Thursday, December 10, 2009

Karen disagrees with the TennisChick

One of my readers, Karen, submitted the following comments to my criticism of Serena's 92K mission. It was so well-written that I decided to give it pride of place as it's own entry. I think that Karen makes some excellent points, particularly about the tennis establishment's lack of appreciation of Serena. Here's the sentence that I most agree with: "I strongly believe everyone should move on. It happened. She apologized and she is trying to find the platinum lining within the dark clouds. We should all do that." I agree. And I wish that Serena herself had been guided by Karen's excellent advice and just paid the damn fine and let it go. 



TC, you know I love your blog, but I disagree with your take on this. She is mad, yes, but self pity. No. She has, as we say in Jamaica, reached the end of the rope and she is making sure everyone knows it.

I know where she is coming from as it does seem as if she has been the target of some really unjust line calls. Up to today I was watching a youtube match of her A005 semis with Sharapova, and there were a few really bad line calls. I also watched youtube clips of her match against Clijsters at the AO03 and she was booed by sections of the crowd after coming back from 5-1 down in the third set. This girl has suffered a lot and has usually kept her cool. I can see why she went ballistic at the Open.

Sometimes I too wonder whether there is a plot afoot to get her out of the game (I know that comes to my mind like 5 seconds and then disappears), but you have to see her point. I think of any player in this sport Serena has been the most castigated in terms of how her career has been viewed.

She has knee surgery in 2003, her sister is killed and she basically abandons tennis and when she returns fat and out of shape, all you hear is people in the commentary booth and in the blogosphere and so called journalists who call her out of her name and write and speak disparaging things about her. Compare that to Sharapova who just had shoulder surgery and all you hear is sympathy.

Henin decides to retire, as does Kim, and all you hear is sympathy about how tough this sport is and how you need everything and everyone commisserates and talks about how much the Tour needs them, yet Serena gets called out worldwide for trying to make it as an actress and designer of clothes, something that Sharapova seems to get a pass on. They laugh about Henin finding herself and how Kim has found herself as a result of getting married and having a child and coming back to beat both William sisters (WS).

Unless you are a diehard fan of Serena or do not read the nonsense being spouted by all and sundry about the demise of this girl's career, you have to wonder about the intentions behind some of the commentary. I strongly believe everyone should move on. It happened. She apologised and she is trying to find the platinum lining within the dark clouds. We should all do that.

The tennis establishment, and that usually includes media personnel, have never been big fans of the WS. One would have thought that with American tennis in the doldrums, American media would at least try to rally behind the WS. However, in reviewing the year end standings of the Top 10 women, this is what Abigail Lorge wrote about Azarenka: "The Belarusian's play in the first half of the year announced her as a starlet in the making, and the poise she showed in defeating Serena Williams in the Key Biscayne final seemed to clinch her status as the "next big thing" in the women's game: She's athletic and powerful, blond and bubbly.

I have no idea what blonde and bubbly have to do with playing tennis (and frankly speaking Azarenka is certainly not bubbly), but this is only one of many articles that are written, playing up not the attributes of players who have beaten Serena, but pointing out that said person is blonde, bubbly etc. You hardly see anything that mentions that Serena was basically hobbling around on one leg and yet Azarenka was beating herself up still trying to win the match. In addition, everyone states that had Azarenka not fallen ill in Australia she would have won that match. Hmm. I guess that is why they play the matches because we all saw what happened at Wimbledon later in the year.


Karen said...

My name in lights

tennischick said...

deservedly so

Karen said...

Hey TC, just driving by to wish you and family a Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year. Heres hoping that we get some great tennis in the new year. Been busy with work so have not been posting too much. Heading out today to be with my son and his fiancee for Christmas, but will check in from time to time to see whats up.

tennischick said...

Hey Karen:
Have a Merry Merry and a Happy Happy. See you in the new year!