Serena Williams Loses Temper – Loses Match

If you were watching the U.S. Open you saw Serena Williams come undone.

Who am I trying to kid? If you were watching tennis, or ESPN, or CNN or even your local news you probably saw the clip.

In a sport where decorum rules the courts it is unusual to see a tennis player throw a fit during a match.

I haven’t seen an outburst like that during the U.S. Open since John McEnroe played the game.

It was all over a foot fault. A line judge called a foot fault on Serena and pardon my French, but I believe her exact words were “I swear to God I feel like taking this ball and shoving it down your fucking throat.”

Then she continued to point and swear right at the judge.

As in any sport, it doesn’t go over well when you threaten the referees.

They hate that.

Now, as much as I appreciate a lady with a foul mouth (and I’m not just saying that, I really do) this paroxysm was completely inappropriate.

Here, see for yourself.

I don’t mean to suggest that the line judge wasn’t making a lot of unnecessary calls against Serena Williams. She may have been, I don’t know, I was watching football, but that is not how a person is expected to behave in a professional tennis match.

This isn’t major league baseball.

Devra was watching the U.S. Open with their children. (Not that they haven’t heard that language before. They have watched football over at my house.)

I appreciate her* passion but it was misplaced here.

The fit was bad, and embarrassing for Ms. Williams, but that isn’t the worst of it. She was docked a point. And that point cost her the game.

…while serving at 5-6, 15-30, the line official called a foot fault on
Serena on her second serve, thus awarding Clijsters double match point,
15-40. However, Serena became upset with the call and began jawing at
the official. To her misfortune, she had already been given a warning
earlier in the match; which now combined resulted in a point penalty,
thus costing her the match.

Black Tennis Pros

That wasn’t all it cost her. She was also fined $10,000 for unsportmanlike conduct.

Serena Williams lost in the semi-finals of the U.S. Open because she couldn’t control her temper.

Kim Clijsters won the match on a technicality and went on to defeat Caroline Wozniacki in the finals to win the championship.

To be fair Clijsters is an amazing tennis player. Megan says:

Now honestly, she might have lost the match anyway because her opponent
Kim Clijsters was out playing her and was a couple of points from
winning with the score, 4-6, 5-6, 15-30… Bottom line, Clijsters is a great player and doing amazingly well for
someone who was off having a baby the last three years.  She was
beating Serena on every level and though Serena may have pulled it out
in three, God knows she’s done it before, you do the crime, you do the

Megan’s Minute

So maybe Serena would not have advanced, but it stinks to see someone lose that way.

Some people have suggested that it might have been ‘roid rage or even PMS. In my opinion Serena Williams is just a fierce competitor. She wasn’t playing her best, it looked like she was about to be defeated and she was angry about it. It happens.

Ms. Williams issued a formal statement explaining, if not exactly apologizing for, her behavior during the semi-final match. She is still scheduled to play in the doubles finals with her sister, Venus.

Originally written for and Cross Posted on with some minor changes.

* I mean Serena. Not Devra.

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  1. Unreal. People are actually suggesting roids or pms? She was totally pissed at herself and took it out on a judge who made a pretty stupid call. Bad idea, bad timing, a bad way to lose, and the worst part – for Kim, a bad way to win. She deserved to hoot and holler and jump for joy. I’m just glad she got to do it in the Finals!

  2. I read about this at other places, but I LOVE your take on it (“this isn’t major league baseball”!)

    I’ll go check out the blogher post too!

  3. Your completly right she was a jerk. But Kanya West is a close 2nd for what he did on the VMA’s last night. Complete Asshole!! I never liked him, but now i really really dont…..

  4. Oh, Kanye totally wins the jerk award. No contest.

  5. Yep, just seems like everyone is in a bad mood these days.

  6. I believe Serena truly deserved both the poin-docking and the $10,000 fine she received. Her reaction was completely unprofessional and uncalled-for, especially for tennis, but really in any sport. Cursing and physically threatening a judge like that is not at all acceptable.
    And she knows that. That is why she has now apologized, or explained her behavior as you mentioned. And I agree with Erin…PMS? Really? She is a very talented, competitive athlete who happens to be female. The female aspect has nothing to do with her bad behavior. As also mentioned here, John McEnroe became famous for certain episodes during his glory days.
    I watched an interesting summary video on this whole event and its different responses at The video is short and well-made–certainly worth watching:

  7. My passion? Did I really misplace it here? I’ve been looking all over for that damn thing.

    At least it was appreciated.

    (Do no be surprised if I wind up bruised and battered by Sarah wielding Strunk & White’s “The Elements Of Style” all about my body and head.)

  8. Well, I WAS watching tennis, and while Serena’s outburst is indefensible, it’s out of character for her–she is not usually a brat on court. Her frustration with her own performance boiled over, and it was a shame for Kim, who should have won without that shadow cast over her. So, I condemn that behavior, but I’m not ready to cast Serena to the wolves yet. Unlike Kanye. He’s wolf bait for sure. What a dickhead.

  9. She made a mistake. She was mad at herself and took it out on a judge. We all do that at some point. she lost because of it and it is a good reason to point this out to other competitors. She broke the rules and lost.

  10. Serena, Kanye, and that Wison bafoon are giving my kids great fodder for life lessons. I wrote about it today.

  11. I actually hadn’t seen the clip yet. It’s one thing to yell fuck fuck fuck, or whatever, but to menacing tell a judge she is going to shove a ball down their throat???? She deserves what she got and more.

  12. Boy howdy, was it a week for embarrassing outburst or what.

  13. Wish someone would fine my dudes when they yell at me. Guess since they don’t swear they should get a lower fine, but they totally make threats (I’m not gonna be your friend anymore, or I’m gonna tell Daddy you are mean, and other crap I don’t care about). Only problem is that if someone fined them I’d wind up paying it and that would suck.

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