a 2nd serve. But, then again, Jake did not do a good job in the chair.

Posted by le duc 09/16/2009 at 11:15 AM

Why stop with just ignoring foot faults at critical moments? If you take that sort of nonsense to its logical conclusion, close line call outs should also be ignored so that, in the words of the ill informed, it's the players decide who wins and not the lines people. The rules are the rules. it's either in or out, a fault or good. What's the issue??

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/16/2009 at 11:16 AM


Thanks for the video link.

My memory was apparently faulty.

Posted by Master Ace 09/16/2009 at 11:17 AM

Manuelsantana Fan,
On the serve in the 4th set TB, I thought that was Juan Martin's first serve so he should have had a 2nd serve but once I get home, I will have to review the link provided by Geikou.

Posted by kjo 09/16/2009 at 11:17 AM

Regarding Serena, it's difficult to make a final judgement as unlike w/ Fed we don't know exactly what she said. She approached the lineswoman two different times and the only audio we have is from the begining of the first time.

There is however an audio on youtube of the conversation btw Brian Early and the lineswoman. Early asks the lineswoman "what did she say?" Lineswoman answers "She said I'll kill you." No wonder Brian Early took that seriously.

Serena denied going that far. Maybe the lineswoman made a false accusation. Since we don't have the audio, we just don't know. Maybe whatever Serena did say was strong enough that the lineswoman decided that was the gist.

But the seriousness of that accusation is in a whole other universe from Fed complaining to the ump about a call during commercials using some colorful language.

Posted by jimbo 09/16/2009 at 11:18 AM

elmer's glue,
Methinks a few steps have come unglued upon your ladder of logic and reasoning, lol.

Posted by Master Ace 09/16/2009 at 11:19 AM

Think Serena's quote was (not in exact words): "I am going to put this 'F' ball down your 'F' throat."

Posted by geikou 09/16/2009 at 11:25 AM

Personally, the one decision of Garner's that I *really* couldn't believe was that ace of Federer's that was wiped away. I clearly recall that when Delpo claimed he hadn't been ready, Garner had told Delpo that when he looked over to Delpo's side, Delpo had appeared ready to receive. How the hell did Delpo change Garner's mind?? Isn't it one of the jobs of the umpire not to be influenced by the pleadings of the players?? At least Federer ended up holding that game, IIRC, and to his credit, he only complained briefly "But I hit an ace", but that was beyond ridiculous. Garner should definitely not be in the chair for another GS final, at least not for a long time.

Posted by squarish 09/16/2009 at 11:25 AM

Good Morning all. Well, after a bit of a drug induced sleep(I'm working on a gnasty cold right now and am powered by Neo Citran) I'm sitting here at home instead of work and I'm unable to keep my virtual yap shut and need to respond a bit more.

Once again to Samantha elin's main point. What TB and myself are stating is that past infractions by other players in past situations are irrelevant to the discussion about the need for a VERY strong sanction against this particular act. And let's be completely honest: the fine that was meted out was quite frankly laughable. To state that this was a punishment that fits the crime is beyond absurd. We have both conceded that previous actions by other players, including the Agassi example, are egregious as well. A precedent needs to be set, and now is the ideal time.

The obscenity really means nothing to me, it's the direct threat of violence that is most disconcerting. It was pure thuggery, and belongs no where in ANY sport, let alone one with the reputation that tennis has. If a hockey player was swinging his stick and threatening a referee, he would be kicked out of the game and suspended without pay to boot. This is a sport that has an entire penalty system based upon acts of violence.

I agree with OK's statement that consistency matters, but a breaking point has been reached. Now's the time.

Posted by TB 09/16/2009 at 11:27 AM

kjo, i think I agree with what youre saying. I realize not everything Serena said is audible, but im pretty sure she said something to the effect that "your lucky i dont take this ____ ball and shove it down your ___ throat. Such a statment is a world apart from the countless pros such as roddick who say things like "that call was a ___ joke" or "this is Fing stupid", where a profanity is used but no one is directly threatened. Im sure if roddick turned to the ump during a call dispute and said youre lucky i dont come over there and knock you out of that Fing seat" then im sure it would get similar attention to the Serena incident.

Posted by geikou 09/16/2009 at 11:31 AM

And no problem about the video. When I saw yet another person saying that it was a double fault, I thought, Uh oh, am *I* the one who's remembering it totally wrong? And I just had to look it up. ^_^

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/16/2009 at 11:32 AM

The worst umpiring decision from the Open that I saw involved Norm Chryst in the Federer-Djokovic match.

Djokovic hits a serve that Federer barely touches. No call from the linesperson.

Chryst jumps in and calls a fault AFTER the ball has long ago whizzed past Federer. Obviously, Chryst's call had no impact on Federer's swing.

Djokovic challenges Chryst's call. Hawkeye confirms that the serve caught the line and was good.

Chryst orders point replayed over Djokovic's reasonable protests.

Posted by svelterogue 09/16/2009 at 11:33 AM

bravo, steve, for this breath of fresh air in an otherwise stultifying space.

A+ for del potro! F for enberg. C for a-rod.

thank you for responding, tacitly, to the logical response article. the first line of this article did it for me.

thank you for writing about tennis, steve.

a fan,

Posted by zolarafa 09/16/2009 at 11:34 AM

Master Ace,
I didn't see the umpire giving away Roher's Ace. That's a bad decision too!

