BBC BLOGS - Jonathan Overend
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
« Previous | Main | Next »

US Open - The winners and losers

Post categories:

Jonathan Overend | 08:05 UK time, Tuesday, 13 September 2011

New York

So another US Open is over. And after thrills, spills, rain and pain, I have selected my winners and losers from this year's dramatic tournament at Flushing Meadows.

First, the winners...

Novak Djokovic

What is there left to say? When Manchester United won the Premier League last season, only suffering a handful of defeats along the way, they only played their main rivals twice. As far as Djokovic, the new US Open men's singles champion, is concerned, he has played Rafael Nadal six times and Roger Federer five times this year. In 2011, the Serbian is 10-1 against two of the greatest players of all time. That's 64 wins and only two defeats over the season so far. Phenomenal.

Djokovic's backhand is one of the greatest shots seen in the modern era. His athleticism is immense, reaching balls on the stretch on the slide and somehow getting them to within an inch of the baseline. Sixty-four wins, did you say? Two defeats? How is any of this possible in the modern game? I don't, but 'Nole' knows.

Djokovic reaches for another ball in the final against NadalDjokovic reaches for another ball in the final against Nadal. Photo: Reuters

Sam Stosur

A triumph for perseverance, underdogs and the discarded. A triumph for Australia and, most of all, for attacking tennis. Two days after world number one Caroline Wozniacki hit zero winners in her first set against Serena Williams, Stosur came out firing against the same opponent with - eureka! - instant success. On her tournament debut on Arthur Ashe Stadium, having been dumped on Grandstand for her semi-final, Stosur showed poise, nerve and heart. She rose above the tawdry goings on in the second set when Williams began her very public altercation with the umpire and finished off her opponent with style. She mixed with fans and reporters as she celebrated her US Open success into the early hours in a Manhattan bar. #wouldntgetthatwithwilliams

British teens

Almost an entire fortnight separated Heather Watson's magnificent challenge to Maria Sharapova in the first round of the women's singles and Oliver Golding's victory in the boys' singles. Watson is making the transition into the senior ranks seamlessly, with classy tennis and a smile. Golding showed impressive nerve under pressure, some big serves and even bigger forehands. Watson, Golding, Laura Robson and the other Brits who made the boys' semi-finals - George Morgan and Kyle Edmund - hopefully have bright futures if they remember Djokovic didn't get where he is on talent alone.

Umpires

Several leading umpires were absent from Flushing Meadows this year in a dispute over pay and overtime. But, represented by Eva Asderaki and Carlos Ramos, the profession proved its worth over finals weekend. Criticised in some quarters for his timing, Ramos quite rightly called first Nadal and then Djokovic for pushing time limits. Asderaki was bold, too, standing up to Williams to award a point penalty for hindrance and then a code violation for abusive language. Asderaki sat there, for her $250 (£157), making correct calls and getting abused for it. Then she hears tournament officials have fined Williams £2,000 (£1263) as punishment. The umpires should not stand for this effective insult of their authority. The US Open might be lucky to have any officials at all next year.

James Van Alen

Who? The man who invented the tie-break in 1965, of course. They still insist on tie-breaks to decide final sets here - and that is a bad thing. But this year we were treated to a handful of spectacular shoot-outs: Maria Kirilenko's 17-15 second-set breaker with Stosur, a women's Grand Slam record; Federer's 9-7 with Djokovic in the opening set of the semi-final; and, most memorably, Djokovic's amazing 16-14 pinch of a first set against the unfortunate Alex Dolgopolov. What a spectacular invention.

And the losers...

United States Tennis Association

Serena Williams let herself down again with her outburst in the final and her refusal to apologise or express regret for her rant at Asderaki. But the biggest loser of all is the USTA, whose refusal to throw the book at its star player summed up its incompetence during this event. Panic decisions, knee-jerk reactions. During the rain chaos of the second week, we were only ever a moment away from the latest embarrassment.

The worst moments? Somebody bringing gaffer tape onto the leaky Armstrong Court thinking it would solve everything. The drastically inaccurate weather forecast responsible for 15 minutes play on slippy courts. The sight of referee Brian Earley dragging a towel with his foot in an attempt to dry a court and then mumbling into his mobile phone as Andy Roddick marched the ball boys and line judges off to Court 13.

Officials attempt to make the playing surface safeOfficials attempt to make the playing surface safe. Photo: Reuters

Nobody seemed willing to take common sense decisions and yet nobody seems to be accountable. So time to act. The idea of spreading round one over three days has to be ditched. Back-to-back semi-finals and finals do not work. And any chance of a roof? Ah, the roof. The USTA has well-advanced plans to redevelop Flushing Meadows, including a retractable roof or two. And yet, publicly, it says this is not the case. Bizarre. The US Open is so worried about the politics that it refuses to acknowledge how much value a redevelopment would bring to the city and the nation. It is time to act and it is time for common sense here at the fourth of the four Grand Slams.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Did Asderaki really make a correct call? Did Serena Williams really DELIBERATELY HINDER her opponent? Was her opponent even hindered at all? Would it not have been at least equally acceptable to replay the point? I'm not sure it's as clear cut as you'd liketo think Mr Overend.

  • Comment number 2.

    A brave call from Asderaki and the right call. Serena Williams; already on probation, should have had a very severe punishment. A small fine only deems her behaviour acceptable, when it was in fact rude and should not be tolerated.

    The USTA haved proved their incompetence and have put on a very weak front by not punishing Williams hard enough.

  • Comment number 3.

    The USTA this year have let themselves down considerably this year. I don't think there is any need to repeat what they did wrong but I do just want to pick up on something.

    The noise

    During the final Nadal and Djokovic both complained about the crowd and rightly so
    This is the only tournament when the players always complain about the sound.

    I know there's not a lot that can be done but i just thought i would bring it up

  • Comment number 4.

    redcurrant87: It doesn't matter if it was deliberate or if it hindered her opponent, it's against the rules and she was correctly punished. The potty-mouth rant afterwards was out of order.

    Similar behaviour at the Rugby World Cup would result in a sending off and a ban - more appropriate punishment I think.

  • Comment number 5.

    You have every right to be critical of the USTA Jonathan. Many players have complimented the US Open over the years, saying it has the best atmosphere and is the most lively of the four slams but this doesn't mean it is the best overall.

    Umpires, scheduling and playing conditions are all more important than 'atmosphere'. As a commenter above me mentioned, the atmosphere seems to be getting a little too rowdy now with more players complaining about the noise at crucial times in the match.

