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Thread: All Things Tennis!

  1. #586
    entertaining in its outrage Volta's Avatar
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    Women's US Open Final: Serena Williams vs. Naomi Osaka
    I am still trying to process what happened earlier today. Although I didn't watch the match live.. I watched it on replay. I had heard from a friend while I was out and about that something crazy had happened with Serena getting three code violations. Which isn't exactly a new position for Serena in the final stages of the US Open. Read the spoiler for all the previous code violation controversy

    In all those occasions men at the event had been equally if not more abusive in comments to the chair umpire and not given violations. Andy Roddick was literally coming at an umpire with his racquet as if to hit the umpire and nothing was said.

    Anyhow, during this final I am kind of still contemplating what made it go soooo wrong.
    1.) Serena is on a huge comeback after giving birth: and event that had her near death with a blood clot and hospitalized further. The idea of her making two grand slam finals this year wasn't really even expected because her return was so rocky/her results were not that great. But she did make the Wimbledon final and this one. Impressive to me.
    2.) I don't think Serena was aware that the 2018 rulebook no longer makes distinctions between the "type" of code violations a player can rack up. There used to be violations that were in one category that were more accidental or unintentional. Like when Venus had her beads break during a match, equipment issues, or a ball falls out of someones pocket during a point, or cramping, or taking too long to serve or return a serve.
    Then there were the violations for unsportsmanlike conduct like breaking racquets, hitting a linesman or ballkid with a ball or a racquet, coaching, and the most difficult to understand the harassment of an official. Some umpires are stricter than others. Umpires follow the tour like the players.. many umpires that know certain players give them a pass if they know that this player is prone to anger and venting such anger. Serena almost is never, ever allowed to be emotional as others.

    So it used to be you could get a warning both categories and those were treated separately. So having two violations in different categories would just be two different warnings. Then a second would be a point penalty.. and back before the new rule a third in the same category was actually a default. But technically you could get four violations as long as two were in different categories and you were fine. Which is why Serena thought her racquet breaking was a new warning and not a second code violation.

    In this case with Osaka, I think Serena wasn't aware that coaching and racquet violation were now merged into the same category. How could she really, tho.. she hasn't played a full schedule with these new rules.
    First violation is a warning
    2nd Loss of a point
    3rd Loss of a game
    4th Loss of a set/or defaulted

    This is what hurts Serena's case for me: her coach admitted to coaching. But he said it in a blanketed way the press isn't reporting. He said that Osaka's coach was coaching 100 percent of the match too and that it was unfair for Carlos Ramos to call him out and not call out Sasha Bajun (who is Serena's former bf/hitting partner - drama, drama, drama.. now he's Osaka's head coach). But all people need to hear is that Serena's coach (Patrick) admitted to coaching and the first warning was valid.

    What is in her favor for me: She thought her racquet break was a simple warning when in fact under the new rules this year it was her second code violation. She was fuming mad.
    And she lost a point to Osaka. She called the umpire a thief. Now.. here is where that discretionary rule gets tricky. - does it warrant a third violation for harassing a chair umpire? In slam finals, Davis and Fed Cup events I've seen coached called cuss words and not give out violations understanding that the moment is very tense. Especially in 5th sets at the Davis Cup. Davis Cup is a men's event. You can find so many examples on youtube.
    Is THIEF such a derogatory word?
    I DON'T KNOW.

    All this being said, I feel awful for Osaka. She clearly outplayed Serena in the first set. She was faster, she had more power, her serve was better.
    But Serena as she always does.. was starting to rally back. It's hard to argue if a loss of a point would have cost Serena the final in a best of three set match.. but certainly losing an entire game on your opponents serve is almost impossible to come back from. You'd expect anyone to lose that set in that situation.. and for Serena the match.

