Home       About Abigail Lorge       Contact        RSS Categories       Archive
<<  Bud Collins and the Traveling Pants Dokic and Doppelgangers  >>

Short Points: Serena January 28, 2009 - 11:27 AM

A few quick Serena-centric notes in advance of Thursday’s semifinals:

Advantage: Serena
Talented Russian women who have yet to win a singles Slam make up three-quarters of the semifinal bracket. The other quarter: Serena Williams, winner of nine majors in her career.

SerenaalWilliams, whose first Grand Slam came at the U.S. Open nearly a decade ago, in 1999, and whose most recent came at the same tournament last September, would seem to be the obvious pick to win not only because of the quality of her tennis, but also because she is a ferocious competitor in the big matches. Her opponent for Thursday’s semifinal, the fourth-ranked Elena Dementieva, must be disheartened to know that Serena is 12-2 (an 86% winning percentage) in Grand Slam semifinals – that is, if Dementieva isn’t discouraged enough by the imposing display of tennis Serena put on in the second half of her quarterfinal against Svetlana Kuznetsova. Williams’ record in Grand Slam finals is nearly as formidable: 9-3.

Russia is by far the deepest nation in women’s tennis, but for the Russian women left in the draw here, the major events have been an exercise in futility. Dementieva has come the closest to winning a Slam, making two finals (both in 2004) and four other semifinals. Dinara Safina has made one final and one semifinal (both last year). Safina’s opponent, Vera Zvonareva, had never made it past the quarterfinals before this current run. So the three Russian semifinalists are a combined 3-5 in career Grand Slam semifinals and 0-3 in Grand Slam finals. Those numbers, compared with Serena’s, don’t bode well for the Russians.

Of course, Serena will need to serve well to win the title; her serve is usually her biggest weapon, and it has let her down at times during this tournament. But looking at how Serena has performed in big matches in the past, it’s hard to pick against her.

Navigating the many layers of the body
Unlike some of the more surly and staid players on tour, Serena is a willing and often charming participant in post-match press conferences, indulging journalists’ questions with patience and smiles. (Granted, it’s easier to volley good-naturedly with the press when you’ve just won a match, and Serena is victorious most of the time.) But she does not have quite the facility with words that she has with a racquet (“sometimes I think I’m dyslexic,” she said last week), and she’s prone to the occasional malapropism.

Wednesday’s verbal fault occurred during her on-court post-match interview. Asked about playing in the extreme heat before the roof of Rod Laver Arena was closed, Serena said the early part of the match felt like an “outer-body experience.” She used the same phrase a couple of times in the presser, but the stenographer generously corrected her words to read “out of body experience” in the official transcript.

Here’s one effective method motivational technique: use the threat of flying coach class (the horror!) as a deterrent. When Kuznetsova had the second set – and match – on her racquet, Serena told herself that she would fly coach from Australia back to Florida if she didn’t turn the match around. “I was thinking…how uncomfortable that would be,” Williams said afterwards. “That motivated me to do a little better.”

The 27-year-old has won $22 million in prize money in her career, a figure that is likely dwarfed by what she’s earned in endorsements. But when pressed on whether she really flies coach, she said: “Yeah, I do. Prices have soared nowadays. I told you, I'm really economic.”

I don’t believe that Serena Williams regularly suffers in the cramped seats at the back of the plane, but she was certainly economical – clinical, in fact – in the way she played the second half of her quarterfinal match Wednesday. She raised her level and won 10 of the last 11 games in an impressive display. As I wrote at the onset of this tournament, I’d like to see Dementieva finally win a major here, but if Serena zeroes in the way she did for the last set and a half on Wednesday, I don’t give the Russian much of a chance.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Posted by Stats&Methods January 28, 2009 at 11:41 AM


Posted by chadsworld January 28, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Great points! I think that Serena will prevail in 3 sets against Dementieva. She is a 9 GS Winner for a reason! I think ppl must factor in that she has been playing everyday with the her doubles matches.

I see a win for her in the singles and the doubles!

Posted by HandsomePete January 28, 2009 at 11:46 AM

I like Serena. And you have to appreciate her motivational tactics.

I'd share my complimentary airline snacks with Serena in the coach section of the plane. Absolutely.

Posted by Norb January 28, 2009 at 12:21 PM

Another Serena gem yesterday:

"But it got hotter, so... Or is it 'more hot'?"

For a native speaker, her verbal skills could be better. Or is it more better?

Posted by Skw January 28, 2009 at 12:35 PM

He he he. I feel like that whole 'flying coach' thing is stolen from Venus. Remember how she did that after losing early in Paris, and when Serena was asked how she had reacted to her loss, she said she flew first class in some fancy airline.

Posted by bigwoman January 28, 2009 at 12:56 PM

If Serena plays with the roof closed, she will win her fourth GS!

