Letters to the Editor

Serena aggrieved, but she should apologise

Monday, September 17, 2018

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Dear Editor,

The recent meltdown of tennis icon Serena Williams at the US Open was most unfortunate in many respects. I thought her behaviour was quite uncharacteristic and uncalled for. She was out of order and out of line in my view.

You don't call an official a liar and a thief; that is unbecoming of a great champion, and that she is.

If anything, she should be the one issuing the apology.

That said, I know she must have gone through a lot of racism and sexism during her career — because that is the way it is.

She has gone through a lot; she had a rather difficult pregnancy which she almost cost her life. She worked through weight problem from that experience — she's still dealing with it — and worked very hard to come back to where she's at. So I do understand her frustration.

Still, the US tennis authorities should realise that no one comes to see Carlos Ramos officiate, they come to see Serena play. So, based on her record, she should be given the benefit of the doubt; she's not a cheat.

In all fairness, I think there's a double standard. I've heard male players say and behave much worse with no consequence. The 'bad boy' of tennis, John McEnroe, readily comes to mind. And, fining the female player for turning her shirt around during a match makes hardly any sense when the men were shirtless on a hot and humid day.

The bottom line is no one can take away Serena's greatness; she earned it. She's arguably the greatest female tennis player ever and is definitely on her way to the tennis hall of fame. I genuinely felt for her — her emotions were real. At 36 Serena has a lot of tennis still left in her.

On the other hand, take nothing away from young tennis sensation Naomi Osaka, who was simply brilliant. She was outplaying Serena all by herself and didn't need any help. She did to Serena what Serena did to her older sister Venus earlier in the tournament. Her serve was on target, she was returning Serena's serve, and when Serena approached the net she hit by her. She also placed the ball side to side, which kind of extended Serena. After the dust up, Serena gathered herself, calmed the crowd down, and gracefully acknowledged the winner, that is how much class she has.

Noel Mitchell

Westchester, New York, USA


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