I was watching the Australian Open last night and I all I can say is that I am highly disappointed. In what started out as a great match between Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens quickly turned into something that Serena should be ashamed of. Being a “tennis player” myself I can understand the frustration and the ups and downs of the game. But some things are simply unacceptable.
The Scene: Serena is ahead and it appears she is going to win in two sets when she lands awkwardly and hurts her back. She then struggled through the rest of the second set (which she lost) and receives medical attention. In the third set, she continues to play (which I will say is admirable) but is playing poorly (and her usually amazing serve is gone). After losing a game early in the set, Williams decides to let her frustrations out on her racquet – hitting it twice on the court and then throwing it under her bench.
In a quote from SI.com, “Did you see it?” Williams asked after the match. “I even had a wry smile on my lips after that. It made me happy, unfortunately.”
Really? Really Serena?
Serena is a role model for many U.S. tennis players and displaying that kind of behavior on the tennis court shows a real lack of appreciation for her fans and the kids (and adults) that admire her and her game. In my opinion Serena needs to apologize to her fans and work on setting a better example. As noted in a recent blog by Alison, titled Media Training Outliers, we know that most athletes don’t go “off script” but I think in this case Serena needs to, or she is going to lose many of her longtime fans, if she hasn’t already.
What are your thoughts on Serena’s actions?