Thanks for the link.

**she should give her winner's check to an anger management think tank.***
lol! that was good!

Posted by andrea 09/16/2009 at 11:40 AM

grades are fair. i too don't understand why they put the mac brothers together. it's older brother syndrome where john takes the stage and pat lets him have it. but i still do like john mcenroe as a commentator - he really is good - even if his continual waxing and waning about fed being good, fed being surpassed and/or fed being the greatest, fed being challenged gets a little tiresome.

roger looked like he didn't want to be on court anymore during the fourth set tiebreak and 5th set. i think he knew his number was up.

Posted by geikou 09/16/2009 at 11:41 AM

MSF, heh, agreed. I actually haven't liked Norm Chryst since the first time Federer played Simon last year. But this one took the cake. Granted, I have to say, Federer should have taken it upon himself to walk to the other side, and I, as a fan, was slightly disappointed that he didn't. He wasn't required to, though, and it was a horrible decision by Chryst.

Posted by Elmers Glue 09/16/2009 at 11:47 AM

manuelsantansfan: Your resorting to insulting me personally rather than offering a logical response to the ideas which I expressed is actually an endorsement. It shows that as much as you dislike what I said, you have no logical response.

Posted by svelterogue 09/16/2009 at 11:47 AM

shoutout to TB and squarish: i hear ya and i'm with ya. critical thought is a luxury but you both have it in spades! bravo for championing the diminishing few who have their heads on straight.

and to whoever said roger did not use the F word, you can catch it on youtube by now, i hope. he DID use it and he looked like a complete jack*ss. the swiss cheese didn't get his way. neither did he get the title.

vamos juan!

Posted by Elmers Glue 09/16/2009 at 11:53 AM

CW: I couldn't care less what race Serena is, what race OJ is, or what race you are. What we all should have learned from the "teachable moment" offered by the black Harvard professor who immediately jumped to the conclusion that the police arrived because they were racist, when it later came out that among other facts, the police didn't even know what race the person breaking into the home was, - is that many people immediately jump to the conclusion that racism is involved whenever a black person is criticized. This is what you have done in your post. If not, please provide a logical reason why you have concluded that I am a racist. You can't because there is no logical basis.

Posted by Anna 09/16/2009 at 11:54 AM

Hi Steve,
two comments:
Dinara: F- how can the number 1 player in the world lose to someone int he 70s in the third round and not get a failing grade? I do like her and want her to win a slam, but this was just pathetic.

Serena: I agree with the F wholeheartedly. The only comment- these words and actions do not belong in anybody's mouth - period, not just in a tennis court. I would call the police if I ever was spoken to the way Serena spoke, she was just scary. The heat of the moment is the same excuse killers give, and the expression on her face was profound, mindless anger. SCARY. I still of course believe she is the best tennis player in the world, but I could NEVER support her again.

Posted by TB 09/16/2009 at 11:56 AM

"Elmers Glue"

I think that you comparing Serena with OJ has a tinge or racism or at the very least a real lack of tact or nuance. If you had a real point to make, Im sure you could have used a better, less inflamitory analogy or comparison.

Posted by John Baldwin 09/16/2009 at 12:02 PM

To Les Comments:

Please watch the video again before you make a comment like that. Serena "DID NOT" SAY I WILL KILL YOU!!! I watch it my self over and over..So Please if you are going to say something please do you research...



Posted by kjo 09/16/2009 at 12:03 PM

To be clear, I heard the stuff about the f-ing ball down your f-ing throat; just saying that's not ALL that was said as the rest in inaudible. But I did hear the lineswoman accuse Serena of saying I'll kill you.
Again, maybe it's a false accusation.
And I do realise that Serena is actually usually very well behaved on court; this was a total aberration for her and that should be taken into account.

Posted by Benny 09/16/2009 at 12:03 PM

Direct TV: F-

why? because they didn't update the monday guide to reflect the U.S Open programming therefore i had to DVR guiding light, peoples court, rachel ray etc....what a disaster.

Also, the McEnroe brothers were a disaster together - Arguably, Patrick is as good or better than John as an analyst and this just did not work.

Posted by CW 09/16/2009 at 12:04 PM

@Elmer's Glue obviously you do care about their race b/c all your examples are of black people who have nothing in common but their race (not the same profession/gender/age/crime or alleged crime/or anything else)

Why don't we let the officials decide and move on. No one in this world is without fault

Posted by TB 09/16/2009 at 12:08 PM

And furthermore Elmers, I think that you have took a bit of creative liberty in comparing OJ's acts and serena's on court display and her subsequent reaction to it. To imply that Serena is a sociopath/psychopath is quite an intellectual stretch based on little evidence. I think she may be a bit egotistical, hence her apparent inability to concede she had acted horribly, but it seems quite far and away from sociopathic personality. OJ actually killed someone, Serena just said she wanted to harm someone, and i think it was more of a way of verbally expressing frustration. Although it was definatley poor behavior, any comparision to OJ or psychopathic murderers is absured and logically unjustified. I mean, why not make some Jeff Dalmer comparisons while youre at it!

Posted by fedfan 09/16/2009 at 12:09 PM

Okay, don't mind Delpo's win, as he is a charming gentle giant, and a win for Fed is almost tempting the gods, at least this year!