    And throughout the entire event.. Naomi Osaka was a boss. She totally handled the situation.
    So I guess I am proud of both of them. I knew Osaka would win a major some day.. I didn't expect it this soon. And I am glad she won. I am glad she persevered.
    But I also kinda agree with Serena.. it all seemed so unfair.. just like it was against Capriati and Stosur and Kim and now Naomi. hmmm

    Serena did her best to calm the crowd who was booing the entire awards presentation until Serena asked them to stop. It's just not the way you want to see a person win their first major. Especially someone like Naomi who idolized Serena. But it sure is good tv. I've seen stuff like this before.. obviously with Serena.. but never like this in a final of a slam. I'm glad Serena made sure everyone knew she felt that "thief" was pretty tame and not nearly as bad as what the dudes get away with.

    The crowd was for Serena 100 percent. But the press and social media are not having it. It's so weird to see her being so attacked by so many people online.
    Last edited by Volta; 09-09-2018 at 04:38 AM.
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  2. #587
    All I’ll say is Naomi played an awesome match and deserved a win.

    And Serena, once again, gets fucked by the arbitrary rules of tennis and a completely overzealous umpire. I know all the alt-righties will blame her, but under the circumstances, I think she was completely justified. White male tennis players get away with a million times worst, and she get the game penalty? So absurd.

  3. #588
    entertaining in its outrage Volta's Avatar
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    At the Davis cup event between Czech Republic and Serbia Radek Stapanik called the umpire a word that describes female anatomy.. but nothing was done. I've seen over the years men grab the umpires microphones like at Indian Wells in the finals with Agassi and the player from the republic of Georgia. Recently Jared Donaldson lost his mind on an umpire and the umpire just ignored it entirely. In the past Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish and Marat Safin have threatened umpires....

    Also the new shot clock which gives players 25 seconds to serve after the score is called was not enforced in the tense sets against Nadal and Djokovic.. but Sharapova got called on a shot clock and Alize Cornet got a warning for changing her shirt... John Millman left the court without permission to change his clothes on a game that was not a change of ends. And nothing is said.

    Enforce the rules or don't.. but do one or the other.
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  4. #589
    generally largely right Dan's Avatar
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    I think Martina Navratilova's take is the fairest one:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/10/o...s-us-open.html

  5. #590
    mat-a-tat-tat bratboy's Avatar
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    I think the chair umpire showed poor judgment in failing to exercise his discretion, and ultimately it harmed the eventual winner. Really in any match but in a championship match particularly, a player should receive a soft warning for the actions of their coach before being given a violation. It's particularly absurd for Williams -- I don't know that in 20+ years she's ever received a coaching violation, she's a player who rarely even looks at her box (some constantly talk towards their own), and she doesn't even accept coaching during tournaments when it is allowed -- and the rulings should have been better explained to the players and crowd. That would have prevented the entire debacle. It's a rather dumb rule to begin with because it's nearly impossible to enforce with any amount of consistency, but it is what it is and coach acknowledged he was doing it, though it's unlikely she was even close enough to see it.

    I think Navratilova's point is fair, but again I believe a soft warning would have been more prudent before docking her a game for that comment. By declining to exercise restraint he interjected himself into the championship match and ultimately harmed the winner. I just hate that Serena losing her cool becomes such a huge story. It's happened like 3 even somewhat notable times in over 1,000 professional matches. She did her best to redirect the angry crowd's attention to Osaka's win--who no doubt will have other big wins in the future.

  6. #591
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    I think Martina Navratilova's take is the fairest one:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/10/o...s-us-open.html
    Completely disagree. But I've never been a fan of Martina's commentary post tennis career, she's been so wrong and out of place on many occasions, IMO.

    I think Billy Jean King's statement is the best:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlo...=.4238c5be75a9

    The effect was an abuse of power: Ramos crossed the line. He made himself part of the match. He involved himself in the end result. An umpire’s job is to keep control of the match, and he let it get out of control. The rules are what they are, but the umpire has discretion, and Ramos chose to give Williams very little latitude in a match where the stakes were highest. Granted, Williams could have taken some responsibility and moved on after the first warning (and, speaking from experience, it’s debatable whether she knew this was a warning or not), and before the point and game penalties started flying.

