Serena's Feminist Rant Overshadows Osaka's Triumph - UBITENNIS
Connect with us


Serena’s Feminist Rant Overshadows Osaka’s Triumph

Serena claimed she felt the game penalty was a sexist act by the referee.



Serena Williams at the 2018 US Open (photo Roberto Dell'Olivo)

What a final! And what an end to the final!

The mayhem caused by Serena Williams being given a point penalty and a game penalty during the final and her discussing repeatedly with the Tournament Referee Brian Earley about how all that was “unfair” obviously took over the wonderful story of a 20-year-old winning her maiden Major title.

Serena Williams came into the press room a mere 10-15 minutes after walking off the court for the award ceremony, when she asked the crowd to “stop booing and try to get through this the best way we can”. The 23,000 of the Arthur Ashe Stadium were overwhelmingly cheering for the 37-year-old American chasing her 24th Grand Slam title, and where all outraged at the score apparently not following the normal progression of points.

I don’t know how I’m feeling yet – she said at the beginning of her press conference – I haven’t had time to really process everything. But I’m just trying, like I said out there, to stay positive and to look at all the bright things and all the good things and just keep going forward with that”.

She kept denying receiving any advice from Mouratoglou, despite him admitting to ESPN that he did try to communicate something to Serena, despite the fact that she was on the opposite side of the court and that there is no signal system between the two: “don’t know. I literally just heard that, too, when they prepped me to come in. I just texted Patrick, like, what is he talking about? Because we don’t have signals. We have never discussed signals. I don’t even call for on-court coaching. I’m trying to figure out why he would say that. I don’t understand — I mean, maybe he said [that], you can do it. I was on the far other end, so I’m not sure. I want to clarify myself what he’s talking about”.

Patrick Mouratoglou tried to justify his action by saying that everybody does it, and then took to Twitter to say that the umpire became the most important element of the final, instead of the players: “The star of the show has been once again the chair umpire. Second time in this US Open and third time for Serena in a US Open Final. Should they be allowed have an influence on the result of a match? When do we decide that this should never happen again?

Serena maintained that she was not being coached and that after the warning she didn’t even look at her box any longer, which is a lie because the whole world saw her express her frustration to her camp after dropping her serve at 3-1 in the second set, just before smashing her racket and getting a point penalty.

Then it all turned philosophical and emotional, and then the two things together. “[If Olympia asks me about what happened today] I’ll tell her, first of all, if she sees it, that I stood up for what I believed in. I stood up for what was right. Sometimes things in life don’t happen the way we want them, but to always stay gracious and stay humble. I think that’s the lesson we can all learn from this, just like I did”.

Of course, we will never know how the match would have evolved without the disciplinary penalties against Serena, but the American champion felt that, as she had been able so many times in the past to raise her level, the result of the match was still uncertain: “I don’t know. I feel like she was playing really well, but I feel like I really needed to do a lot to change in that match to try to come out front, to try to come out on top. It’s hard to say because I always fight till the end and I always try to come back, no matter what. But she was also playing really, really well. It’s hard to say that I wouldn’t have got a new level, because I’ve done it so many times in my career. So it’s a tough question”.

The “grand finale” of ‘Serena the Diva’ is a paragraph worth of a whole separate essay:

I can’t sit here and say I wouldn’t say he’s a thief, because I thought he took a game from me. But I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things. I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief’. For me it blows my mind. But I’m going to continue to fight for women and to fight for us to have equal — like Cornet should be able to take off her shirt without getting a fine. This is outrageous. I just feel like the fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions, and that want to express themselves, and want to be a strong woman. They’re going to be allowed to do that because of today. Maybe it didn’t work out for me, but it’s going to work out for the next person”.

At the end of this remark mixing together sexual discrimination and the Grand Slam Playbook, Serena’s agent Jill Smoller started an applause that prompted a tearful Serena Williams, together with her equally tearful sister Isha, to leave the room never to come back. Evidently the 23-time Grand Slam champion went through a mental process that made her see whatever happened to her on court as another page in the book of abuses: “I think it’s just instantly, just like, Oh, gosh, I don’t want to go back to 2004. Forget 2009, you know. It started way back then”. She is obviously referring to her quarterfinal against Jennifer Capriati, when there were so many wrong calls against her to prompt the USTA to issue an apology statement and to initiate researches for what has become the Hawk-Eye electronic calling system.

Completely different and remarkably composed was Naomi Osaka’s encounter with a full room of journalists who greeted her with the customary applause that is usually dedicated to Grand Slam champions. “I think my serve was important in the whole match. She’s such a good returner, and I really felt like I had to hit the spots today. It doesn’t really feel that real right now. I think maybe in a few days I’ll realize what I’ve done. Right now it just feels, like, I don’t know. Aside from the fact there’s a lot of press in this room, it feels just like another tournament”.

Naomi did not take part to the controversy claiming she did not hear what was happening: “The crowd was really noisy, so I really didn’t hear. And when I turned around, uhm, it was 5-3, so I was a little bit confused then. But for me, I felt like I really had to focus during this match because she’s such a great champion, and I know that she can come back from any point. I was just trying to focus on myself at that time”.