    The USTA should consult Wimbledon so that court covers are in place for next year and sort out the scheduling, again take a leaf from Wimbledon's schedule - it is the fairest way of organising the tournament and how often have they had to move a final to a Monday, even before the roof? Along with those major short term fixes they should confirm their plans for Flushing Meadows - if they have plans to renovate then why not release them?

    And finally they need to grow a pair and punish their own player for gross misconduct, threatening behaviour and bringing the game into disrepute. Serena's actions on Sunday, along with her failure to apologise, should have warranted a large fine and a large ban given the probation period she was still serving at the tournament.

    http://thebigblogofsport.wordpress.com

  • Comment number 6.

    Wonderful tennis.
    A few years ago Federer was considered probably the best player ever. Then Nadal came on the scene and made him seem pedestrian at times. Now Djokovic has developed his game to surpass even Nadal's athleticism and will-to-win.
    Seeing the final last night it was like watching a different game to the one the women play. Serena Williams moved about the court like she was on coasters...

  • Comment number 7.

    Given that he was already on probation - the decision to issue such a measly fine to Serena was weak and truly pathetic.

    The USTA had already had a pretty rough week and this decision really was the cherry on top.

    Congrat's to Stosur and Djokovic - awesome tennis by those two in their finals. The quality of the men's final just blew me away.

  • Comment number 8.

    The scheduling of games should be taken out of the hands of TELEVISION EXECUTIVES not the USLTA.
    USLTA should provide a balance schedule.
    Wimbledon is a bigger tournment than the other three.Everyone wants to win it.

  • Comment number 9.

    Quite right to criticise the laughable punishment meted out to Serena Williams. She proved once again to be the worst loser in the game. Obnoxious, spiteful and arrogant beyond belief. Wish she would retire, I would miss her like a bad headache.

    As for Djokovic, he should cut out the laborious ball bouncing and some of his outrageous posturing on court (his gesture to the crowd when he saved a match point against Federer with his all or nothing return smacked of gamesmanship and delaying tactics to me). I think he got lucky and Federer should have beaten him. Having said that Federer was unusually ungracious in defeat this time off the court.

    Nadal is ahead of both of them when it comes to showing humility, generosity and dignity whether in victory or defeat. A real class act.

  • Comment number 10.

    maybe they should have threaten to ban or DQ Serena.

    I think its the fact that Americans are no longer the dominant force of tennis has something to do with it. They;ve been taking over by Eastern Europeans; Russians, Czechs, Slovakians in the women's game. the Williams sisters era is coming to an end ..the rest of the players are not easily intimidated by them anymore except Wozniacki who seems to have a mental block to overcome to get into the final

    If only Serena's name was John McEnroe then maybe she would have got disqualified.

    It is unacceptable for her or any player to abuse the umpire...she's a woman after all but all she did was prove is a bad loser !


    the US tennis offiicials are muppets for the sake of money to put the players at risk last week on slippery courts and then they say they don;t have any investment for the roof smacks disbelief considering the TV and sponsors money they get for the tournament.

  • Comment number 11.

    I am a psychiatrist.I was the head of a large psychiatric hospital for 25 years. I reprimanded staff members not more than5 times. I accept there are rules but officials do not always have to implement them especially in sensitive situations when the decision is sometimes crucial and can have a severe psychological affect on a player. The referee was right concerning her ruling but in my opinion had a severe effect on Serena and may have affected the result although Serena denies this-she had to. I feel the referee should have Serena and the match would have continued serenely.

  • Comment number 12.

    Please remember Americans do have a habit of getting more excited and loud during sporting contests it happens in the Golf so they do need to curb it .

    I was thinking Mr Overend was gonna to write Federer / Murray in the losers section because

    A) Roger's reign is fading now its clear he is being surpassed by not just Nadal but Djokovic

    B) Murray - I hope I am wrong he does not suffer Tim Henman syndrome in unable to breakthrough that final barrier as he has found Nadal his obstacle in 3 semis this year and being world No 3 now means he is likely to face Djokovic in the semis at melbourne if he stays fit and gets through. He has to find that bit extra to beat the top 3 in 5 sets matches..he can do it in 3 set matches


    Other losers

    Wozniacki

    Worlds No 1 for nearly 2 years now and still no grand slam final to show for it ..it seems like its affecting her mentally

  • Comment number 13.

    Big4r_a_bore

    Without wanting to prompt a "my player is better than your player" style debate, I think you're being somewhat one-eyed. Rafa spends at least as much time between points as does Djokovic, just watch the wiping his hair out of his face, pulling his shorts out of his bottom etc. He routinely takes more than 30 seconds between points. More umpires should act against both of them as it's surely unnecessary.

    As regards sportsmanship? Perhaps calling an injury time-out when losing to Federer 5-2 in the first set of the French Open? I've seen him do this before when losing, so it isn't an isolated case. I'm not saying he's unique or that he doesn't come across as humble, but it's gamesmanship all the same.

  • Comment number 14.

    4.
    At 12:09 13th Sep 2011, John Davies wrote:

    redcurrant87: It doesn't matter if it was deliberate or if it hindered her opponent, it's against the rules and she was correctly punished.

    ---------------------------------------------
    Lol.........Given that the hindrance ruling basically states:


    26. HINDRANCE
    If a player is hindered in playing the point by a deliberate act of the opponent(s), the player shall win the point.


    I'd say it matters quite a lot whether or not Stosur was hindered and whether or not it was done intentionally.

  • Comment number 15.

    11.At 13:02 13th Sep 2011, mosheavnon wrote:
    I am a psychiatrist.I was the head of a large psychiatric hospital for 25 years. I reprimanded staff members not more than5 times. I accept there are rules but officials do not always have to implement them especially in sensitive situations when the decision is sometimes crucial and can have a severe psychological affect on a player. The referee was right concerning her ruling but in my opinion had a severe effect on Serena and may have affected the result although Serena denies this-she had to. I feel the referee should have Serena and the match would have continued serenely.

    Pur-lease... Serena Williams has previous when it comes to abusing the officials having done it last year too - to say that the referee should have let things go so as not to upset her equilibrium and potentially change the result is nonsense. What about the other player? Is she not entitled to fair treatment as well. Williams indulges in far too much gamesmanship and was quite rightly censured by the umpire. The USTA are gutless - if they think that fine is sufficient, then they are living in a dream.

    Some of the tennis players behave as badly as many of our footballers when it comes to abusing the officials, if not with the same frequency.

  • Comment number 16.

    I was as disgusted by Serena's outburst as much as anyone, but I agree with the relatively mild fine awarded. She lacks class and has an attitude problem, but I would rather pay to watch her than, say, Azarenka or Wozniacki. Unlike two years ago, she did not actually swear or threaten anyone with violence. It is in no-one's interest to ban her from Grand Slams. Women's tennis (and American tennis) needs Serena as much as Serena needs the sport.

