Monday, September 10, 2018

Even IF Serena Wasn’t RIGHT...She WASN’T All Wrong!


Referee Carlos Ramos seemed to derail Serena Williams’ chance at winning the U.S. Open Saturday and, like too many referees today, seemed to want to become the star of the Finals.

The “coaching” call, over signaling by Serena Williams’ coach (Patrick Mouratoglou) has been a contentious one for awhile now.

Apparently, in the 2nd game of the first set, Ramos spotted Mouratoglou holding his hands apart, possibly indicating to Williams that she should be playing a little closer to the baseline, and she was instantly handed a code violation.

Although it was Mouratoglou who was the one communicating with Williams, the rules say that players are responsible for the conduct of their parties, and so Williams was punished.

This first penalty, came as a warning, but it directly led to the dramatic events that followed, in which Williams was handed a second violation and penalized a point for smashing her racquet, after she’d apparently mistakenly thought that she and Ramos had reached an understanding on the first call.

Then, after calling Ramos a "thief", she was slugged with a further penalty — this time an entire game — on her way to a straight sets loss.

Such in game coaching is allegedly very common and USUALLY iconic stars (Williams IS one) are treated a little differently, for instance LeBron James and Tom Brady. There’s rarely been any such deference offered to Serena Williams, perhaps the most dominant sports figure in modern times.

Serena Williams should not have had her match derailed like that, but it happened.

Former players readily acknowledge that coaching during matches is endemic on the tour, raising the question as to whether it is being policed properly, or even at all.

“I was coaching but I don’t think she looked at me,” said Mouratoglou afterwards. “I am honest, I was coaching, Sascha [Bajin, Osaka’s coach] was coaching the whole time too. This is one of the rules that is ruining tennis. She [Serena Williams] will struggle to come back from this.”

Worse still, is that in the post-match controversy, she’s taken most of the blame, for a meltdown as much triggered by an inflexible umpire’s stubbornness as by Serena Williams’ temper.

Perhaps the worst abuse came from Aussie cartoonist Mark Knight with the ugly cartoon below.

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