Posted by danman January 28, 2009 at 01:06 PM

Sorry all you Serena fans, but I would love nothing more than for Serena to get soundly beaten by Dementieva. I think Dementieva is the absolute epitome of class and grace both on and off court. Serena, on the other hand is totally self absorbed and never gives her opponents credit when they out-play her (Example: When Henin spanked her at the '07 US Open, Serena attributed it to the fact that Henin "Made some lucky shots"). The only time you will hear Serena applaud her opponents is when she wins. She will be like, "Yeah, so and so played unbelievable..." Which is not really a compliment to her opponent, but to herself in the fact that she won. This post is not necessarily a rant on Serena though. I will not disagree that Serena is a Champion and deserves the credit she gets, but I think it's time for someone to look at Serena over the net sqaure in the eyes and not be afraid of her. I think Dementieva has been playing the best tennis of anyone this week, and I really think she deserves to win this tournament. She can beat Serena, but will she is the question? I think she will, and Dementieva will make a fantastic No. 1 for the Women's game.

Posted by elisse January 28, 2009 at 01:12 PM

Nice piece. I think it will be a great match.
Serena loves these occasions. She just needs her usual eye of the tiger look and it's hers. She cracks me up in press conferences as well.

Posted by Tennis Lover January 28, 2009 at 01:35 PM

Not sure if Serena will be able to pull through against Dementieva. She's in the semis, and while she does have a fantastic record in semifinals, she simply hasn't played well this tournament. Even against Kuznetsova, she didn't win the second set - Kuzi handed it to her. She did get a lot better in the 3rd, although part of that was because her opponent faltered.

Either way, GO SERENA!! Number 10 is on your racquet!!

Posted by Roger January 28, 2009 at 01:52 PM

Of course Serena was in a good mood after she won her match. The true test of someone's character is how they handle defeat, and Serena does not exactly have a reputation for being gracious or "charming" in post-match interviews when she loses. How can anyone forget Serena's reaction after she lost to Henin at the 2007 US Open?

Here's the transcript:

Check out the related NY Times article "Williams Could Use an Etiquette Lesson"

Dementieva is playing well and is one of the nicest women on the tour (as confirmed by Abby's previous blog). I hope she destroys Serena. Then we'll see if Serena is patient and charming with the press.

Posted by Seven January 28, 2009 at 01:52 PM

Everyone talks about Dementieva being such an epitome of class, Did you find nothing wrong when after being beaten by Venus at Wimbledon when she said that the final will be fixed, and that the WS matches are fixed ?
That wasnt the first time she said that, she also did a couple of years ago. Venus was very offended by that comment.
Anyways, I think the match depends on how Serena plays. If she doesnt bring her A game, she will be sent home easily and quickly.
To win, Serena needs to bring her A game and maintain it. Because that's what happened at the Olympics, she didnt maintain her high level of play so Elena took advantage and won the match.

Serena needs to Serve great, Return Great and move great and flatten out her strokes a bit and keep the balls deep.

Posted by January 28, 2009 at 01:55 PM

Tennis Lover

In the second set, she definitely won it, it wasn't handed to her on the contrary. In those last string of games Serena turned on her return of serves, began dictating, serving bigger, and hit more winners in those last few games to Kuzi's errors. The only reason her opponent faltered was because Serena raised her game, causing Kuzi to falter. All in all it was an effort on Serena's part.

Posted by Ashton January 28, 2009 at 02:23 PM

Serena's past matches have been all about skill.... and luck! You cannot deny that she has had some good luck here, but I don't see it continuing against Elena. Great comeback though last night from Serena.

Posted by Jessica January 28, 2009 at 02:26 PM

I completely agree with danman, I could not have said it any better.

Posted by Master Ace January 28, 2009 at 02:30 PM

Out of the 5 losses Serena has when making it to least the semifinals, Venus defeated her in 3(USO 2001 F, Wimbledon 2008 F, and Wimbledon 2000 F) of them. Outside of Venus, only Justine Henin at 2003 French Open SF(stopped the Serena Slam) and Maria Sharapova at 2004 Wimbledon F defeated her.

Posted by Elena January 28, 2009 at 02:32 PM

Sorry I find it extremely difficult to support a player like Serena. She has a lousy attitude and personality that I cannot tolerate. I hope the always-classy Elena can show Serena whose boss.

Posted by Penny January 28, 2009 at 02:33 PM

Oh please Elena, demolish Serena! I have been waiting for someone to beat Serena, and it has almost happened. You can win it Elena!

Posted by Jody January 28, 2009 at 02:35 PM

"Serena told herself that she would fly coach from Australia back to Florida if she didn’t turn the match around. “I was thinking…how uncomfortable that would be,” Williams said afterwards. “That motivated me to do a little better.”