  • Comment number 17.

    redcurrant87, you're not reading the rule correctly. It doesn't matter whether the hindrance was deliberate or not; it matters whether the opponent's act was deliberate. The act in this case - the shout - was deliberate; whether Serena intended the shout to be a hindrance or not is irrelevant to the rule.

  • Comment number 18.

    Serena Williams isn't just the worst loser in tennis; she is the worst winner. Remember the press conference when she belittled Safina for being world number one without winning a major, as if it was somehow her fault. Can you imagine Nadal, Djokovic, Federer or Murray openly mocking a fellow professional in front of the cameras?

    Serena Williams comes over as a truly appalling personality and a 2K fine is a disgrace. Given her history of umpire abuse, she should have been banned from tennis for a year.

  • Comment number 19.

    the umpire-greek- should not be allowed to officiate such a big event.she lacks psychological judging .Her ruling really affects williams game and she(umpire) is not qualified to rule in this kind of game.i rest my case.

  • Comment number 20.

    A Grand Slam final is a highly pressurised environment. Any umpire who can't handle a bit of aggro from the players shouldn't really be out there umpiring. Umpires need to be prepared to handle whatever verbal outrage gets directed at them from the players. To a large extent, that's one of the few things the umpire is actually there for.

    At the end of the day, the umpires are some of the least important out there on the court. The minute we find a way to officiate matches artificially the umpires will be gone forever.....and rightly so. Nobody pays to watch umpires or hear their personal opinions on the behaviour of the players. When Serena Williams or any other multiple Grand Slam winner steps out onto the court, they're the star of the show.......not the umpires. Umpires should adopt a more laissez-faire attitude and refrain from interfering unless it's absolutely necessary.

    So yes, when Djokovic or Nadal are slowing down the pace of the match to a virtual standstill, then it's absolutely right for an umpire to try and speeds things up so that paying spectators get to actually watch Tennis.

    But when an elite athlete is simply expressing herself on court and giving the paying spectators the kind of drama that electrifies the crowd, the umpire needs to leave the players to slug it out amongst themselves for as long as neither player is at a disadvantage.

  • Comment number 21.

    Hold up hold up, how can any of you call Serena a bad loser when the incident in question was during the match itself, and when the match was over sure she didnt shake the umpires hand but she was gracious as ever in giving Sam Stosur her moment, its just a shame that the BBC twitter reporters cant do the same and then continuously insist we must look at Sam's win yet they are the first to jump on the bandwagon and slam Serena for overshadowing Sam.

    And i firmly believe that a $2,000 fine is more than enough. If we tread back to 2009 with her match against Kim where she actually threatened the lines lady, that incident was deserving of its huge fine, however in this final she only merely expressed her feelings, sure it was over the top but certainly not dserving of a higher fine or a permanent ban.

    And to those disgusted by the amount of money she has received and the bonus prize money for being the winner of the US Open series, get over yourselves! theres a reason why she won that bonus prize and its because she played consitently over the summer and as a result deserved to win the bonus prize money.

  • Comment number 22.

    I've never seen a player like Djokovic. He's elevated the game even above the dizzy heights of Nadal and Fed. Is he now the new GOAT? I think so. Shame for Murray, as unless Djoko's exceptional form fades fast, and Rafa's injury troubles resurface then I cannot see him winning a major unfortunately.

  • Comment number 23.

    Djokovic's step up to his current (probably unprecedented) level of brilliance is a marvel to behold. In my opinion Nadal and Federer are even now not much below their all-time peaks, if they are at all, and yet they cannot get close to him these days. And I don't begrudge any of them their (alleged) game-slowing tactics - as we saw last night, the physical demands of these matches are so extreme that they are entitled to a few seconds here and there to regain their breath and conserve their energy.

    Compare and contrast thewith Serena Williams, who is nothing but a vindictive bully. She is shielded from the punishment she deserves, and she knows it (look at her use of the word "hater" and all that it implies), but hopefully she and her gracelessness will disappear soon.

    I know it is an old argument, but the notion that the prize money for Djokovic's Herculean achievement last night should be no more than that for winning another instantly forgettable pat-a-cake women's final is comical - something everyone knows, whether they care to admit it or not.

  • Comment number 24.

    Serena no class Williams does it again.

    I agree with post 11 -

    "I feel the referee should have Serena and the match would have continued serenely."

    If I were the ref I would have attempted to have "had" Serena - literally.

    I disagree with post 16 -

    "It is in no-one's interest to ban her from Grand Slams. Women's tennis (and American tennis) needs Serena "

    It is in all our interests to ban Serena, I find her objectionable to watch from all perspectives. If I you want to see such ugly behaviour then you need her - she is quite unique.

    If tennis has to keep her, then surely the word 'lady' will have to be revised?

  • Comment number 25.

    17. At 13:45 13th Sep 2011, maranger wrote:
    redcurrant87, you're not reading the rule correctly. It doesn't matter whether the hindrance was deliberate or not; it matters whether the opponent's act was deliberate. The act in this case - the shout - was deliberate; whether Serena intended the shout to be a hindrance or not is irrelevant to the rule.

    ----------------------------------------

    But surely you'd agree that it does matter whether or not Stosur was ACTUALLY HINDERED.

    The ruling makes it pretty clear that there are two issues at hand.

    1. Whether the behaviour of the player was deliberate
    2. Whether her opponent was actually hindered

    Even if we agree that Serena's shout was deliberate, her opponent still needs to actually be hindered for her to legitimately lose the point. After all, a whole procession of women since Monica Seles in the 90's have deliberately made excessive & unnecessary noise during points, but they don't get punished cos the umpires don't feel their grunting is hindering their opponent.

    And in this instance you'd have hard time convincing me Serena's shout of "come on" hindered her opponent in any way. That shot she hit was a winer the moment it came off her racket.

  • Comment number 26.

    Serena's outburst was appalling ; the content of her abuse more lamentable that the actual offense. It was more reminiscent of a tantrum that an actual disagreement with the line judge. The USTA's decision to fine her the paltry amount (relative to her earnings) is disappointing to say the least . It is nicely summed up by her receiving $1.4 million dollars for the combination of runner up and overall winner in the us series at the same time as having to pay the fine of $2000.
    Two things should really happen if her childish outburst is not to be repeated:
    1. She should be banned from next year's us open.
    2. She should not only write a letter of apology to the umpire (who behaved admirably ) but also publicly apologise - which she completely failed to do in the press conference.