Re Serena: I was as appalled as anyone, and agree she should face some consequences. However, in her defense, I have never seen her behave in this way before, at least not until recently. Her outburst at the French toward the player who didn't acknowledge being hit by a ball, was an equally uncharacteristic foreshadowing of her behavior at the USOpen. Serena is noticeably trimmer than in the past, and I cannot help but wonder if some aspect of whatever her fitness regime now is, is affecting her temperament, and no, I am not,not,not suggesting Serena is using steroids, a ludicrous idea, given her fitness relative to the rest of the women's field. The last thing she needs to do is bulk up. It could be something as simple as not having a high enough calorie intake, I don't know. I just hope that she can take care of whatever caused her to go over the edge.

Posted by fedfan 09/16/2009 at 12:10 PM

p.s. Great post, Steve

Posted by John Baldwin 09/16/2009 at 12:11 PM

"Elmers Glue"

The LOGICAL reason why people think you are racist is that you are comparing a completely non-violent person (Serena..No history of prior violence) to a man (OJ) that was on trial for the murder of his wife and was just convicted of a serious crime..I do not see how you could make that correlation. If you can explain to me how those two people are related besides the fact that they are black then I will hear you out...However I can't see!!

Posted by Master Ace 09/16/2009 at 12:13 PM

Manuelsantana Fan,
Agree about Novak Ace being wiped out by Norm Chryst as Roger had no chance on gettin to the ball out wide. Overall, the semifinals and finals officiating was not good in my opinion.

Yep, Roger Ace was erased and in that game, he had to save 2-3 break points in that game. At that point, that would have given him A-40.

John Baldwin,
Yep, Serena did not use kill you. She used F before ball and throat. Juan Martin and Kim does deserve all the credit for their titles but unfortunately, CBS messed up twice on the ATP side by letting us hear Roger's profanity usage and the ceremony where CBS did not let Juan Martin talk in Spanish especially when ESPN2(different network of course) let Caroline talk in English, Danish, and Polish and she was runnerup to Kim. Serena's tirade messed up the WTA even though Jada running around the court was priceless.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/16/2009 at 12:15 PM


Others have already addressed your OJ-Serena comparison as well or better than I could have.

Have a good day.

Posted by John Baldwin 09/16/2009 at 12:15 PM

Master Ace


Posted by Elmers Glue 09/16/2009 at 12:17 PM

kjo: What I think is disturbing about Serena's actions is her threatening tirade paired with a reluctance to apologize. The two together paint a picture of how Serena thinks. Normal people can lose control of themselves, but if Serena were a normal person then she would have been mortified by her outburst and immediately apologized to everyone to reassure them that she is not a psychopath. It appears that Serena apologized to try to reduce her penalty, and it appeared that she is not really that sorry for her actions.

Posted by Elmers Glue 09/16/2009 at 12:20 PM

TB: I'm sorry if you are a racist or think that everyone is a racist. I didn't say that Serena is a murderer, but her thinking process illustrated by her threatening tirade paired with her reluctance to apologize paint the picture of a psychopath who will do anything to avenge a perceived slight. I can think of no better example of this way of thinking than OJ Simpson, who murdered people to win arguements.

Posted by CW 09/16/2009 at 12:23 PM

lol@ who murdered ppl to win arguments

enough said....responding to anymore of your rants will cause me to lose IQ points.

I hope for your sake that this is your "internet personality" speaking and you are not really like this in real life. If you are, I pity you sir.

Posted by Elmers Glue 09/16/2009 at 12:27 PM

CW: As I said before, I couldn't care less what race OJ is, what race Serena is, or what race you are. OJ offered the best example of a way of thinking in which a person, especially an athlete,would extend his competitive thinking to a point that he would do ANYTHING to avenge a perceived slight up to assaulting or even killing someone. Serena's tirade combined with her reluctance to apologize is what makes me think she thinks the same way OJ does. It seems to be you not I who is concerned with race. To cater to your own racist limitations, can you think of another person who is not black who illustrates this way of thinking? ie - I'm sure that there are people of all races who think this way but I can't think of any other examples who are as good as OJ. Can you?

Posted by maedal (Vamos Rafa and the Armada!) 09/16/2009 at 12:29 PM

steve, i agree with most of what you write here (as usual--i'm a big fan of your writing!), altho i can't say much about the commentators as i watched from a variety of sources including streams in languages i didn't understand...enjoyed your observation about DelPo's box.

where i disagree with you--and manuelsantanafan and others have already voiced this point of view--is your observation that rafa was *run out of town.* he has absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about.

i don't want to get into a discussion of the incident with serena, as it is being amply covered already!--except to say that a rule is a rule. if the feeling is that a footfault should not be called on *important* points (something perrotta and i believe lorge mentioned), those points should be clearly defined and those exceptions should be made part of the rules.

anyway, love your post-tournament musings and the discussions (mostly civil) that they engender...while we kill time waiting for the next tournament! thanks so much.

