Serena Williams tirade loses match, raises questions over balls
Defending champion Serena Williams blew her load on a lineswoman in her semi-final against (eventual winner) Kim Clijsters at the 2009 US Open yesterday, costing her the match on match point. Williams was called for a foot fault on a second serve when down 15-30 and 6-5 in the second set, causing her to go into a profanity-laced tirade at the lineswoman, eventually leading to a point-penalty that turned out to be the final point of the match.
However, apart from bowing out of the tournament in disgrace and being fined the maximum cash penalty, Serena’s outburst has raised some further, long-debated questions. In a month when South African champion sprinter Caster Semenya was revealed to be a hermaphrodite and in the age of Lady Gaga, Serena was overhead telling the lineswoman that she would “take my f—ing balls and shove them down your f—-ing throat.” A slip of the tongue, perhaps?
Since the outburst, internet forums have been rife with speculation. Initially, viewers thought Serena was referring to the tennis ball in her hand, though a slow motion replay using Hawk-Eye indicated that Serena was indeed pointing to her crotch area. Skeptics have been quick to state that Serena prefaced that line with “[i]f I could”, meaning that she couldn’t. On the other hand, bystanders swear that the reason why Serena was visibly upset was because she could not physically carry out the threat.
Nevertheless, there are now calls for stricter testing to be done on all female athletes (in particular the better or buffed ones) in order to ensure a more level playing field.
[PS: For those who are still as lost as the lineswoman in the photo above, this is my first attempt at satire]