    On a more positive note the final between djokovic and nadal was simply stunning - for me it eclipised the final of the 2008 wimbledon final ( feel free to disagree) due to the ferocity of the hitting by Djokovic. In my eyes only the second set of this year's wimbledon has he played better. Fantastic and thanks to the 5 live commentary team that kept me up in the early hours of the morrning.

  • Comment number 27.

    Big4r_a_bore
    "Having said that Federer was unusually ungracious in defeat this time off the court."

    I don't think Fed has ever been very gracious in defeat. Of course he rarely loses so you don't see that side of him often, but whenever he has lost I think he comes across as quite bitter and ungracious in his post match interviews. He's a great guy when he has won of course - but then, who isn't?

  • Comment number 28.

    16.At 13:40 13th sep 2011, RickyM wrote:
    "I was as disgusted by Serena's outburst as much as anyone, but I agree with the relatively mild fine awarded. She lacks class and has an attitude problem, but I would rather pay to watch her than, say, Azarenka or Wozniacki. Unlike two years ago, she did not actually swear or threaten anyone with violence. It is in no-one's interest to ban her from Grand Slams. Women's tennis (and American tennis) needs Serena as much as Serena needs the sport."

    Women's tennis doesn't need her at all, and will probably be better off without her as they won't have to deal with as many embarrassing episodes like her obnoxious rant on Saturday.

    On a more positive note, Djokovic was absolutely brilliant last night (and all year) and deserves all the accolades that come his way.

  • Comment number 29.

    I think I'd like to dedicate 'Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word' by Elton John to Serena Williams, purely for its title. She has said that she was in the moment and doesn't remember what she said, but she must have some clue that she wasn't pleasant even if she can't repeat it verbatim. Pretty much like two years ago (although that was more extreme, granted). Surely she can find some humility and admit that she shouldn't have gone off on one and apologize? How does she think it felt to be on the receiving end of her tirades? It took her about a week to apologize two years ago, so she has learnt nothing from that episode. I can accept she was wound up at the time and people do overract in such situations, but surely when she calmed down she could admit she made a mistake? I was never a fan, but she is going down in my estimation even so.

  • Comment number 30.

    beardsmoreforengland
    "I know it is an old argument, but the notion that the prize money for Djokovic's Herculean achievement last night should be no more than that for winning another instantly forgettable pat-a-cake women's final is comical - something everyone knows, whether they care to admit it or not."

    Here, here! Well said that man! Equal pay for equal work for sure. But a best of 3 sets is not the same as best of 5 so the women's prize money should reflect that. Most women's finals are over after about 1.5 hours, whereas the average men's final is anything from 3.5 to 5 hours. Old argument like you say, but you cannot repeat the truth often enough.

  • Comment number 31.

    WHOA WHOA WHOA Saitchy, the 2008 Wimbledon Final was epic in every sense, because Djokovic hit the ball harder doesnt make it a great final, in 2008 the history, the shots, the rain delays, the five sets all made it something special (though i so wanted Federer to prevail in the end).

    And one more thing, Serena was only guilty of teling this woman that shes unnatractive (inside might i add), and not to look at her. You guys make it seem like she grabbed the umpire by the hair and flung her out of the chair whilst using her racket to continuously bludgeon the umpire to infirtility.

  • Comment number 32.

    26.
    At 14:11 13th Sep 2011, Saitchy wrote:

    Serena's outburst was appalling ; the content of her abuse more lamentable that the actual offense. It was more reminiscent of a tantrum that an actual disagreement with the line judge. The USTA's decision to fine her the paltry amount (relative to her earnings) is disappointing to say the least . It is nicely summed up by her receiving $1.4 million dollars for the combination of runner up and overall winner in the us series at the same time as having to pay the fine of $2000.
    Two things should really happen if her childish outburst is not to be repeated:
    1. She should be banned from next year's us open.
    2. She should not only write a letter of apology to the umpire (who behaved admirably ) but also publicly apologise - which she completely failed to do in the press conference.

    --------------------------------------------------

    It's kind of funny over the last day or so to read & hear the opinions of all these spiteful detractors who clearly have an axe to grind with Serena Williams that goes far beyond her behaviour in 2 US Open matches.

    Lest we forget that it's not as though she's the only elite player to have behaved in such way. She's not even the only current player on the tour to have had such outbursts.

    Andy Roddick has on SEVERAL occasions aimed far far worse behaviour at umpires without generating anything like the negative press Serena Williams seems to attract.

    It seems to be one public sentiment for the all-american golden boy, another for Serena Williams. They're both american, both former Grand Slam champions, both have made a hell of a lot of money from tennis...........one can only why Serena seems to attract so much vitriol for behaviour that seems to go widely ignored when it's good old A-Rod.

    Such ill will is made clear through the continued complaints regarding Serena's failure to apologise afterwards. A lot of people seem to be hell bent on wanting to see her publicly humiliated, grovelling on the floor begging the media and the public for forgiveness............AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!!!!!! Multimillionaire 13 Grand Slam Champions don't have to go around explaining themselves and apologising to all their armchair detractors.

  • Comment number 33.

    redcurrant87 - unless you're a mind reader then you'll never know whether Stosur was hindered or not. The umpire made a decision and, right or wrong, that's the end of it. Any attempt to justify Williams' subsequent behaviour is ridiculous and missing the point completely.

  • Comment number 34.

    "Such ill will is made clear through the continued complaints regarding Serena's failure to apologise afterwards. A lot of people seem to be hell bent on wanting to see her publicly humiliated, grovelling on the floor begging the media and the public for forgiveness............AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!!!!!! Multimillionaire 13 Grand Slam Champions don't have to go around explaining themselves and apologising to all their armchair detractors."

    She only needs apologize to the umpire, not to anyone else, but is clearly too arrogant to do so. The fact she has won 13 majors and is ridiculously rich is irrelevant. A simple apology from someone when they are wrong is decent human behaviour. Public humiliation and grovelling don't come into it.

    As for Andy Roddick, you may be right, in which case I'm not impressed by that either.

  • Comment number 35.

    beardsmoreforengland wrote:
    "Djokovic's step up to his current (probably unprecedented) level of brilliance is a marvel to behold. In my opinion Nadal and Federer are even now not much below their all-time peaks, if they are at all, and yet they cannot get close to him these days."