Posted by CW 09/16/2009 at 12:35 PM

No response from me Elmer I'm keeping my IQ points today :)

Posted by TB 09/16/2009 at 12:43 PM

"Elmers Glue" , dude, you are clearly throwing around the term psychopath pretty loosely, and think maybe you need some advanced training in clincal psychology or psychiatry before you start diagnosing people with personality disorders! The racist overtones of your analogy are just the beginning, take that element out and you still get an F on your logic paper. Your comparison doesnt hold water. OJ kills people and has no remorse and no empathy therefore he's a sociopth, which appears to be the case based on considerable evidence. In contrast, Serena displays an unacceptable aggressive outburst during a sporting event, fails to take adequate or meaningful responsibility for her behavior--therefore psychopath???!?!!? That seems to me to be your argument, and if youre convinced by such reasoning then you're probably willing to believe about anything.

Posted by Elmers Glue 09/16/2009 at 12:44 PM

CW: You still have offered no logical response to my ideas. And it appears that, same as me, you can't think of a better example than OJ. Since you laugh at the idea of OJ murdering people to win arguments - maybe you can explain - Why did OJ repeatedly beat his wife then murder her and her innocent friend? To me his actions as well as his statements and other behavior are that of a person who cannot admit he is wrong because to do so would be "losing". Serena is reluctant to apologize for her thratening behavior because she thinks the same way. CW, instead of calling me names, can you offer a logical resoponse to the ideas which I have presented?

Posted by CW 09/16/2009 at 12:48 PM

Anyway Im exhausted of this

As far as DelPo, I had a good feeling throughout the tournament that he was going to win. He was playing far too well to not.

Time for the Andy's to step up!

As far as the WTA, I wonder how far JJ and Dinara will fall during this fall season. JJ has mucho points to defend. Time for some serious vacations for a lot of the women!

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/16/2009 at 12:52 PM


For the record, based on your comments, I have no idea if you're a racist. To the extent anyone is labelling you as such, I'm not in that camp.

As far as Serena's lassitude in apologizing and the nature of her apologies, others have noted that there may have been/be legal repercussions regarding her outbursts.

Consequently, I suspect that she received advice to be careful concerning her post-match comments. If she received that type of advice, she was wise to heed it.

Posted by Anna 09/16/2009 at 12:53 PM

can you please put an end to the OJ talk?

Posted by TB 09/16/2009 at 12:53 PM

CW, Im with you on this one, although I feel its good intellectual training to attempt to persuade others to better arguments and to make clear reasonable statments, however, I think I too may have lost a few points from this experience.

Posted by Elmers Glue 09/16/2009 at 01:09 PM

TB - Thank you for your logical response to the ideas which I presented. Let me say for at least the third time, I could not care less what race Serena, OJ, or anyone else is. Sure it is interesting from a fashion standpoint but that is about all. If there are "racist overtones" in what I said, it is due to racist thinking on the part of the readers. To cater to peoples preoccupation with race and their racist limitations, let's use Pete Rose as an example of the same way of thinking. Pete Rose gambled on games in voiolation of the rules of baseball, and for many years could not admit his mistake and apologize because to do so would be "losing". Serena Williams thinks the same way. And what is disturbing is that Serena is not that sorry for threatening the life of the lineswoman. This would make her a psychopath - same as OJ.

Posted by Elmers Glue 09/16/2009 at 01:17 PM

It is sad that you all appear to think the same way the black Harvard professor does - that criticizing a black person = racism. You couldn't be more wrong.

Posted by thebigapple 09/16/2009 at 01:20 PM

Elmer's Glue, you are completely unstuck.

I finally found a repeat of Fed's cursing. Somehow I had missed it during the match. I cannot find anything wrong with it and one could even say by thsi evening I will find myself fully approving of it.

The calling of this match and the one with Djokovic was below par. A player of Roger's experience has every right to let them have it - right there and then. The umpire had the temerity to tell the Fed to shut up. This New York dude, let the man be heard. (Of course,CBS was free to go its commies).

I am not sure that the words he used real qualifies as a hard core expletive anyway - I have often heard it used in perfectly civil business meetings in NYC. Maybe in Kansas, it may cause a flurry. A little on the tough side but mild stuff. Not too much for a guy that carries a gold murse.

Posted by Ross 09/16/2009 at 01:25 PM

Why couldn't Delpo give those vacant tennis seats to a needy tennis fan--like me? Of course, he could instead have given them (or allowed the USTA to do that) to some even more needy fans or kids. That certainly would have been great, but clearly he had a lot of other things to think about. Maybe next time.

Posted by TB 09/16/2009 at 01:34 PM

Man Elmers, im trying to work with you here man but you keep digging yourself in a deeper illogical hole. You didnt even address my points about arm chair diagnosing. You cant just say someone is a psychopath based on some half-baked comparison to OJ or anyone else for that matter. I see you apparently are impressed with this comparison but its pretty weak man. I mean Serena is black and OJ is black, they have that in common. Are suggesting that being black was a determining factor in either action or subsequent response. Id say the answer is no, OJ didnt kill someone because he was black, it was because he may be a sociopath with little regard for others. Serena didnt go off on the lines person because she's black, and to argue that she did so because she is a psychopath illustrates your lack of knowledge regarding psychopathology and perhaps logic itsself. Quite saying im focused on race, your argument is very flawed without the race component.

