Are Serena and tennis both to blame for meltdown?

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian

It seems as if the public is on Williams' side, validating her claim that the referee would not have taken similar action if the penalized was a male player. She's also, however - like a lot of tennis professionals - a pampered childhood prodigy who travels the world in a celebrity bubble, surrounded by flunkies, protected by money, and tempted to self-dramatize.

A Care2 petition with U.S. Open CEO and United States Tennis Association president Katrina Adams listed as its recipient had surpassed its original goal and reached almost 20,000 supporters on its own by Monday morning. In calling her response a "meltdown' she is patronised, particularly at a time when people are questioning how long her career will continue due to her age". One of his tirades even led to his infamous "you can't be serious" outburst that resulted in a lucrative advertising campaign for Nike. (Ah, the fine lines of officiating tennis these days!) Yeah, Ramos is a stickler. This was just strike one. But in tennis and in life, verbal abuse can take many different forms. She was later fined $17,000.

Williams has argued that the harsh penalty would not have been handed down to her if she was a man. An example of this is the Herald Sun cartoon by Mark Knight, in which he portrayed Williams throwing a fit on the court with a smashed racquet and a pacifier at her feet.

With Williams trailing Naomi Osaka 1-0 in the second set of her eventual 6-2, 6-4 loss, Ramos issued the six-time U.S. Open champion a warning for allegedly receiving signals from her coach. However, while I agree thus that the treatment meted out to Williams was not fair, there is, I think, not sufficient evidence to label it as an outcome of patriarchy.

"I'm a little bit more mature now, so of course having that experience helps-and being more confident in myself is a big boost, too".

"She just couldn't let it go and I do feel she went over the top".

After these two penalties were called, Williams had had it with chair umpire Carlos Ramos.

Williams is not the only one facing double standards in this sport.

He is the teacher who has to explain to the would-be valedictorian that her points just don't add up to an A, and that, yes, other teachers give extra credit, but he doesn't.

The recent backlash that umpire Ramos has faced has started a rebellious spark among the other umpires. Maybe it's Serena Williams who should be doing the apologizing.

"I can't sit here and say I wouldn't say he's a thief because I thought he took a game from me", she said.

Cheating accusations plagued Williams and her sister, Venus, for years. The United States Tennis Association (USTA) had a better chance with Osaka when she was younger, but didn't see much potential in her before they attempted to recruit her at age 16.

"It's interesting but I think it's important to look at it", Federer told KVUE, as quoted on the Express.

Ramos, meanwhile, will not chair any of Williams' matches at the 2018 Australian Open - the next major in the tennis calendar.

By forming a union, the umpires will be able to collectively stand together and request a pay raise.

These words, so naturally coming to the tongue of the men that spoke them, attack Williams' temperament and generate an image of weakness.

"It isn't the first time you have had to deal with unfair judgment against you, and yet you have this awesome ability to come back with such courage and grace", she said.



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