    Steady on....without wishing to detract in any way from Djokovic's stupendous achievements this year, to say that Nadal and Federer cannot get close to him is going way too far. Federer beat him 3 months ago in Paris and Nadal went on to win the tournament. And now on Saturday in NY, if being 5-3 and 40:15 up in the final set is not getting fairly close to winning, I'm not sure i will ever know what is! Sure, Nole played wonderfully, but to write Fed and Rafa off so summarily seems unwise and shortsighted. We should all just appreciate this true golden age in men's tennis and maybe sympathise with Murray for having to make do with being a worthy no. 4.

  • Comment number 36.

    Just to correct post #12. If Andy Murray is the 3rd seed at the Oz Open, he isn't more likely to face top seed Djokovic in the semis. It makes no difference whether he is seeded 3 or seeded 4. Top seeds play either 3 or 4 in the semis, it depends on the draw.

    Also, Wozniacki HAS made a Slam final - US Open 2009.

  • Comment number 37.

    I think Serena must have held a mirror up when she said the unattractive inside comment, it fits her perfectly. She has always been a bad loser, i've lost count of the times she has blamed defeat on her playing badly, refusing to recognise her opponents good performance. And as for the umpire being unimportant they should be shown respect by players, to turn that on it's head shows your arrogance and ignorance.

  • Comment number 38.

    tried his best - granted, "can't get close" is a bit of an exaggeration. But if we look at the head-to-head-to-head this year, then 10-1 suggests that he is currently in a different class. Yes, individual games, sets and even matches may be close - that is the nature of tennis - but Djokovic is still winning virtually every time. Obviously this can't continue forever and the balance will shift again in due course.

    bazza001 - agreed, except it's not just a matter of three sets versus five. A five-set women's final would still be an instantly forgettable pat-a-cake final, just stretched out over five sets rather than three. The standard of play is the thing, and it's a nonsense to be rewarded equally for producing 10% of the quality (if that) of the men's game. Tennis is a non-contact sport so if the women want to compete for the same prize money as the men then let them enter the same draw as the men and let the chips fall where they may.

  • Comment number 39.

    So chaval and Baza001 enter into the "Greatest Ever Match" debate... It ceases to amaze me that after Mr Federer raised the stakes that Nadal followed by Djokovich have raised them even higher and higher leaving the latter opponent in the dust. The Wimby '08 Final was the greatest ever match as far as tension is concerned, and the comments from Rafa and his family in his new autobiograpphy pretty much confirmed that. But last night introduced another greatest ever as far as the standard of shot-making and athleticism. Perhaps Rafa's Aussie triumph when he won back to back five-hour five-setters against Verdasco and Federer compares to last night's athleticism, but I fail to remember such continuous shot making AND the athleticism seen last night.

    I feel cynical bringing it up, but the ITF should have made them both pee in a cup after that match. I pray that they would be clean, and given the saint that is Rafa, I would doubt it. I'm also surprised that no one in the media has touched upon an incident during Nole's medical timeout. Did anyone else's eyebrows raise when the trainer had just opened a new bottle of water in front of him for Nole to swallow his painkillers (where do I find that kind!?) only for Nole to adamantly jesture to a ballboy for his own water??? No label on the bottle, just seemingly plain water... Or was it...? I went to bed this morning after the first game of the fourth set because by then, the match was over. Rafa had yet again won a physical battle. Surely Nole was finished as he could only push first serves over the net at under 100mph just as he was when he retired with a shoulder problem in the final to Murray in Cincinnati.

    Stunned silence when I opened the BBC website over my porridge this morning ...

  • Comment number 40.

    About Umpires:
    Eva Asderaki has no feeling of what is going on. She could clearly see that the shout of Serena had no impact on Stosur. Give her a warning or at the best replay the point.
    About Sera's behavior: Are you forgetting what happened in the match against Capriati? Serena was robbed by the you so called mighty umpires from a possible championship. She kept her mouth shut. Did she gain anything or did any linesman or the umpire get fired? IMO when someone grew-up in an environment where bending for something like a kings or a queens is called polite, but if you don't do it, you are out of order and will be punished, one is tent to think that behaving like a sheep is good and protesting is bad. Well tennis is not about obeying umpires, it is a sport called tennis and is played by tennis players and not by umpires and bobo's and the likes. So IMO every player has the right to give his or her opinion when they feel some form of injustice as long as they don't use so called "foreign language".

  • Comment number 41.

    Absolutely no question that Djokovic + Nadal have taken the tennis of grunting, groaning and grinding to a new level. Don't mean that as an insult, per se, because if you enjoy slugfests, what other 2 players would you prefer to watch because no other players on the tour can reach the slugging level they play at. But doesn't it say something about Roger Federer though, who at 30 (!) took Djokovic to FIVE sets and came within a whisker of putting him out of the USO.

    Still, the gluten-free diet has obviously done something for Djoko - think I'd better try it as well ... lol!

    As for the USO itself - an embarrassment - and the fine given to Serena Williams who virtually accused the umpire of being a racist by telling her "You're a hater" is on a par with her F word to the lineswoman a couple of years back. What a great role model she is for women's tennis - not to mention Jehovah Witnesses - lol. Very glad she lost the USO final 2 years running. The fine is just laughable - she should be suspended .. for quite a while. Monetary fines mean nothing to her.

    Agreed about women competing for 5 sets ... I've always thought this - there are clearly many women who could. The women in the final got paid one heck of a lot more per minute than the men did! Not fair - or right.

  • Comment number 42.

    About Umpires:
    Eva Asderaki has no feeling of what is going on. She could clearly see that the shout of Serena had no impact on Stosur. Give her a warning or at the best replay the point.
    About Sera's behavior: Are you forgetting what happened in the match against Capriati? Serena was robbed by the you so called mighty umpires from a possible championship. She kept her mouth shut. Did she gain anything or did any linesman or the umpire get fired? IMO when someone grew-up in an environment where bending for something like a kings or a queens is called polite, but if you don't do it, you are out of order and will be punished, one is tent to think that behaving like a sheep is good and protesting is bad. Well tennis is not about obeying umpires, it is a sport called tennis and is played by tennis players and not by umpires and bobo's. So IMO every player has the right to give his or her opinion when they feel some form of injustice as long as they don't use so called "foreign language".

  • Comment number 43.

    #42: Serena's complaints went from the actual point in question to being personal abuse very quickly. That is the issue, surely? And yes, it's not new in the sport, but it's uncalled for.

  • Comment number 44.

    I'm always suspicious of sports people who suddenly make a huge improvement like Djokovic has this year........

  • Comment number 45.

    Great great tournament despite the various problems.

    Glad Stosur won and, yes, Serena has a nasty streak. Don't agree it was good umpiring, though. It was BAD umpiring; a judgment call, not a clear-cut issue, and the right judgement was a warning and/or replay the point.