WOW. Serena is more spoiled and selfish than I thought. What a diva.

Posted by Keah January 28, 2009 at 02:36 PM

Elena will show Serena whose boss! I really look forward to this match, though I'm hoping for a shut out.

Posted by Master Ace January 28, 2009 at 02:36 PM

Meant to say 2000 Wimbledon SF not F

Posted by Lob Taylor January 28, 2009 at 02:41 PM

I think that was a great match and i could tell Serena loves and thrives these kind of matches were everyone(yeah i was so sure game was over too) thinks she's done for. .Truth is, she fought hard and deserved that victory. WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP TO SAY IT WAS HANDED TO HER.

No doubt she's awesome and its hard to believe she's been playing daily! since the tournament (singles and doubles with Venus).

In all honesty Dementieva for all the so called 'good' tennis she has been playing this tournament HASN'T played a top 10 player. She's been very lucky with the draw. I hope Serena teaches her a good lesson for the nasty comments she made about the William's last year( totally uncalled for and petty in my opinion)

my money is on the mercurial SERENA.

Posted by Piper January 28, 2009 at 02:41 PM

Here's hoping Elena and Roger crush Serena and Andy!

Posted by Tyler January 28, 2009 at 02:44 PM

Lob Taylor, serena hasen't exactly had a challenging draw either and Elena hasen't lost a set or struggled in any of her matches. Elena boasts a great record against Serena. If you think Elena has no class, than why don't you listen or read some of Serena's press conferences/interviews. She is the one with a severe attitude problem. Yes I've heard how great Serena's record is at semi-finals, but she is playing the most dangerous player in the tournament.

Posted by Mick January 28, 2009 at 02:47 PM

I really like Serena's game, but for I want Dementieva to win, for once. Other than her serve, her overall game really impressives me. I hope this is her time.

Posted by nwa ipapa nnobi January 28, 2009 at 03:37 PM

i think serena have chnces of winning dementieva if she concentrate on the ball and never loose hope cos dementieva is in her best form this year cos she never loose any match since this year and that will definitly give her the courage to fight serena to the last..

Posted by Joker January 28, 2009 at 03:42 PM

I Believe That Serena Is Going To Win The Australian Open Womens Division!!

Posted by Marvo January 28, 2009 at 03:49 PM

Serena is a champion... no doubts about it but she's so arrogant. Dementieva is not only a wonderful tennis player but also a sweet beautiful girl, she really deserves to win here and I think she will.

Posted by Alex87 January 28, 2009 at 03:52 PM

Let's go Elena,you can beat slow, muscular,but out of shape
overrated and not gracious in defeat opponent,who should lose a while ago to Azarenka.

Posted by london January 28, 2009 at 03:57 PM

well if serena decides to play well, she will win. if the roof is closed, as it should be, i also think serena has a better as well. if the roof is open and serena plays sloppy, 6-2, 6-1 dementieva. hopefully that wont happen though.

Posted by jordun January 28, 2009 at 04:07 PM

i hope Dementieva absolutely slaughters Serena tonight....

Posted by Beverly January 28, 2009 at 04:08 PM

White America, white America, white America.
Why it doesn't surprise me that Americans would cheer against a black American for a Russian is just plain..well white American.
Good luck Serena!

Posted by Tennisfan January 28, 2009 at 04:22 PM

You all keep saying how sweet Elena is and how she "deserves" it. What a load of crap, this is sport. It is about the best player not about who deserves it.

Who cares about Serena's attitude, she has the results to back it up. It is funny how most say that if Serena brings her A game that she will win, that just tells you who the better player is. If the opponent has to hope that she will have a bad day then they are not the better player.

Posted by chris January 28, 2009 at 04:38 PM

For all you Serena haters, get over it. 9 grand slam titles speak for themselves. What has Elena done? A champion is not defined by great play over the course of 2 weeks!

Posted by jordun January 28, 2009 at 04:40 PM

beverly...I root against Serena because she is an arrogant, ignorant, self centered moron.

it has nothing to do with her skin color.

Serena is world class scum.

Posted by Margie Pullum January 28, 2009 at 04:47 PM

I agree white america will cheer for anyone not black no matter what country they are from and you can say it has not to do with skin color that not true.

Go Serena

Posted by Perry January 28, 2009 at 04:49 PM

Beverly, you hit it on the head! It can be sucked up to JELOUSEY of an black American Woman on top of her game and those commenting are only heard on this website...haha Serena WILL NEVER, NEVER be the way all the haters want her to react as a winner. Actually she's to soft on them!! GO SERENA!

Posted by Ace January 28, 2009 at 04:54 PM

I like Serena's game as well but its time for someone else to beat her for the title, it just makes the game more intersting to watch. Also her 'all about me' attitude sucks for a professional player, I hope Elena take it to her and not be scared of her intimidating self.....Go Elena....She has the game to beat Serena..

