Serena’s Temper Ruined an Amazing Moment

Before I go on about why Serena messed up on Sunday, I will give her some credit. She was very mature and supportive during the trophy presentation. And it’s a good thing she was because otherwise, Osaka would’ve had to heard boos during the entirety of what should be the best moment of her life. But now, let’s get some context.

Serena was in the US Open finals vs 20 year old Naomi Osaka. Osaka won the first set 6-2 but Serena was up 1-0 in the second. She received her first code violation because her coach was caught coaching her from his box (Which is illegal in tennis). Serena tells the chair ump that he was just giving her a thumbs up but her coach did admit that he was telling her to move closer to the net. However, he says that he shouldn’t be penalized but all coaches coach during every match. But this is only a warning, so no big deal. Fast forward and now Serena is serving up 3-1 in the set. She looks to be in the driver seat. She looks like she’s going to force a third set. But then, she plays poorly and gets broken. She get’s very frustrated and smashes her racket. This is her second violation, so she receives a point loss. Serena gets upset at the chair ump for attacking her character and says he owes her an apology. Then, Osaka holds and then breaks Serena again, making the score 4-3 Osaka. During the changeover, Serena lays into the chair ump, demanding he apologizes to her and calling him a thief for taking a point from her. He takes exception to this berating and hits Serena with a verbal abuse penalty, her third violation of the match. This results in a game loss, meaning that Osaka now goes up 5-3. Serena is irate and goes off about how unfair the US Open has been to her every year. The fans get behind her and boos rain down on the chair ump and tournament official. The boos continued during the trophy presentation.

If you listened to Serena’s rant, she said that she’s always treated unfairly at the US Open. She also said that she’s treated unfairly because she’s a woman. Well first off, in case she didn’t realize, the entire tournament she plays in is comprised of women, and they don’t have all the problems she has. Second, she needs to learn to own up to her actions at some point. Her actions were unacceptable, especially in the finals. They were completely brought on by her and her coach’s actions. She’s been playing for so many years and has been in so many grand slam finals that she should understand that after those first two violations, she needs to be walking on egg shells. She said that the men say so much worse to officials. And she’s not wrong. But they get their first violation and they do better at keeping their cool. And that same thing happens to other women. They get that first violation and from there, they usually do a good job of calming down and keeping their cool. And after the match, Serena tries to spin it. She said she’s not going to apologize for having emotions. Well you don’t have to apologize Serena, but just know that you’ll keep getting penalized.

And of course, the person who was hurt most by this is Naomi Osaka. Osaka idolized Serena growing up and became the first Japanese person (man or woman) to win a grand slam singles title. However, she spent the entire trophy presentation with her head down, her eyes filled with tears. Even when she was handed the trophy, she couldn’t even crack a smile. And while Serena tried to make the moment better by asking the crowd not to boo, she still ruined an amazing moment for a great young champion. Serena’s actions didn’t just cost herself, they cost another player to enjoy the greatest moment of her life.

-Stephen Brown III

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