I have now had time to digest the final and trust me there has been plenty of thinking and pondering over the events. I don’t want to keep going over this, so I will have my final say. Ironically, it seems that it is the haters that keep going on about it and then us as Serena fans have to stick up for her and what we believe to be right and the truth. Having said that, Rena has had to do this all her life, more on this later in the post though. What I am about to say won’t go down well in some sections and will go down a treat in others. I wanted to get this post out sooner but work and family commitments have meant it has had to be delayed. As a result, I have had even more time to reflect.
Some still keep going on about how Carlos Ramos was ‘just doing his job’ and how he backed it up by giving Marin Cilic a code violation for smashing his racket in Davis Cup recently. Let’s not be delusional, he had no option, or he would have looked an even bigger fool. There is little consistency within umpiring. If you want to be nitpicking, then why was Novak Djokovic not warned for going over the serve clock before a point in the final the night after? The correct answer is because it was good umpiring, that’s why. The umpire would have been well within her rights to pick him up on it though. Only doing her job right? If you go over the serve clock it’s when you are probably taking deep breaths, maybe even struggling physically and it is certainly rule breaking. Why get involved and cause a scene though? Unnecessary.
Ramos’s main job in the final was to diffuse any situation like this and he did anything but that. The game penalty totally confirmed this. There were no quiet chats or reminders to Rena throughout that if she carried on this would be the result. Not with the coaching, the smashing of the racket or the words spoken (none of which were explicit at all). You could argue that Rena did not handle the situation as well as she could have. Having said that the idiots saying about her ‘behaviour’ in the final don’t mention that her emotions were quite clearly on edge when she raced to a 6/4 4/0 lead over Karolina Pliskova in the last 8 do they? They just want to put her down at any chance by saying she is ‘a sore loser’ who has no ‘humility’. Absolute rubbish, look at her reaction with Osaka after match point. All this has just given many a people the chance (Andrew Castle included) to rant and try and get some attention.
Caroline Wozniacki came out with some comments that sum up how I feel. Spot on Caro.
“But I think Serena has a point. I think she has a point in some of what she’s saying. I think everyone has the right to their own opinion.
I think that when you’re going into a Grand Slam final, you’re fighting for your 24th Slam, you’re fighting to be, on paper, the best player to ever have played the game – in my opinion, I think she already is – I think there will be emotions involved. I think there will be some feelings there when you go onto the court.
I think as an umpire, as a great umpire, you obviously have to be a good umpire to be in the finals, you should also be aware that this is the situation. I think you should be aware that Serena is not one of those people that really looks up to the box or communicates with the box. That’s really what I can say in this situation.
In my opinion, I think that in the situation he probably should have given her a soft warning, and if he felt this is the way it was, said that ‘Your team is making signs, you need to make them stop’. That’s, in my opinion, the way that the umpires usually do it”.
Castle for one, like many, has no idea what it is like to play in a Grand Slam final and hence what it is like to be going for number 24. Unless the mixed doubles final in Australia (which he lost) counts. I think the third round at a slam in singles was his best effort. A little different to this scenario I am sure you will agree. I’m using Castle as an example but his slating of Serena is the ‘feeling’ around the anti-Serena camp. In fairness, a fair few others have her back as well as Wozniacki. Andy Roddick, Vika Azarenka and Billie Jean-King to name but a few.
I would also like to add this is a tournament and a country where things have a habit of going wrong for Serena. Maybe people don’t remember the Jennifer Capriati US Open match in 2004 and the absolutely atrocious line calls. The racism in Indian Wells, do I need to list more examples? Even outside of the States, in Paris against Henin in 2003? There are more, it is not really up for debate. Countless things both on and off the court throughout her career. She has always had to stick up for herself as others have been against her. No, this doesn’t happen to EVERY PLAYER. Please don’t tell me it does, especially by top player standards.
All in all, do I think this has got something to do with Rena’s colour? Yes of course I do. Yes, that’s right, the white Brit throwing in the race card. That is what I believe to be the case though. Let’s face it, over her career there have been numerous decisions she has been punished for that others haven’t. She has been treated differently. The price she has had to pay for being the GOAT, that just so happens to be a black woman. That is my opinion. Society today would back that up. It is not just women, look at Poor Colin Kaepernick.
The reaction/drawing from the Australian newspaper, the Herald, kind of sums up what Serena has had to fight for all her life. People who are against her don’t see the irony in it. I wouldn’t print the drawing on here and give that ‘tool’ Mark Knight any more limelight. It is this ‘casual racism’ that some people don’t get that baffles me. I really hope she goes over to Melbourne and destroys them in January. Especially in light of the other cartoon I saw posted in the same paper that day depicting another ‘stereotype’ of a fight breaking out behind a train platform. Google it and you will find it. A total joke and a disgrace in all honesty.
Great effort from Alexis again recently. He went for the NY Times about their lazy stats in the sexism row and he really is proving to be a Don. A highly intelligent one at that and he has made them (rightly) look like mugs. He also said “I’ve donated $10 for every word (714) in that misleading article to @DonorsChoose classroom projects to make sure the next generation gets access to learn basic statistics. Thank you, @christophclarey.” That was class. Top, top man.
I still feel sorry for Naomi Osaka. It was not great circumstances in which to win your first Grand Slam title and though I am sure there will be more, it doesn’t make it ideal. This could all have been avoided.
I am now looking forward to going to Melbourne and hopefully sticking it up ‘The Herald’. We go again for number 24. We all win together and lose together, #RenasArmy.
Andy Del Potro