May 30, 2009

French Open: (Drama) Deja Vu?

Serena has been on the receiving end of ball calls on more than one occasion but today's "episode" immediately reminded me of her 2003 French Open semifinal match against Justine "The Hand" Henin.

During the 5th game of the 1st set and with Serena facing a break point, Sanchez hit a drop volley and Serena rushed in and took a strong cut at a backhand which caught Sanchez on the arm and bounced back over the net. The replay showed that the ball did indeed hit Sanchez's wrist/arm but the umpire awarded the point (and game) to Sanchez. Martinez Sanchez went on to win the set. This did not sit well with Serena:

"I didn't think the ball touched her, it did hit her. I hit that ball rather hard. She knew that ball hit her. The rule of tennis is when the ball hits your body, then it's out of play.You lose a point automatically. So the ball hit her body, and therefore, she should have lost the point instead of cheating.

I would never have done that. I've never sunk [that] low. I would never do that to anyone on this tour. I said [to the chair], 'Did you ask her? He said, 'Well, she's saying that it didn't happen.' I looked at her dead in the eye... Just be honest, if the ball hit you or not. I mean, Hello, it totally hit her. she was just like -- she wouldn't even look at me. I have no respect for anyone who plays a professional game and doesn't play professionally."

Serena did shake her opponent's hand (at net) at the end of the match because she felt that her opponent played a great match and was a good player. Williams went on to say that it's not the first time such controversy has arisen during her matches. In 2003, Williams lost to Henin in the French Open semifinals after a dispute over whether Henin had raised her hand during one of Williams' first serves.

"There was an incident with Justine, and then there was another incident with Jennifer Capriati [at the 2004 U.S. Open, which featured several bad line calls and spurred the introduction of eletronic replay]. Always some drama. Even in Australia this year I had a bad call, and I was just like, 'Why?' I'm like one of those girls on a reality show that has all the drama, and everyone in the house hates them because no matter what they do, like, drama follows them. I don't want to be that girl."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Serena was right--her opponent cheated. And, of course, the media, and officials, just hate to see her prosperous.