    Djoko just amazing and a men's final for the ages. Best I've seen. Incorrect, however, to say Djoko now dominates Fed - he doesn't, Fed beat him at the French and would have beaten him here but for a freakish climax to their semi.

    But Djoko does own Rafa, this is clear, and that's who for me is the biggest loser from Flushing Meadows - Nadal. 10 slams could well be it, now, (6 of them Roland G), and his place in the game, both current and legacy, may need to be adjusted downwards. Joint King of Clay (with Borg) but not top 5 overall.

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.

    Is it not about time there was a serious investigation into doping in tennis, blood doping in particular? During the 1990s, road cycling witnessed a similar 'golden generation', where athletic performances surpassed all before them. It turned out to be a lie - the athletes were fuelled by drugs which artificially enhanced the oxygen carrying capacity of their blood. Cycling has since got to grips with its problems and now has one of the most rigourous testing regimes of any sport. McEnroe, Lendl, Becker and Edberg were great players and they got tired - look back on some of the great matches from the 1980s and 1990s. The current crop of top players just do not get tired. This is not credible and we need to stop deluding ourselves that it is.

  • Comment number 48.

    REDCURRANT - unless I'm mistaken, noise from other players (grunts not shouts and expected if certain players) is before or on contact with the racket which many deem a hindrance anyway, so noise just prior to a return (ie sudden unexpected shouts) would be even more of a hindrance

  • Comment number 49.

    Post 31 Chaval - "whilst using her racket to continuously bludgeon the umpire to infirtility."

    I had to laugh out loud there.

    I cannot believe how many posters are trying to defend Serena Williams. She is an arrogant, unapologetic, unattractive (both sides) spoilt billionairess.

    Am I a hater? Yes I am, and if I can't get my own way, despite flaunting the rules, threatening officials and refusing to acknowledge my faults, I will take my balls home!

  • Comment number 50.

    redcurrant@1
    Without making any excuses for Williams, I would have thought the correct decision would have been to replay the point. I did not think Williams was trying to get any gain from the situation her shouting was a spontaneous reaction. Although what subsequently happened was inexcusable I also think it was avoidable.

  • Comment number 51.

    # 22. "I've never seen a player like Djokovic. He's elevated the game even above the dizzy heights of Nadal and Fed. Is he now the new GOAT? I think so."

    A bit premature on the basis of one season, however amazing it has been. Greatness is measured over time, so we'll have to wait at least five years before judging his place in the game.

  • Comment number 52.

    Alastair Knowles - Djokovic certainly seemed to be getting tired in the fourth set last night... in fact it seems bizarre that he won it so easily while being seemingly at about 50% fitness while Nadal appeared to be closer to 90%. Strange things happen sometimes I suppose.

  • Comment number 53.

    33.At 14:43 13th Sep 2011, John Davies wrote:
    "redcurrant87 - unless you're a mind reader then you'll never know whether Stosur was hindered or not. The umpire made a decision and, right or wrong, that's the end of it. Any attempt to justify Williams' subsequent behaviour is ridiculous and missing the point completely."

    Come on John, why not be a big enough man to admit that your first post (no. 4) was wrong, and that redcurrant had a point? Apparently, it is not just Serena who struggles to admit when she's wrong...

  • Comment number 54.

    I wonder if Serena will be prepared for the reaction she may receive at next year's Australian Open, given her inability to be humble and acknowledge a mistake.

  • Comment number 55.

    Saga@45

    It was certainly a brutal men's final though not without its skill. The Joker gets under the skin of his opponents and rattles them in the same way that Becker & McEnroe used to. His undoubted ability and fitness coupled with the psychological edge to his game have unnerved both Rafa & Roger.

    The top 3 seeds played some stupendous tennis, Federer looked impressive and reports of his demise are premature - it could and probably should have been him in the final but you have to give Djokovic credit for his presence of mind even if his posturing was not to my taste.

    Anyone else recall Becker shouting out in the middle of a rally and his opponent losing the point? Perhaps that is why he seemed reticent in commenting on Serena's action.

  • Comment number 56.

    44. At 15:31 13th Sep 2011, Murray wrote:
    I'm always suspicious of sports people who suddenly make a huge improvement like Djokovic has this year........
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Stop trolling.

    If you actually consistently followed tennis, then you would understand and appreciate the changes that Djokovic has made to his game over the last year or so, in terms of his game, and his mental attitude.

    Your baseless insinuations are - quite frankly - odious.

  • Comment number 57.

    Biggest looser of the US Open - regrettably the USTA for their poor fine on Serena. Effectivly condoning her actions.
    This wasn't a "you cannot be serious" outburst - went further in that the main headline was not that Samantha Stosur won ladies championship but Serena and her outburst. Akin to bringing the game into disrepute.

    On learning that the umpire got paid $250, fining Serena $2000 doesn't send out the right message. You have to protect match officials - especially when they are in the right.

    Some may say that Serena has done alot for womens tennis - personally the sport is better off without this kind of behaviour. As alerady under caution, Serena should have been severly delt with. Her exclusion would do no harm.

  • Comment number 58.

    Andy lost. AGAIN!

    Same old story, Been saying he's got to improve for the last 5 years. Murray is not a top 4 player, people saying hes won against these guys and has a better head to head, how many of them "head to head"'s are in the games that actually matter? Grand Slams? ZERO!

  • Comment number 59.

    regrettably have to agree with RECCY @ 58 (and ah kent his mither well )

    Im almost inclined to say his game has now plateau'd out if not marginally deteroriating relative to others around (and beneath ) him. I fear we may be about to see him in a very very gradual drop down the rankings

  • Comment number 60.

    coats @ 55

    There was high skill there, I'd say. Some of that Djoko net play!

    Re posturing, I know what you mean but maybe unless you're a stone-cold tennis genius like Federer a bit of that sort of stuff is needed. Both Djoko and Rafa are a lot more ... er 'charismatic' on court than our Andy, aren't they?

    Definitely agree with you that Fed is still a live contender for these slams. At 30 he damn near puts Djoko out at the US, and does so at the French.

    Murray is progressing well (miles better than all bar three) but needs others to slip in order to win GSs. Roll on Paris/Shanghai/London anyway.

  • Comment number 61.

    58.At 17:00 13th Sep 2011, Reccy - I fit into a bra comfortably wrote:
    Andy lost. AGAIN!

    Same old story, Been saying he's got to improve for the last 5 years. Murray is not a top 4 player, people saying hes won against these guys and has a better head to head, how many of them "head to head"'s are in the games that actually matter? Grand Slams? ZERO!

