Serena Williams, oh dear. I have to admit I’m not a massive follower of tennis but I take a keen interest in Wimbledon and have grown up with the Williams sisters at the forehead of women’s tennis. I am a big supporter of both of them and what they have achieved in their respective careers is absolutely fantastic for any sports person. To me they seemed true sportswomen-hungry, hardworking, dedicated and damn good! Now as I said I’m not too hot on tennis so my opinions maybe slightly out of place but I want to focus on Serena Williams outburst in the US Open Final 2011.
YouTube clip of the US Open Final-Williams vs Stosur
It was just embarrassing to watch such a celebrated athletic turn to such childish behaviour in her anger. I can sympathise and understand Williams’ annoyance with the decision in such a high profile game. However, you have to remember that she brought the decision upon herself by acting in a unsporting manner by calling out ‘come on’ before the point was actually hers. Arguably this could have put her opponent off and the Umpire, playing by the rules, had to give the point to Stosur because she touched the ball.
Personally I feel disappointed that Williams lowered herself to this level, she has an amazing record in championships and has the ability to win more but losing her temper so publicly has made a mockery of her past successes.
Sports personal who are watched with a beady eye by the media need to understand their responsibility to lead by example. Sport has a massive influence on young children and celebrities need to be big enough to control their actions, they certainly have a big enough pay check to persuade them.
The worse thing for me was that Williams was obviously so furious with the decision she insulted the Umpire and judged her as an inferior. More and more celebrities from all backgrounds see themselves as untouchable and take no responsibility for their actions. Williams called the Umpire a ‘loser and unattractive inside’ which has nothing to do with the game and was unnecessary. It made her opponent look like a worthy winner and a respectable sports-women unlike the blustering Williams.
This pathetic outburst from a player I have a lot of respect for has really made me think again about Williams’ attitude. She should be rejoiced for what she is brilliant at; tennis, but I fear this needless outburst will linger like an unpleasant smell over her remaining years at the top of world tennis.
If we can learn anything from this, it is that we should all be gracious winners, and losers whatever our circumstance or situation.