Posted by Elmers Glue 09/16/2009 at 01:44 PM

TB - Your affecting an additude of superiority and congratulating yourself for intellectual tolerance does not mean that you in any way have refuted the ideas which I have expressed. You have agreed that a certain nameless person, let's call him "Talliwacker" is a psychopath based on volumes of evidence. My point is that Serena's threatening tirade combined with her apparent lack of remorse shows a way of thinking which in not identical to, but similar to that of Talliwacker or of Pete Rose. The difference between Serena and Talliwacker is mainly one of degree. As far as using the term "psychopath" - I am not being paid to make a clinical diagnosis but am using the term to express an idea. Serena's way of thinking is sick and is something that if allowed to manifest is something that could drive her to do something similar to what Talliwacker did.

Posted by TB 09/16/2009 at 02:06 PM

""TB - Your affecting an additude of superiority and congratulating yourself for intellectual tolerance does not mean that you in any way have refuted the ideas which I have expressed.""

I agree and disagee with the above statement, in that order.

"""My point is that Serena's threatening tirade combined with her apparent lack of remorse shows a way of thinking which in not identical to, but similar to that of Talliwacker or of Pete Rose. The difference between Serena and Talliwacker is mainly one of degree."""

Big deal, so i get anry sometimes and im sure many of us fail to be empathetic in certain situations, which according to your logic edges us ever closer to sociopathy? Yes, i agree that these traits are on a continuim from normal to pathological, but again you have somewhat arbitrarily assigned Serena a spot further down the continuim. While being egostistical is often a trait exhibted by those with antisocial personaility Disorder, that trait alone does not make one a psychopath. She may exhibit more traits of a certain disorder than the average person, but again thats higly conjectural at this point and leaves you with everything to prove.

Posted by Elmers Glue 09/16/2009 at 02:31 PM

TB: I agree with you. I think the ideas I expressed have a lot of uncertainty and are not definitive, but have enough merit to be included in the discussion. What bothers me is that Serena does not appear to be remorseful about threatening the life of another person. You and I agree that she may exhibit traits of a certain disorder more than the average person. That is all I am saying. I think YOU are making a mistake as follows: You are treating my comments as though I were a psychiatrist being paid to make a clinical diagnosis and required to adhere to the standards of medical practice. If that were the case then I would be obligated to provide sufficient evidence for my concluion. But I am merely a person commenting on a message board!

Posted by jimbo 09/16/2009 at 02:35 PM

Elmers Glue,
OJ murdered out of passion and a sense of losss of control! Lol! He was not trying to win any debate. He felt loss and was attempting to own Nicole and controll evenys and people he felt were out of his control. He was NOT trying to win any debate. Lol!

Posted by Samantha Elin 09/16/2009 at 02:44 PM

Serena reminds me of OJ Simpson, a two time murderer, did you write that with a straight face?

Posted by Samantha Elin 09/16/2009 at 02:47 PM

I sure didn't have one reading it. It was LOL!

Posted by Samantha 09/16/2009 at 02:50 PM

The internet shrinks analysing Serena are pretty funny too.

Posted by Elmers Glue 09/16/2009 at 02:54 PM

Samantha Elin: Yes, Serena threatened the life of a person and doesn't appear to be remorseful. She threatened the life of a person because she thought she was treated unfairly. I didn't say she was as bad as OJ, I merely said her thinking reminds me of the way "Talliwacker" thinks. (We are not allowed to use the "O" word on this board because the moderator is too scared.)

Posted by Elmers Glue 09/16/2009 at 02:55 PM

jimbo: You are right. I am equating loss of control with losing an argument. Talliwacker killed his wife because she defied him in some way. Is that losing an argument, or losing control?

Posted by Elmers Glue 09/16/2009 at 02:58 PM

Samantha Elin: Why is it a crime to threaten another person's life?

Posted by linex 09/16/2009 at 03:01 PM

Manuel Santana fan there is no need to say that Delpo is not a fair play guy because of that tiebreak point. First of all I am not so sure it was a double fault. In my view the shot that the replay showed out for a minimum margin was a first serve. Second, if Roger got confused for a call, unfortunately it is his problem, the rules do not protect players confusions. If he got confused that is bad luck and he does not have the right to reverse a point he chose to return with a late challenge. Most commentators criticized the empire for allowing Roger to challenge after his unfortunate confusion.

Did you know that David Nalbandian ended losing a tiebreak against Roddick in the US Open semi final in 2003 that would have sent him directly to a final against Ferrero because of a confusion with a ball he thought was out due to the call of a spectator? The empire did not allow to replay the point, David lost that crucial point that was one of three match points he had in the tiebreak, Nalbi lost his focus and ended losing the tiebreak. Imagine the heat of Ashe stadium when their local Andy R was playing a crucial tiebreak that would prevent him from playing a final ...

As I said during the finals match call in TW, Delpo´s experience playing in Bs As parque Roca during the semi between Argentina and Russia with all the public chanting and calling points during the matches against Kolya and Andreev sure helped him in his experience in Ashe.

Posted by You're crazy 09/16/2009 at 03:04 PM

Steve, Really???!!!! Serena an F for that.....u think she was over the top and dramatic with the way she acted? Well the pot is definitely call the kettle black. Chill out!


Posted by Elmers Glue 09/16/2009 at 03:06 PM

If Serena had immediately apologized in a reassuring fashion then I would not think that much of her tirade, because the fact is, people can sometimes lose control of themselves in tough situations. But what makes the situation 50 times as bad in my mind, is that fact that Serena is not remorseful about threatening the life of a person. I think she only apologized to minimize her possible penalties from the USTA. And Serena does not grasp the significance of the threats she made.