    But, for her, and for many other women who have experienced an abuse of power at their workplaces, there was more at stake.

    Did Ramos treat Williams differently than male players have been treated? I think he did. Women are treated differently in most arenas of life. This is especially true for women of color. And what played out on the court yesterday happens far too often. It happens in sports, in the office and in public service. Ultimately, a woman was penalized for standing up for herself. A woman faced down sexism, and the match went on.

  7. #592
    entertaining in its outrage Volta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bratboy View Post
    I think the chair umpire showed poor judgment in failing to exercise his discretion, and ultimately it harmed the eventual winner. Really in any match but in a championship match particularly, a player should receive a soft warning for the actions of their coach before being given a violation. It's particularly absurd for Williams -- I don't know that in 20+ years she's ever received a coaching violation, she's a player who rarely even looks at her box (some constantly talk towards their own), and she doesn't even accept coaching during tournaments when it is allowed -- and the rulings should have been better explained to the players and crowd. That would have prevented the entire debacle. It's a rather dumb rule to begin with because it's nearly impossible to enforce with any amount of consistency, but it is what it is and coach acknowledged he was doing it, though it's unlikely she was even close enough to see it.

    I think Navratilova's point is fair, but again I believe a soft warning would have been more prudent before docking her a game for that comment. By declining to exercise restraint he interjected himself into the championship match and ultimately harmed the winner. I just hate that Serena losing her cool becomes such a huge story. It's happened like 3 even somewhat notable times in over 1,000 professional matches. She did her best to redirect the angry crowd's attention to Osaka's win--who no doubt will have other big wins in the future.
    Navratilova and Mary Carillo are part of the "tennis elite" who used to complain when Serena and Venus were getting to all those slam finals in the early and mid 00s - then complained when they left the sport to pursue degrees in fashion, start clothing companies, and Serena did a little bit of acting and screenwriting. They said they didn't respect the sport for leaving it. Then, when it was clear women's tennis was losing ratings when a William's sister wasn't in the draw they begged them to come back. Serena literally saved the WTA. When she retires I hope they have big enough star power to keep broadcasting rights to WTA events on channels people can actually watch.

    Serena and Venus have been constant punching bags for the tennis elite while being beloved by pop culture/news. When they transcended their sport a lot of people like Jon Wertheim, Carillo, and Chris Fowler tried to bring them back down and it didn't work.

    I watch a lot of sports and a lot of different sporting events. It is almost never a bad thing to get emotional or expressive one way or the other. I admit, we've never had a woman in tennis quite as fired up at Serena.. but I think that is what Serena is trying to change. To allow women to be just as emotional or intense.. especially in Slam Finals when there is so much pressure for ranking points and prize money.

    Why did Alize Cornet get a violation for turning her shirt the right way (which by the way all WTA players have to have their WTA pins/patches showing forward or they're fined)? Why was Maria called for shot clock violations when almost no men were being called for doing the exact same thing if not worse in 5th sets?
    Last edited by Volta; 09-12-2018 at 01:28 AM.
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  8. #593
    entertaining in its outrage Volta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    I think Martina Navratilova's take is the fairest one:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/10/o...s-us-open.html
    Martina Navratilova is one of those difficult human beings that is going to go against the tide for the sake of going against the tide. She will tell fellow broadcasters the "right" way to pronounce Eastern European names and then next match is pronouncing it completely differently.

    She talks about how the sport is not that great anymore because the racquets they use today are so much easier to use than her era.. although she's played with the same technology when she came back for doubles and mixed and continues to use in legends events.
    She also hates the style of the game and the lack of net play. And doesn't always recognize that she dominated during a time when athletic talent wasn't so much.. and now on the tour you have to be in the best shape to even break the top 500. The sport is so much more athletic. Yes, she started the trend for more power, more time in the gym, nutrition.. but she refuses to acknowledge that the sport has progressed .. she is a great commentator because she picks up on things others don't.. especially with line calls.