    Murray quite obviously is a top-4 player (although maybe not truly top-3, even though I think I read that he has now moved above Federer in the rankings) - he has been comfortably the 4th best player in the world for a long time now.

    And he has beaten Nadal at least once in slams (US Open a few years back)

  • Comment number 62.

    57.
    At 16:31 13th Sep 2011, GrowMoreApples wrote:

    Biggest looser of the US Open - regrettably the USTA for their poor fine on Serena. Effectivly condoning her actions.
    This wasn't a "you cannot be serious" outburst - went further in that the main headline was not that Samantha Stosur won ladies championship but Serena and her outburst. Akin to bringing the game into disrepute.

    On learning that the umpire got paid $250, fining Serena $2000 doesn't send out the right message. You have to protect match officials - especially when they are in the right.

    Some may say that Serena has done alot for womens tennis - personally the sport is better off without this kind of behaviour. As alerady under caution, Serena should have been severly delt with. Her exclusion would do no harm.

    -------------------------------------------

    It's hardly Serena William's fault that her outburst has stolen the headlines. In pure tennis terms, her outburst was nothing new to the sport, and has been seen on several occasions right throughout the ages up until the present day.

    If you want to blame someone for stealing Stosur's headlines, you should be blaming the so called expert correspondents such as Mr Overend who have decided to blow this issues up into a scandalous sensation.

  • Comment number 63.

    What a great final. I inadvertently stumbled across it on CBS. It's been years since I have paid much attention to tennis. Having grown up watching Borg,Mc Enroe and Connors and their great rivalries, one feels that tennis lost some of it's personality in being dominated for years at a time by one great player, Sampras first and then Federer. It was reminiscent of the great Wimbledon games that Mc Enroe and Connors dished up. Also I thought the crowd created a wonderful atmosphere except for the morons who yelled as the general crowd was hushing when the players were about to serve.I will definitely be looking to tune in again anytime these two are playing!

  • Comment number 64.

    Djoko has once again proved to be the star attraction. The year has well and truly belonged to the Serb and I can't hink of a sportsman on the planet who has bettered him thus far in 2011, Lionel Messi is probably the closest to him in that respect but within the bounds of tennis he has been untouchable. What a player, what a year. To read more: http://wp.me/p1b961-8q

  • Comment number 65.

    61. At 17:53 13th Sep 2011, GHBRich wrote:

    You think he has?? Ok, ONCE he's beaten Nadal, he has never won a set in the 3 finals hes played. He maybe a top 4 player, but the top 3 players are true greats, 4-10th are "Average" in terms of skill and talent.

    I will put a £10k bet on that Andy will never win a GS. We have no talent in tennis, in both the Womens and Mens.

  • Comment number 66.

    I love the noise at the US Open. Even the planes seem to be trying to add to the atmosphere.

    I appreciate that there is an understood "code of conduct" about the crowd keeping quiet during a rally.

    But I'm still unclear why?

    If anyone has ever attended a high-stakes badminton match between Indonesian and Malaysian players, they will recall the match-long roar, banging of seats and camera flashes. It's all part of the game.

  • Comment number 67.

    #32 redcurrent:
    Your arguments are laughable and your attempts at defending Serena's actions are even more laughable.
    The simple fact is that she BROKE the rules. Even the way she broke the rule was arrogant. Shouting at Stosur across the net intimidatingly even before the ball crossed the net.It is upto the umpire to enforce the rule no matter what stage the match is at or how high the emotions are or how high profile the match is.
    We have a similar rule in tabletennis. Where if we shout by mistake before the point is over,the player forfeits the point. Regardless of whether the opponent was genuinely distracted by the shout. And it happens in table tennis because players let out a cry of frustration thinking a defensive shot is off the table only for it to land on the table.... And Serena's was not even a shout by mistake or frustration,it was a shout of intimidation across the net staring at Stosur while the ball was still in play. RULE BREAK,ARGUMENT OVER

    But ofcourse you can tell that everyone is disgusted not because of the rule break but because of her arrogant,angry and uncalled for tirade at the umpire. I am no umpire apologist and I know that they overstep their mark at times like when an umpire told Davydenko to try harder because he suspected Davydenko was throwing the match..
    But Serena clearly took it too far by making personal comments and actually threatening her.There is no excuse for it and no umpire deserves it. The USTA are clearly protecting someone who should get the book thrown at her and whose on court antics are getting more disgraceful by the year.
    And she's also clearly deluded about her own behavior and spoilt child antics. The fact that she dosent even acknowledge it makes her even more unlikable by fans worldwide.

  • Comment number 68.

    Firstly, I'm glad I stayed up to watch what was quite simply one of the most breath-taking, brutal and highclass games of tennis I have ever seen and am likely to see as long as I continue to watch this wonderful sport. The phrase 'best ever player' is constantly being thrown around and to be perfectly honest, let's just wait until these 3 players finish their respective careers before any final judgement is drawn on this matter.

    As for Serena Williams, I only wish the USTA could have put it to bed by dishing out a less laughable fine and then we could all focus on the wonderful win of Sam Stosur which unfortunately is being overshadowed by the child-like tantrums of a player that has never been able to control her emotions. Sam Stosur completely outplayed her opponent, physically and mentally.

    I TOTALLY disagree with anyone's suggestion that not shaking the umpires hand and not apologising for her threatening and quite simply, disgraceful tirade unleashed on the umpire who was just doing her a job is part and parcel of the game.

    The word sportsmanship although used in all aspects of life, derives from sport and is simply the spirit in which all sports should be played. It is the job of no official to 'put up with' the abusive rants of overpaid stars beit on a football pitch, a tennis court or in an under-12 archery contest.

    As for the US Open itself, in terms of organisation and atmosphere, simply doesn't come close to Wimbledon. Any player who suggests it is their favourite tournament (Andy Murray comes to mind) says so purely in a tennis context and that thsurface has always suited him better. The lary attitude and over-exhuberance of the crowd was just an indication of the lack of appreciation for the players and for the players' justified complaints to be subsequently booed only compounds and emphasises this fact.

    To finish with, you would never see so many empty seats at Wimbledon throughout the tournament.

  • Comment number 69.

    Thought Stosur was superb and absolutley outplayed Serena. Sometimes it comes across as though Serena thinks she is bigger than the game. It is basic court etiquette...basic...not to call out during a point. She's a 'professional' and should not of done it. She should of been far more professional in her response as well. If you have a disagreement take it to the umpire, talk to them,thats fine, but not rant and be abusive. These are basic principles and rules that children are taught and expected to follow. She was a disgrace.

  • Comment number 70.

    redcurrent87: the rule is this:

    "If a player is hindered in playing the point by a deliberate act of the opponent(s), the player shall win the point.