Posted by tev January 28, 2009 at 04:56 PM

Margie, you seem to have a lot of HATE in you!! Please get some help! You don't know Serena personally, and it would be better not to show your ignorance on the Website!!!

Posted by Vashawn January 28, 2009 at 05:01 PM


Have you ever heard of Tiger Woods or maybe someone named Barack Obama?

Posted by bigwoman January 28, 2009 at 05:06 PM

Serena loves the HATERS, it motivates her!!! Keep HATING!!! LMAO

Posted by DrJ2B January 28, 2009 at 05:12 PM

I think Serena has the heart to win. She came from a hard background and has had some very difficult times in the past few years, especially with the murder of her sister. She is going to backhand slap that Russian wench, Elena. I am a white American and I am all for Serena. You don't see Elena opening up a school in Africa or in Russia. She is very sweet, but it is time that Serena shows who is the Grand Slam champion in the house. Serena will pull out the win, no matter if it is in 3 or in straight sets. GO SERENA! SEND THAT BANCHEE BACK TO SIBERIA WHERE SHE BELONGS!

Posted by pogi ako January 28, 2009 at 05:16 PM

to beverly,

some americans are fair. they do not root for serena coz of her bad attitude. being black is not the reason. if you followed serena's career, you would know that she is arrogant and a lousy loser. she
would not accept her opponents' great performance. i remember her to retire from the match and say she did not lose, she retired.

Posted by Jordun January 28, 2009 at 05:22 PM are a moron. I hope you enjoy Dementieva wrecking Serena tonight.

Posted by January 28, 2009 at 05:23 PM

I agree, with bigwoman, Serena feeds on criticism and haters... The more you pit against her, the more you feed her determination and motivation to win the australian open.

Go Serena! You're the champion!

Posted by Raphael Coutinho January 28, 2009 at 05:23 PM

For Christ's sake!!
Dementieva doesn't even know how to serve! How can someone with such a lack of skills be on top of the rankings?? Even if Serena loses, she will always be number 1 and she knows it! She won 9 singles grand slams, 7 doubles and 2 mixed doubles... what did elena get?? i think after that i have nothing else to say!

Posted by J January 28, 2009 at 05:30 PM

Raphael, with that dumb logic, Margaret Court is #1..

Posted by Ernest January 28, 2009 at 05:39 PM

Dementieva loves pace!! Thanks Serena!! You're flying coach to Miami!!

Posted by serenus luva January 28, 2009 at 05:46 PM

Ill rant, so what.....

Some of you people are soo jealous. If you're the best then why not act it. No one is mad at mariah or madonna for being divas. We love it. Ha ha all of you haters favorite players can't bring it together to win a slam. Don't be mad cause rena plays when she wants and still outplays everyone else when it really matters....who else could get to a slam semi while playing c level tennis most of the ur favorite player. Serena is the best period look at the rankings. Venus and rena play so much less and are still considered the best. Why don't u worry about martina fawning over the women players when she is suppose to provide analysis. Or pam "happy to have a job" shriver. Stinking the joint up with williams sister bashing. Martina probably fed her the recipe rectally. And mary carillo and her mixed doubles french title from 78 trying to tarnish their reps with such hate.. pam see a stylist, mary see a therapist, mary jo. I love you you soo unbiased and poignant. Martina. We get it ur a legend but everyone can't be like you. WS didn't need to slave on a court. They are living their lives not yours....and martina put some gloves and a ski mask on.. those hands of urs putrid in high def....carina morariu. Id smash you anyday.....

Posted by reymond Fontanoza January 28, 2009 at 06:05 PM

go...go...gogogo serena your simply the best..

Posted by Not white but embarrassed January 28, 2009 at 06:30 PM

It's ironic that the Serena fans who are so quick to claim racial bias are the same folks who are now making homophobic remarks.

Tiger is gracious in triumph and humble in defeat, and that is why America admires him. Serena is neither gracious nor humble, and that is why America is embarrassed by her.

I'm an American, and no, I'm not white. This isn't a racial issue. It's about handling oneself with class.

Posted by Serenabest January 28, 2009 at 06:36 PM

Serena is the very best. I also agree with Seven that Dementieva is not very classy. If she were so very classy, why would she accuse the Wms. sisters of pre-determining the winner of their matches. Serena has just as much or more class as anyone on tour. Also Dementieva is the one whom has to play well. It is obvious that Serena hasn't displayed great tennis since AO 2007; therefore if she plays good, she doesn't have to play great to beat Dementieva. Dementieva is a good player but Serena is great. Trust me if Serena comes out firing Dementieva will do just like Kuzzy......freak out and Serena will roll into finals getting ready to accept her 10th slam. Come on Serena!