    She also was very mad that Serena only played doubles with her once when she returned to the tour and they lost early.. and then Serena played with Alexandra Stevenson ( a player with very little talent but a big serve) and won that event that same year.

    I don't try to take away from the icon's of our sport. But there's a reason why Billie Jean King, Johnny Mac, Katrina Adams, Zina Garrison are close with Serena and Navratilova, Carillo and Jim Courier are not. Some of our former pros turned broadcasters need to take the stick out of their bums, get a sense of humor, and just get a bit more current.
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  9. #594
    entertaining in its outrage Volta's Avatar
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    Who said you were evil?
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  10. #595
    mat-a-tat-tat bratboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volta View Post
    Serena and Venus have been constant punching bags for the tennis elite while being beloved by pop culture/news. When they transcended their sport a lot of people like Jon Wertheim, Carillo, and Chris Fowler tried to bring them back down and it didn't work.

    I watch a lot of sports and a lot of different sporting events. It is almost never a bad thing to get emotional or expressive one way or the other. I admit, we've never had a woman in tennis quite as fired up at Serena.. but I think that is what Serena is trying to change. To allow women to be just as emotional or intense.. especially in Slam Finals when there is so much pressure for ranking points and prize money.
    Oh beyond tennis even Serena Williams is by far my favorite athlete, no need to convince me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Volta View Post
    Why did Alize Cornet get a violation for turning her shirt the right way (which by the way all WTA players have to have their WTA pins/patches showing forward or they're fined)? Why was Maria called for shot clock violations when almost no men were being called for doing the exact same thing if not worse in 5th sets?
    Don't forget the umpire who got out of his chair to offer a pep talk and encouragement to a male player! (Ironically, the player was Nick Kyrgios...to my knowledge one of the worst offenders as far as on court behavior is concerned.)
    Last edited by bratboy; 09-12-2018 at 02:18 PM.

  11. #596
    entertaining in its outrage Volta's Avatar
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    Don't even get me started with Nick Kyrgios. Talk about a guy who literally shits on the sport but officials do nothing.. maybe fine him. How about suspending him from tournaments?? Maybe if it's taken away from him he'll actually appreciate it more.

    There is just too much evidence. As a superfan talking to another superfan you don't even have to go into it with any depth: Serena and Venus have always been treated differently. I think back when Venus was playing Karolina Sprem at Wimbledon and in the tiebreak Sprem was given a phantom point. It came from nowhere. Everyone noticed it. No one not even Sprem said anything. You can't tell me that not on person in the crowd, press, photographers, or commentators next to that court couldn't have shouted at him that he just gave a point to Sprem for no reason.

    Venus and Serena never take on-court coaching. They almost never use the challenge system. They are much more pristine when it comes to the actual sport and how they carry themselves than even Federer.. but in tennis circles.. two girls that came from Compton with a very eccentric father who maybe has fathered up to 36 children and has no formal education, did not put his daughters in junior tennis (completely ignoring traditional tennis standards)...who got his girls to #1 in the world with books and vhs tapes to help him coach them.
    This story has always been one tennis elites have tried to stop.
    And here you have Serena and Venus who have weathered so many eras including Navratilova and Graf and Seles, and Davenport, and Henin, and the Serbian girls who were 1 and 2 and the current generation. Serena has one a slam in each of the last 3 decades. She's held all four slams (The Serena Slam) twice as well as 4 Gold Medals. I just have to stop. ahhh
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  12. #597
    mat-a-tat-tat bratboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volta View Post
    They almost never use the challenge system.
    I don't know the stats, but when Serena decides to challenge I assume she's going to be correct. I know everyone gets bad line calls and I saw some particularly bad ones during this US Open...but yeah, I always shake my head. It just seems to happen a whole lot. And a challenge correction sometimes makes things whole, but often means you're out a point you should have won and you have to do it again.

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