Posted by Mim 09/16/2009 at 03:10 PM

I for one am very proud of Rafa and what he accomplished at the US Open this year. It is absolutely amazing that he did this well considering he was playing with a ruptured abdominal muscle! (OUCHIE! His tolerance for pain is way high!) He wanted to fight and test himself. He wanted to do his best and compete to the best of his abilities. I think reclaiming his #2 ranking (though that isn't the most important thing to him) and matching his best result before falling to an on fire Del Potro is a very very VERY good result. Not too long ago I was just ecstatic to just SEE him on court competing and doing what he loves. His two months absence(are you sure they weren't years?) was absolute torture. He was dearly missed and I am very happy to see him back. No doubt he is facing yet another challenge (some might say "setback" but not for Rafa it isn't) But I have no doubt in my mind that he will overcome this (and like you predicted Steve Tignor) come back stronger for it.

As for losing to Del Potro (the eventual champ, YAAY!), there's no shame in that and Rafa would be the first to tell you that. Even though that match was difficult for me to watch as a Rafan because Rafa was struggling throughout and was in pain, the best part of that defeat was how Rafa just never seemed to get down on himself and give up! He faced each and every point with the same determination even though he didn't stand a chance because he was being out-played and physically couldn't put up a Rafaesque resistance. I love that about him. I'm rather surprised by this statement Steve Tignor seeing as you know a lot about Rafa's philosophy and character. He isn't one to get a "bruised ego". He's too resilient, full of passion and life and too busy thinking about what he needs to do to improve and get better to allow himself to get bogged down and pity himself. He's such a toughie ^_^ Heart of a Champion. And don't get me started on how he stopped to sign for the fans even through his pain and disappointment. It was adorable watching how the children relate to him and take it upon themselves to let him know that he tried his best and that they were still proud of him and loved him even more for it. The interaction was something special, they even reached out to offer consolatory pats on his shoulders and back. They understand that he gave 100% and even though he lost (badly) he still gave it his all and will be back. How he influences children (adults too!) is amazing to see. What a positive role model!

Isn't Rafa going to the Davis Cup with his teammates for the sole purpose of offering his support even though he can't physically compete? I swear, he makes me love him more everyday and I didn't think it was possible to love him more!

I for one give him an A+ with a gold star and an extra big hug and kisses (next year when he wins it he'll get cookies ^_^ ).

I just love Rafa, VAMOS

Posted by Hootyhoo 09/16/2009 at 03:12 PM

I sincere and emotional around the end interview with Serena on Good Morning America

Posted by HootyHoo 09/16/2009 at 03:23 PM

Excuse me. I meant to say "A Sincere and emotional interview with Serena on Good Morning America."

check it out:

Posted by Bojan 09/16/2009 at 03:26 PM

Giving Novak and Andy M. the same grade. And to Safina...

I call it pathetic. I guess you always find a way to put down Novak's efforts.

The guy won over the crowd in NY, and fought until the end with out-of-sorts Federer (who showed the game like the one against Novak only the first set in the finals). I thought everyone noticed that, but it seems you didn't. And made it to the first SF on a grand slam this year. So I wouldn't say his performance deserved C+, probably B, or at least B-.

Posted by JWhite 09/16/2009 at 03:29 PM

Good grades Steve.

Happy to see Fed let out some emotions other than crying.
Serena will hopefully get a good suspension. Im still POed at Tom for defending Serenca on the issue. Probably won't continue my subscription after reading his crap. Just foolish. Well done though Steve.

Posted by Mim 09/16/2009 at 03:42 PM

Thanks for the link HootyHoo!

Leave Serena alone! What? Does she now have to pay for what she did for the rest of her career?! She was punished already, she lost the championship and paid the maximum fine! People need to get a life and move on! I just love how self-righteous and holier-than-thou people can get when someone falters. The fact that she's successful, rich and famous does NOT change the fact that she is a human being! Suspending her from the tour and/or banning her from competing next year is complete overkill and utter nonsense!

That being said, are they going to reform the foot-fault rule? This, to me, is the real issue. I don't think that a call that affects the score and outcome of a match should be left to a lines person with no chance of review. Like Serena and the rest of us, lines people are just that...PEOPLE. They are NOT infallible. I cannot believe how behind Tennis is when it comes to things like schedules, rules, security and technology. It's time we grow and evolve for the better. That call was most unfair, and the idea that a player is at the mercy of the official (who could most definitely be WRONG) is even more aggravating and absurd. Do people remember Marat Safin? He had a major outburst, went on to berate and curse the lines person and umpire. And the foot fault was no where near as serious a call as it was in the Serana/Clijsters Grand Slam semi-final!

As for Roger Federer's hissy fit. I actually enjoyed it. I think the officials need to be held accountable for their actions (or lack thereof). They are so inconsistent in how they enforce the rules, that they should just let the players govern themselves! That being said, I would have LOVED to see Mr. Roger Federer's reaction if a lines person had called a foot fault to give his opponent double match point in a Grand Slam semi-final. He was pretty pissed off at the Umpire and it was because he allowed Del Potro a late challenge that Del Potro eventually lost anyway. Plus, Roger was allowed a late challenge himself later on in one of the tie-breakers. Bottom line, it wasn't even a situation that directly (or indirectly) affected the outcome of the match and championship, but he was ticked off because of its injustice.