Posted by E.Thomas January 28, 2009 at 07:07 PM

"Serena is neither gracious nor humble." - well said. She is spoilt, that's all.

And why would the remaining Russians be discouraged by Serena Williams's recent level of play? They should definitely be encouraged by it. Those who blindly like her (Serena's) chances focus on her last set and half against Kuznetsova, but may I ask why did she need to go 3 sets in the first place? and how close was she to defeat against both Azarenka and Kuznetsova? If you are another decent player you have to be thinking that you have better health than Azarenka and better luck than Kuznetsova.

Posted by GoRena January 28, 2009 at 08:15 PM

Why is everyone commenting on Serena's behavior? John McEnroe's was obnoxious and ignorant. What about Jimmy Connor's racial remark about the late Arthur Ashe. If you think race does not play a part in America or society then you are naive or ignorant. Racism still exist and these comments solidify it. For "Not white but embarrassed", although you are not white, you still may be racial. Other non-white are racial and it is obvious in the comments. There are other athletes that are not gracious. The female Russians comments have been ungracious and offensive. The Russian players have not given Serena nor Venus credit for beating them. Jelana did not give Serena credit for beating her in the 2008 U.S. open. Many comments are not about Serena's behavior but spewed by petty jealousy and racism. Tell you what. If any of you think Serena is not a superb player then why not challenge her. She is a super great tennis player and her many grand slams and other titles proved it. It tells you a lot that Serena have won titles not playing at her best. It speaks volume when other players have played many tournaments and are playing their best tennis but still cannot beat Serena. Did Australian open 2007 teach you anything when Serena, returning back to tennis rusty, to win.

Posted by January 28, 2009 at 08:15 PM

havent you noticed Margareth Court is retired???
i was talking about those in the circuit dummy!!

Posted by Raphael Coutinho January 28, 2009 at 08:17 PM

Serena is the best, period!

Posted by Diane January 28, 2009 at 08:44 PM

Those who are paying attention will note that Dementieva has served better in this tournament than Serena, despite the quarterfinal hiccup. Dementieva has revamped her serve, and it is no longer a liability. But then again, one has to have actually been paying attention for the last several months.

But she has not had the best performance so far in this AO. That distinction goes to Zvonareva. The two best performances have come from Zvonareva and Dementieva, but I think we'll see a Zvonareva-Williams final.

Posted by sokol January 28, 2009 at 08:45 PM

"I think Dementieva has been playing the best tennis of anyone this week, and I really think she deserves to win this tournament. She can beat Serena, but will she is the question? I think she will, and Dementieva will make a fantastic No. 1 for the Women's game."


Posted by NotaSerenaFanNotaRacist January 28, 2009 at 08:50 PM

I find it quite fascinating that the topic of race came up in this thread. I read every single post and not one "hater", "serena basher", etc. etc. ever even mentioned her skin color in the least. It was her character that was mentioned. A person's character is neither white nor black, but transcends who they appear to be, and shows you who they really are. One would have to be blind, or very uneducated to not notice Serena's very self-absorbed, arrogant, and ungracious nature. In fact, no one on here has even denied that Serena possess all of those less-than-desirable qualities. There have been even people justifying her distasteful interviews and arrogance by saying she is an athelte, as well as a champion...therefore, she has the right to be a bad person. Then someone throws the race-card and assumes all the people that don't approve of Serena's behavior are merely nothing but racists. I would like to ask all the race-card throwers on here on simple question. Is it ok for Serena to be arrogant, ungracious to her opponents, and completely self absorbed just because she's black? The answer to this question shows why race is not an issue here.

Posted by sokol January 28, 2009 at 08:54 PM

"White America, white America, white America.
Why it doesn't surprise me that Americans would cheer against a black American for a Russian is just plain..well white American."

I don't think it has anything to do with it. America just elected a black president and many white people voted for him

Posted by Diane January 28, 2009 at 08:58 PM

NotaSerenaFanNotRacist, I think another question we could ask is: Would Serena's arrogance and self-absorption even be noticed if she were not a female?

Posted by justin January 28, 2009 at 09:37 PM

i think serena's will, power, and determination will win her a 10th grand slam title

Posted by Beverly January 28, 2009 at 09:59 PM

White America White America White America
The Russian needs support so why not root for the Russian over the American...that's well..white American. It definitely can't Serena"s "attitude" as whites puts it, because of the love white America had for McEnroe and Connors. They are reveled and both were arrogant and idiots on the court at times. But as an American I rooted for them when they played against another country. Serena is the ONLY American female still standing. The Williams sisters are American tennis as Tiger is World golf, there is no man better than he in the world and I am delighted he is an American, not black but American. Let's just call a spade a spade. White America will cheer for anyone but a black American.

I too sing America...I am your darker brother.

