Not being one to waste a moment, Serena Williams has already moved on to her next controversy. (Ugh, doesn’t she find it exhausting?) Her feud with Sharapova has taken on nasty overtones – so nasty that someone seems to have gotten through to Serena that it’s time to shut it down. She now claims to have apologized to Sharapova. As of this writing, there has been no confirmation by Maria.
In a recent interview (Rolling Stone magazine), Serena was recorded bad-mouthing Sharapova on the phone. My sense is that the whole phone thing may have been a ploy by Serena to be able to make nasty comments about Maria without officially going on the record. I say this because Serena did not have to take that call during that interview. Nor did she have to make a point of speaking loudly enough to be heard and recorded. But she did, and she was, and once again she ends up looking like a fool.
The article claims that Serena made a number of petty, mean-girl comments about a certain tennis player who is not invited to the cool parties, who is too tennis-obsessed, and who is dating a man
with a “black heart”. Said woman assumed to be Sharapova. Said man deduced to be Dimitrov. Said passive-aggressive comment leading to Sharapova’s unsheathed, in your face, right back at ya biyatch!
Here’s Maria’s no holds barred response: “If she wants to talk about something personal, maybe she should talk about her relationship and her boyfriend that was married and is getting a divorce and has kids”. Meow! Who knew Maria could throw down like that? She also blasted Serena for her comments about the 16-year-old rape survivor.
For a moment I wondered at the timing of the explosion of this feud. If these women did not dislike each other as much as they apparently do, I would have sworn that Maria was doing Serena a solid by distracting us from Serena’s bone-headed comments about the Steubenville rape victim.
I also wondered about Serena’s use of the word “black” as a pejorative in the reference to Dmitrov’s heart. Is his heart black because he dumped her? Is this like her Twitter meltdown over Drake? My friend thinks that the “black” comment was intended only to passive-aggressively signal Dimitrov’s preference for black women. Ugh. I can't stand passive-aggression. I much prefer Maria’s direct, honest attack.
The timing of all this is revealing in that it coincides with Serena’s latest self-description as someone who respects and supports other women. Really? If this is how Serena respects and supports other women, I’ll take a pass. I hope Serena doesn’t choke on her words because the Jehovah she claims to adore doesn’t like liars. And when you wear your religiosity on your sleeve the way Serena does, it becomes fair for folks to hold you to a higher moral standard.
So, as part of that standard it seems game to ask how come Patrick Mouratoglou was wearing a wedding band when he first started coaching Serena, and is no longer wearing one now that rumors abound about their romantic involvement. Psst, Serena! People who live in glass houses…
Let me grab this opportunity to apologize to Sloane Stephens for accusing her of being a dunce in class on the day they taught media training. Clearly there was a bigger Dunce sitting with her nails painted in the corner. And Sloane, in case you weren’t clear, said Dunce stated in that same interview that she is “definitely not that girl’s mentor”. ‘That girl’ was you. Ouch.
But someone needs to remind Serena that she is a mentor to all of the younger players observing her, both on and off the court. That is her mission as the #1 player, whether or not she chooses to accept it. It's the least I would expect of a player who claims to respect and support women. Jus' sayin'.