No body likes to get kicked in the mouth. And if it happens to you often enough, one day, you reach your limit. If you can't relate to that, then I don't know what to say to you. Steve Tignor, not happy with your safe, cowtowing stance. I would preferred a much more balanced and thoughtful write-up on Serena's case.

Posted by Bridal jewelry, Wedding jewelry, Bridesmaid jewelry, 09/16/2009 at 03:42 PM

Steve Tignor, you're an Moron

Posted by HootyHoo 09/16/2009 at 03:45 PM

You're welcome Mim :)

Posted by Michael 09/16/2009 at 03:51 PM

Yes, Serena was wrong but come on suspension is way too much...Mary Carillo sux...and if I was serena I wouldnt ever give her another interview...Mary Carillo is super gross

Posted by CW 09/16/2009 at 03:55 PM

If they were to suspend Serena for a year, if I were her I would just long after you think Venus would do the same. American tennis and tennis in general would be in shambles without two of their marquee players that they make tons of money off of in advertisement and sponsor dollars.

Posted by Jed 09/16/2009 at 03:55 PM

Wow Michael, what a sophisticated level of analysis! They need more people like you making up laws and rules. But yeah, your point about MC being gross, dead on.

Posted by Elmers Glue 09/16/2009 at 03:56 PM

Hootyhoo: I saw the beginning of the GMA story only because my Cricket internet connection is s......l........o...................w. But I'm not too impresed with an apology which takes 3 days to give. And her "apology" is mostly an attempt to justify her threatening outburst, not to express her mortification at her own behavior.

Posted by Ross 09/16/2009 at 03:58 PM

Good interview. What was the name of the book again?

Posted by Jonathon 09/16/2009 at 03:59 PM

Serena-So Wrong for her actions


Posted by easton 09/16/2009 at 04:02 PM

My gal Serena went gangsta, and lost the match for it. That's on her - I fault her for the extent of the tirade, but will never stop loving her and cheering for her.

I agree with a previous writer that Steve was SILENT with regards to Fed's F-bomb and back-talking (Fed's my boy, like Tiger, so no big deal there).

I suspect that a lot of writers and commentators - Carillo, Steve, Wertheim, etc - are quite happy to pile on and max out the criticisms of Serena. yes, she f****d up, but its as if its open season on Serena, to really stick it to her. This girl suffered many controversial calls against other players , and usually play on without fuss (except for the invite to Sanchez).

Good thing that she has a tough skin and usually could care less about the commentators and detractors. Thankfully she is GOOD, and is able to win BIG matches against the best, always confounding the critics (Wertheim predicted 3-4 yrs ago that the sisters will not win a slam again or be number 1...imagine that).

So, take your licks, girl. The last apology was approrpiate and sufficient. Now go beat the crap out of Kim and Co. And keep bouncing that booty.

Posted by les 09/16/2009 at 04:05 PM

So descriptive of our society's present set of standards and morals:

Serena becomes the unfortunate victim of:
rules of play
match commentators
tennis fans

Time for a "Tea and Sympathy" Party in her honor.

Posted by vince 09/16/2009 at 04:06 PM

what about andy?

Posted by Blockhead 09/16/2009 at 04:07 PM

Agreed on most points.

Carillo - I'm so tired of her thesaurus-digging, pompous, windy overkill on almost everything that comes out of her mouth. She was right on point on her assessment of the Serena incident, but in point-by-point match play - she's a windbag.

McEnroe - clearly, clearly wrong on his foot fault statement. Rules are rules - on the first point and the last point of a match.

Federer - not the best shot I've ever seen by a longshot. Agassi's famous blind, over the shoulder pass was much more impressive. That being said, I've seen a dozen shots (in one match) from Fabrice Santoro that make Fed's between the legs cliche look commonplace.

Serena - she's garbage and always has been. I was IN NO WAY suprised at what transpired. She should receive a substantial fine and a long suspension.

Roddick, Djokovic, Murray -- a multi-point or multi-set snooze fest will get you every time.

Posted by Gillian 09/16/2009 at 04:10 PM

JMDP was all class this tournament. He's such a good player and good kid, I forgive him for making me feel old (he was born the year I started 9th grade).

Posted by Elmers Glue 09/16/2009 at 04:12 PM

I think Serena deserves a suspension of 3-6 months. Her apparent lack of remorse makes her appear to have serious moral or mental issues.

Posted by Betty 09/16/2009 at 04:15 PM

Steve Tignor, why aren't you commenting on Roger Federer's tirade during his match with Del Potro!. Federer used the "F..." word twice to the referee as well as the "S...t" word. How is he different from Serena?. You and Mary Carillo are hypocrites and should be fired from your jobs. Federer should also be penalized and sanctioned.

Posted by No Mames Buey 09/16/2009 at 04:17 PM

Preliminary disclaimer: I'm a fan of both Federer & Serena Williams.
Tignor, why did you not address Fed dropping (IIRC) 2 f-bombs & 1 sh-bombs, & in general talking very disrespectfully & arrogantly at umpire Jake Gardner, when questioning why Del Potro took too long to call a line-call challenge? Why did Fed not receive a code violation for this behavior?

Is there some favoritism or bias that Fed enjoys, that Serena does not?