Posted by Vashawn January 28, 2009 at 10:38 PM


Your Tiger Woods argument makes no sense at all. It's completely illogical. Can anyone figure out what she's trying to say about Tiger Woods? Is she saying that "White America" never cheers for Tiger?

Posted by Bev is Loco Puffs January 28, 2009 at 10:46 PM

Diane, it's not a gender issue. If Serena were a man, her arrogance and self-absorption would still be noticed. For example, nobody likes Djokovic, because he is arrogant and self-absorbed. His far-from-humble comments after beating Roddick at the US Open were justly criticized and booed.

Beverly, it's tough to find the thread of logic in your comments but Connors and McEnroe are not examples that support your argument. Those two had plenty of haters who thought they were brats. It had nothing to do with their skin color, and everything to do with their attitude. A fair number of Americans rooted for Borg back then, despite the fact that he was not American, simply because he was a classier champion.

Posted by Diane January 28, 2009 at 10:55 PM

Bev, I appreciate what you are saying, and even agree--to some extent. But personally, I don't consider Serena's attitude to be anywhere near Djokovic's. I think people dislike Djokovic because they see him as a whiner first, and then they throw other criticism at him because he comes off as somewhat of a hypocrite. I personally do not find Serena arrogant, so it is natural for me to think that people project arrogance onto her attitude of confidence, and I do not think they would do that if she were a man.

Having said that, I do agree that Serena has been less than gracious on more than one occasion.

Posted by mans January 28, 2009 at 11:38 PM

Serena will surely win the doubt for it!!! From your number 1 fan in the PHILIPPINES...hope you read it...May Jehovah guide you all the way!!!

Posted by mans January 28, 2009 at 11:38 PM

Serena will surely win the doubt for it!!! From your number 1 fan in the PHILIPPINES...hope you read it...May Jehovah guide you all the way!!!

Posted by jerry January 28, 2009 at 11:58 PM

actions speak louder than words....

Posted by Moraa January 29, 2009 at 12:18 AM

Serena is in competiton, why do we expect her on anyone at that not to be self absorbed? this is not Sunday school, theres a million bucks at stake!

Posted by GoRena January 29, 2009 at 12:50 AM

Why worry about Serena's personality? I'm sure all the other tennis players have questionable personality. Yet, I hear nothing but praise about the Russians. Why single out Serena. I bet many of these comments supported John McEnroe and Jimmy Conners' personality. For some reason you cannot overlook Serena. It's about jealousy and yes, race, especially when there is only one female American left to play in the final.

Posted by John January 29, 2009 at 12:51 AM

Self absorbed? Arrogant? Bad attitude? I have two words for you: Martina Hingis. I think race still plays a part in how players are perceived. Many times, Martina was described as entertaining while Serena is described as arrogant.

Posted by Nick January 29, 2009 at 12:52 AM

How about we have safina and zvonareva vs serena? I mean come on now serena said it herself this is just for fun ...She ain't even trying...By now she should had 15 Grand Slams but tennis ain't her full force I guess. Serena will win without a doubt...I don't care how fit safina got lol she can't ace this one opps lol.

Posted by Truth January 29, 2009 at 01:13 AM

No. 1- There are way too many Serena haters here that are just foaming at the mouth. Have some sense. Who goes and posts random spiteful things online about people they don't know? It's one thing to voice opinion and be critical. To call people "scum" and a "moron," wishing for Serena to be's just immature. Learn to express yourselves in a mature manner.

No. 2- Dementieva can play, I don't think anyone can doubt that. She has great groundstrokes and plays well on the run. But please, a gold medal and no majors gives her no advantage over Serena.

No. 3- Her serve may have improved, but Dementieva's serve is still far, far from a weapon. Look at what happened tonight: two double faults in a row, one on break point.

No. 4- Serena won. Enough said.

Posted by independent January 29, 2009 at 01:22 AM

Go America! Go Serena!

Posted by NotaSerenaFanNotaRacistorSexist January 29, 2009 at 01:25 AM

Everyone is missing the point about the race issue...and now even sexism...thanks to Diane. No one on here ever said that arrogance, self-absorbtion, and rudeness to other players was a good matter who did it. So therefore, MacEnroe, and Jimmy Connors are just as much at fault for the negative character traits. Once again, a person's character has NOTHING to do with race or gender! Look at Arthur Ashe (note: He was Black). Here was not only a great tennis player and grand slam champion, but a man with character. This was when tennis was a gentlemen's sport, and he certail was a true gentleman...and he was black...but that has nothing to do with it. Also look at Federer, if anyone has reason to be arrogant it is him. But he remains classy, humble and complimentary of other players who beat him. Not saying that Federer is perfect but it wouldn't matter if he was black, white, yellow, or ultra violet..he would still be a good person because of his upstanding character.
If you don't believe that Serena is an arrogant and ungracious person I challenge you to read any of her interviews when she has LOST. See if you can find her giving any credit to her opponent without saying how "Serena gave the match away" or "Serena wasn't playing anywhere near her best" or that Serena's opponent "...made some lucky shots."
Granted we are talking about professional athletes here, so obviously they are not perfect. But I'm just sick of all the Serena worshippers that think she can do no wrong...I'm also really ticked at all the racists and sexists on here who insinuate that the reason I'm not a Serena fan is because I'm a racist and sexist. Go back to school and learn logic...anytime someone disagrees do not automaitcally assume they are a racist, sexist, or hater. That's a very intolerant worldview.