Her emotions overwhelmed her when she was asked about her admiration for Serena: “I was just thinking, I don’t know, like to have a huge reaction isn’t really me in the first place. It just still didn’t really feel that real. So for me it just felt like a normal match just walking up to the net. But it’s Serena that’s on the other side. She hugged me, and it was really awesome. I don’t know what happened on the court. I’m always going to remember the Serena that I love. It doesn’t change anything for me. She was really nice to me, like, at the net and on the podium. I don’t really see what would change”.



Camila Giorgi advances to the semifinals, as Victoria Azarenka withdraws from the match



World Number 37 Camila Giorgi has advanced to the semifinal of the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo after Victoria Azarenka pulled out of the quarter final match due to illness, while she was trailing 3-5 after just 28 minutes in the opening set. Giorgi has extended her win-loss record in her head-to-head matches against Azarenka.

Giorgi hit 10 winners to 4 unforced errors and converted both break points to reach the Tokyo Toray Open semifinal for the first time in her career. She set up a semifinal clash against this year’s US Open champion Naomi Osaka, who beat Barbora Strycova scoring her ninth consecutive win.

Azarenka earned the first break of the match in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Giorgi pulled the break back to love with a forehand return with a forehand return winner.

The Italian player hit a forehand reurn winner to pull the break back and won eight consecutive points to hold her next service game at love with a backhand volley winner.

Giorgi broke serve at love to open up a 5-3 lead before Azarenka was forced to withdraw from the match.

“The crowd are great here in Tokyo and it’s a real pleasure to play in front of the Japanese fans. Naomi Osaka is strong and powerful and I will play and focus on my game”, said Giorgi.

Continue Reading


Ekaterina Alexandrova upsets defending champion Jelena Ostapenko in the quarter finals in Seoul



World number 122 Ekaterina Alexandrova upset 2017 Roland Garros champion and defending champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-2 after 71 minutes in a match delayed by rain to clinch the first top 10 win of her career at the KEB Hana Bank in Seoul.

Before today’s match Alexandrova has never won in her three head-to-head matches against to-10 players. Alexandrova converted five of her eight break point chances and won 79 first serve points.

The 23-year-old Russian player set up a tough semifinal clash against Chinese Taipei’s Hsieh Su-wei, who lifted the Hiroshima last week.

Ostapenko held serve in the first game with two consecutive aces, but she dropped her serve after a double fault. Alexandrova saved a break point to hold serve for a 3-1 lead. Ostapenko broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3, as Alexandrova made a double fault. Alexandrova came back from 15-40 down to break again on her second chance with a forehand crosscourt winner.

Alexandrova earned three set points at 5-3, when Ostapenko hit a backhand wide. The Russian player hit a crosscourt backhand return winner to break serve at love.

In the second set Alexandrova got a break to open up a 3-1 lead, when Ostapenko made one of six double faults on the break point. Alexandrova held her serve to race out to a 4-1 lead after a hard-fought game. She hit a forehand winner to hold her serve for 5-2 in the seventh game and earned three match points with another forehand winner. She converted her first chance with a backhand return winner.

“I think it was a good match. I played well, and she also played well. I am just happy it worked out like this”, said Alexandrova.

Irina Camelia Begu beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 6-3 to reach her third quarter finals this year.Number 2 seed Kiki Bertens edged past Jakupovic Dalila 6-4 7-5.

Continue Reading


Camila Giorgi beats Caroline Wozniacki to score the ninth top 10 win in Tokyo



This year’s Wimbledon quarter finalist Camila Giorgi came back from one set down in the third set to knock out Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 2-6 6-4 at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo scoring the ninth win over a top 10 player in her career. With this win the Italian player has reached the quarter finals.

Giorgi broke this year’s Australian Open champion and former world number 1 player Caroline Woznaicki twice in the first five games of the opening set. Giorgi fired 16 winners to Wozniacki’s 4 in the first set.

Wozniacki, who was playing her first match since losing to Lesla Tsurenko in the second round of the US Open, fended off all nine break points (including six in the first two games, one in the first game and five in the second game at 1-1) and broke serve twice to clinch the second set 6-2.

Wozniacki reeled off eight of the first nine points of the decider to open up a 2-0 lead with a break of serve. Giorgi fought back from 0-30 down to break back. The Italian got the decisive break lead in the seventh game to draw level to 3-3 in her six career head-to-head matches against Wozniacki. Giorgi converted on four of her sixteen break points and hit 45 winners to 29 unforced errors.

The Italian player will take on former Australian Open champion and past world number 1 player Victoria Azarenka, who beat Ashley Barty scoring her first first win against a top 20 player in six months.

Giorgi has scored her ninth career win against a top 10 player and the the first on hard court since she beat Agnieszka Radwanska in Katowice 2015. It’s also the fourth win over a top 5 player and the first since beating Elina Svitolina in Birmingham in 2017.

Giorgi has won 23rd match this year and achieved her best result in her third appearance in Tokyo.

“I will just focus on my game, like always, and I will hope to play like this, very consistent”, said Giorgi.





Continue Reading