Or perhaps Jake Gardner is a superior umpire to the Serena match umpire & line judge. Perhaps Gardner knowns not to take player behavior personally, & thought it's not worth possibly impacting the outcome of this GS Final match to call Fed for a code violation at that time in the match.

BTW - IIRC maybe 3 yrs ago at the USO or the Aussie O, Lleyton "Lawnmower Man" Hewitt launched several f-bomb laden insults at a line judge, over the course of say 30 mins. Hewitt's behavior was objectively worse than Serena's, & IIRC Hewitt did not receive a code violaton.

Posted by Blockhead 09/16/2009 at 04:17 PM

Betty - in case you missed it -- and apparetly you did - Federer did NOT threaten the umpire. Quite a difference there.

I do agree he should receive a fine - but nothing else.

Posted by Elmers Glue 09/16/2009 at 04:20 PM

easton: Serena's profanity and threatening the life of a lineswoman is the same as Federer's use of profanity only in that they both can warrant a code violation, which is the only penalty Serena has suffered so far, except for the meaningless fines. If you think the 2 episodes are equivalent then there is something wrong with your thinking. In threatening to shove the ... ball down the woman's ... throat, Serena threatened her life, in the same way as if she had said she was going to cut her ... throat with a ... knife. What really discraces Serena, is that she is not remorseful but only "apologized" in hopes of avoiding suspension.

Posted by No Mames Buey 09/16/2009 at 04:25 PM

re "Samantha elin 09/15/2009 @ 9:12 PM"

Agree that there seems to be a bias for non-English language speakers, as you mention Bjorkman cursing in Sweedish.

Any Spanish-speaker that has watched a Nadal match, will note that Nadal might yell out "puta" say 3X/match, after making an unforced error shot. "puta" means prostitute, but is considered a "-bomb" swear word in Spanish.

My guess is that the Russians, Serbs, Germans, French, etc stay cursing like sailors & rarely get code violations for it.

Posted by Ian 09/16/2009 at 04:25 PM


Sorry, But once again your writing seemed pretty biased. I'll stop here as it seems pretty evident that there are many examples of what your missed already on this topic. Please stop writing crum-bum pieces. Please stop.

Posted by Gdub 09/16/2009 at 04:25 PM

I am so tired of the Serena situation and the "white" media blowing it totally out of proportion. God, does anyone remember what happened to Thomas Muster when he chased a player around with this racquet cocked back ready to swing years ago? I am starting to think Richard Williams was correct in his assessment of the WTA tours lack of acceptance for his daughters. I hate to play this card and I usually don't but it all seems racially motivated to me. Mary Carillo was NOT right because she felt Serena should not be allowed to play the doubles final and I thought that was really stupid because Venus should not have to pay for something her sister did!

Posted by geikou 09/16/2009 at 04:26 PM

"Federer - not the best shot I've ever seen by a longshot. Agassi's famous blind, over the shoulder pass was much more impressive. That being said, I've seen a dozen shots (in one match) from Fabrice Santoro that make Fed's between the legs cliche look commonplace."

In Federer's defense, he did say that it was *his* best shot, not the best shot ever. So to bring others into this is a non sequitur. ^_~

As for the difference between Serena's and Fed's tirades, my personal take on it is this: If you take out the profanity in Serena's outburst but leave the rest of the language the same, she should still have been punished. It was not the f-bombs that were the issue, IMO. It was what she said and her manner in saying it. OTOH, Federer was pissed but not threatening. Perhaps he should still be fined simply for profanity, but his outburst was of an entirely different nature.

Posted by No Mames Buey 09/16/2009 at 04:26 PM

@ Betty 09/16/2009 @ 4:15 PM

Apparently great minds think alike :)

Posted by PredictionGuy 09/16/2009 at 04:27 PM

once again your predictions are wrong steve. you suck sh*t at predictions

Posted by Samantha elin 09/16/2009 at 04:29 PM

Elmers Glue, please keep posting because you're LOL. I can't stop laughing at your post.

Posted by Blockhead 09/16/2009 at 04:29 PM

Geikou -- not my words chief -- please check your facts and re-read the opening paragraph.

Posted by Ren 09/16/2009 at 04:30 PM

Steve Tignor: F for bad predictions.

Posted by Betty 09/16/2009 at 04:31 PM

Mary Carillo has never said anything nice about the Williams' sisters. She called Serena subhuman,an Amazon, etc. and now she is leading the pack to have Serena eliminated from playing tennis.
Mary Carillo is unprofessional and should be fired, pronto!!!.
Won't watch anymore tennis if she is the commentator.
If Serena and Venus leave tennis no one will watch and the attendance will me.

Posted by Blockhead 09/16/2009 at 04:33 PM

I'll be watching Betty, but I'm sure no one will mind if you aren't.

Posted by Franka 09/16/2009 at 04:34 PM

"he stuck his butt out for Federer to hit, he prayed to the lord for help, he never acted like he could win the match". Cannot agree more with what you said about Nole. It's totally a wrong mindset to bring to the court in a Grand Slam SF. Almost look like he wants to entertain the audiences more than he wants to win the match. Despite his ups and downs in the past year, I believe he still have what it takes to win a slam, but not like this. He needs to get his priority straight, fast.

Posted by easton 09/16/2009 at 04:38 PM

Elmer you thnk she was REALLY going to shove the ball down that woman's throat?? Or up you-know-where??

C'mon, don't be so literal.

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