Posted by Not surprised January 29, 2009 at 01:52 AM

Welcome to the world of tennis journalism. I'm sure you didn't expect this kind of response when you wrote this blog. When you write about Serena, it spurs some passionate (if not always coherent) debate. If you criticize Serena for any reason, some of her fans will label you as a racist. Some talented and respected journalists and commentators including Mary Carillo, Tracy Austin, and Jon Wertheim have all experienced this.

Anyway, you should read Matt Cronin's That guy is hands down the best tennis journalist working today.

Posted by kim January 29, 2009 at 02:28 AM

live australian open

Posted by Ikie January 29, 2009 at 02:31 AM

Well why should she give them any credit? At the end of the day when you look at it serena really only loses when she not playing well so she is right i would and do do the same as she does

Posted by Moraa January 29, 2009 at 02:43 AM

Hey, no one and i mean NO ONE like loosing!! why would anyone be gracious to their opponent when they loose? if you a good player, you loose because you palyed well or your opponent plaed better, so it doesnt really matter how you phrase. personally i aint giving accolades to my opponent!

Posted by Moraa January 29, 2009 at 02:44 AM

Show me a good looser and i will show you a loser

Posted by serena #1 fan January 29, 2009 at 03:08 AM

For all the Serena HATERS, stop whining because you hate to see my girl win. She was gracious in saying, 'they played well, BUT I did or did not bring my A game.' They know they cannot beat Serena, unless Serena LET them win. Let them wear themselves out playing 80+ games a year, that seems to be the only way they will progress in the rankings...haha It's more of a practice for Serena then winning in the tournaments. Her goals are MAJORSSS (get it!!)

Posted by Q1 January 29, 2009 at 08:16 AM

Way to go Serena!! I'm glad she won and hope she wins the championship. "Get another one for yourself and America!"

Posted by elilsse January 29, 2009 at 08:33 AM

Go Serena!!
This title is yours.
I love the concern you showed with Vika.
Lady luck has shined on you (not to say you wouldn't have comeback in that match b/c I know how you like to play when you're down)
and I really think this is your moment to finish being great.
Humility is way overrated. You're as humble as you need to be, considering that you are the best. Keep playing your game and don't focus on doubters. You have a remarkable quality to dig deep in pressure moments. You are truly a champ.

Posted by uhhuh?! January 29, 2009 at 09:47 AM

To all the half-brained people that assume the only reason Serena loses is because she "let's them win"... Any tennis player who gets on court and "lets" their opponent win is a pretty crappy competitor who should not be a professional athlete. Serena is a top notch competitor who does get outplayed occasionally. It's a shame that she and her worshippers cannot admit that simple truth. If Henin were back in the game it would be a little more obvious. Do you really think Serena "let" Justine beat her three times last year? At the French, Wimby, and then Serena's coveted US Open? You're an idiot if you think so.

Posted by tennisfan76 January 29, 2009 at 10:02 AM

Have I missed something? Is this a grand slam tournament or a popularity contest? Serena has 9 GS titles and (unlike Federer) has completed the non calendar slam. Posters who think RF is gracious in defeat obviously haven't heard some of his post match comments. After losing to Nadal at Wimbledon, he mentioned the poor light at least 3 times. Yeah, Roger, because Rafa has special night vision. After losing to Safin in the 2005 AO semifinal he said that "Marat was lucky to beat me." Charming.
I'm British btw, so I don't support Serena because she's American. I support her for being...well...Serena. Dinara is a feisty, determined player so would be delighted if she won. But Serena's combination of power, talent and big match experience will be hard to beat imo.

Posted by c January 29, 2009 at 10:06 AM

Hmm...I seem to remember that Serena was no more gracious in losing to Venus.
Her own mother's comments?

"Said their mother and coach, Oracene Price: "Well, you know, she's going to have to learn how to suck things up. Say, 'OK, I'm not going to win everything.'"

Serena is just that way, like or not. Some people love that particular expression of competitiveness. But please don't try to pretend that anyone who dislikes this kind of behaviour when it comes from Serena must be racist.

Serena's level of play is great! and I'd love to be more able to cheer for her on account of that. On the other hand, she certainly doesn't need MY support! and in fact does thrive on showing up her detractors.
I do think she'll beat Safina - due to her mental toughness and amazing will to win on top of her other skills.
And I do think she's obnoxious and lacking in class.

Posted by Selena January 29, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Love her or hate her she still plays great tennis. I am a Serena Williams fan as well as many other great players on the tour and to say that when Serena loses it's becasue she lets her opponent win is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. If you are true Serena fan you would obviously know that for Serena to give anything away is not her style. When she loses it is because her level of play was not up to par at that time, even Serena knows when she's playing bad and will definitely admit it. As far as her being classless yada yada then what in the world would you call Jelena Jankovic, now she's classless is as classless does!!

Posted by January 29, 2009 at 11:40 AM

I am a HUGE fan of Venus and am absolutely heartbroken every time she loses a match. Serena, however, not for me, thank you. I'm wondering how I fit into this racist/sexist/anti-America theory?

Posted by JORDAN I January 29, 2009 at 11:41 AM


Posted by Shelia Colvard January 29, 2009 at 04:28 PM

Haters get a life. Serena has the right to say what she wants. Just because she doesn't act the way some people think she should is ridiculous. She plays tennis her way not somebody elses. She play tournaments to win and not to just play. I am proud that she stays true to herself and not allow other people to tell her how to think or act. If you don't like her, then don't watch her. Again some of yall need to get a life because yall have nothing else to do but down someone you don't know.

Posted by SoloSoldier January 29, 2009 at 06:32 PM

Well, to the haters: Serena now owns the record for most prize money ever won by a female athlete... on top of that, she's in the finals, lol

Posted by John January 29, 2009 at 09:20 PM

Tennis, I think, is a little more strange than other sports. It's one of the few sports where a player has to come out after losing and discuss, in depth, why they lost and why the other player was better. I don't know how gracious many people would be in that situation. It seems silly to hold athletes, especially tennis players, to some sort of higher standard of class. These people are athletes and train their entire lives to be competitive and win, win, win. With that type of mentality, who wouldn't be self-absorbed, arrogant, and a little bit rude when losing. This sort of hyper self-belief that Serena has is seen as positive when she wins and toxic when she loses. But just like Justine Henin, maybe you have to be a little bit ruthless to be a champion and Serena is a 9x grand slam champ.

Posted by LauraK January 30, 2009 at 12:51 AM

WOW hop off Elena. Since when is being classy an indicator of personal skill? Elene Dementieva skilled? can you say CHOKER. Stop hating on Serena. I can name only a handful of players who are gracious after a disappointing defeat and why should that matter anyways? What are u ppl basing ELena crushing Serena on? Her 2-12 record. grow up its about skill not personality.

Posted by rayray January 30, 2009 at 10:38 AM

No having read Abigale before (I know its Abigail, but pun is intended), i find the writing difficult to get through. Too much nit picking on Serena supposed mis-use of words. Out of body, outer body, to me its the same and really neither one is incorrect if you truly analyze it. Also, inane heat works too. Abigale reminds me of an stick in the mud english teacher. Please girl, remove the stick from your....

Posted by don January 30, 2009 at 02:54 PM

Norb........ "More hot" is not the same as "more better" Hotter is correct, but more hot is not incorrect; it is the comparative. Better is the comparative, and to make the superlative, you must say best, not more better. Example, you can say sweeter or more sweet. Thus, she was correct either way. As a native speaker (presumably you are) you should know better.

Posted by bluesunflower January 30, 2009 at 05:19 PM

Interesting article the only point I d like to make though is that it is not the stenographers place to correct what Serena has said. These little quirks of speech may irritate english teachers but it is these little humanisms that endear us (read me) to certain players. I could understand a blatant gramatical error being 'kindly' corrected. And to refer to her malapropism as a verbal fault I think is most unkind.

Posted by kunlewoye January 31, 2009 at 09:29 AM

some1 pls tell janko-b**tch she's off d top. y'all talk as if u'r perfect beings. I won't call u haters which you are, but i dnt think it's at all connected to race but i do think u av a problem with her being fashionable,rich, classy,not-living-tennis-but-still-winning-majors. where is it written in d opinion book dat u av to compliment ur opponent to be a good person? serena's just being, well, serena. why cldn't the so-called in-form players beat her when they know her as ungracious? it's simply because they can't. face it, SHE IS GOOOOD. Pray to God to make you better persons instead of running your mouth on other's shortcomings dummies!

We are no longer accepting comments for this entry.

<<  Bud Collins and the Traveling Pants Dokic and Doppelgangers  >>

Catching the Lines: Quotes from the Open
The Mettle Winners
Saturday Night Fever: Breaking Down the Women's Final
Fine China: Li and Zheng Charm On
Mary, Quite Contrary: Carillo on Serena et al
Little Miss Sunshine
This blog currently has 37 entries and 1964 comments.