    However, the point shall be replayed if a player is hindered in playing the point by either an unintentional act of the opponent(s), or something outside the player's own control (not including a permanent fixture)."

    The act (shouting: "come on!") was presumably deliberate (it was not unintentional and was under Williams' control) and since Stosur got to the ball, it not unreasonable to suppose that it did hinder. I'm sure you're right that Williams did not intend to hinder her opponent, but the rule does not say that there must be a deliberate intention to hinder. Note the subtlety.

  • Comment number 71.

    Andy Murray is a good #4. But the three players ahead of him are in the all-time great category and are at or near their peaks. To borrow from boxing parlance, "styles make matches". Nadal has Federer's number, mentally speaking. Roger simply cannot, for whatever reason, sustain the level of play required to defeat Rafa. He also has a problem dealing with that heavy hooked lefty topspin forehand to his single-handed backhand. At some point during the match, Federer starts to go for too much and the unforced errors creep in, especially at critical times. Nadal's "one point at a time" clay court mentality becomes a wall against which Federer's self-belief crumbles, sooner or later. Against Novak, however, Roger believes he can do it. There is less topspin to deal with, and less pressure on his backhand, so he swings freely and the winners were streaming from his racket for the entire match in Paris, and for most of the time in NY. Despite Federer's brilliance against Djokovic at Roland Garros, his subsequent failure against Nadal in the final had an air of inevitability about it. I think if Novak has faced Nadal at RG he would have had a very good chance of dethroning the King of Clay, having already done so in Rome and Madrid. Basically, Novak has a strategy for beating Rafa, he has the shot-making skills to execute it, and the fitness & belief to sustain execution over best-of-five sets. This is what Andy Murray came close to for a while against Nadal in Monte Carlo, but he is seldom consistent enough to sustain the required level for the duration of the match, especially best-of-five sets. Given the relatively good clay-court season AM had, I was rather disappointed in his drop in form at the start of the North American HC season. Whatever he did during the break didn't seems to help.

  • Comment number 72.

    You can argue until the cows come home about the umpire's decision but William's reaction was inexusable, up there with some of the worst behaviour seen in the televised tennis era.

  • Comment number 73.

    congrats UKexPat123 @ 71 - the best most succint analysis of the top 4 in the last 2 years from anyone including the old star pundits !!!!

  • Comment number 74.

    A number of brief points arising from the above comments:

    1. The Serena outburst, though not forgivable perhaps, is best regarded as her own recognition that the end is nigh so far as her dominance of Women's tennis is concerned. Sad but as with all sport, inevitable. But both her and Venus have been wonderful contributors to Womens' tennis, and perhaps more then anything helped to bridge the divide class wise with Mens tennis, even if it will always be two different levels.

    2. The Mens final was unbelievable - perhaps not quite having the finesse of past years of other greats, but this must rank as one of the greatest matches of all time. Saying that, as one commentator remarked above, from one minute looking completely out of it physically, Djokovic suddenly was all bounce. Curious I thought at the time even if it may be said his game and approach has clearly improved in the last 12 months.

    3. The performance of the British Juniors - three boys in the last four - must be regarded as a fantastic achievement. Not being British I am a bit envious I have to say, but am delighted there is indeed a future after Murray.

  • Comment number 75.

    Roddick's anger towards the head referee was boorish at best. 606 is gone, but every US Open it's complain complain from some fans on the BBC. That gets old too. For those fans I leave this:


    "The bottom half [of the men's draw] has to play today, tomorrow and after tomorrow. Why?" asked Nalbandian, a finalist here in 2002. "Always, it's like this here[at Wimbledon]. But I don't agree. I mean, nobody agrees.

    "They just don't care about us." ....

    http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/wimbledon07/columns/story?columnist=garber_greg&id=2924321

    "Sunday, they take a vacation," Nadal said in the Spanish-speaking session, echoing similar remarks he made in English. "This is a little incredible to me, knowing the weather that was coming."

    http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/wimbledon07/columns/story?columnist=desimone_bonnie&id=2924350

  • Comment number 76.

    Thanks UKexPat123. Ditto comment @73.

  • Comment number 77.

    Saga@60

    It's no disgrace for Murray to be the 4th best player of his generation - he deserves credit for that - especially when you look at his peer group.

    He does struggle a bit on the "personality" front and his on court rants make uncomfortable viewing at times - if he can get his head in order he still has an outside chance of winning one of the big four.


    Difficult to see who has the consistency to break into the top four at the moment, so no doubt we will still be having this discussion in January.

  • Comment number 78.

    serena was over aggressive. but again i think the umpire made an subjective call at the wrong time. what i hate most is the bbc writers prejudice towards williams, with no thought to a balanced argument

  • Comment number 79.

    Redcurrant 87:
    It's kind of funny over the last day or so to read & hear the opinions of all these spiteful detractors who clearly have an axe to grind with Serena Williams that goes far beyond her behaviour in 2 US Open matches.
    Response:
    Firstly please don't make a baseless assertion of my opinion of Serena williams ; i only gave an account of my opinion of her behaviour on court . In no way does my post reflect me "having an axe to grind ". Neither does it go way beyond her behaviour; in fact it is precisely the opposite , my opinion of her relates only to that behaviour on court. I would condemn any player who behaved in this way to an umpire .
    Redcurrant 87:
    Such ill will is made clear through the continued complaints regarding Serena's failure to apologise afterwards. A lot of people seem to be hell bent on wanting to see her publicly humiliated, grovelling on the floor begging the media and the public for forgiveness............AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!!!!!! Multimillionaire 13 Grand Slam Champions don't have to go around explaining themselves and apologising to all their armchair detractors.
    Response:
    This last paragraph is so misguided it is difficult to know where to start. Again complaints regarding serena's behaviour are nothing to do with ill will of her and totally to do with the disgraceful behaviour - it is the condemnation of behaviour rather than the person. I do not know of anyone who wants her to be humialiated but instead it would be nice to see that she is mature and magnanimous enough to admit when she is wrong . Perhaps the word you are seeking for is humility . Whether it happens or not is not related to whether the action is morally sound .
    Finally your last sentence is a positively alarming mindframe to have ; for by extension you are justifying any action on the basis of being right if a rich or successful sports person deems it so. So by extension it would be wrong of me to ask serena to explain herself for assaulting me due to the fact that i am only an armchair detractor. Of course this is an extreme example but highlights the flaw in that argument.
    The second flaw is highlighted by the use if the phrase 'armchair detractors' - i take it this means that someone who criticizes serena who only watches the sport but doesn't professionally play it. The trouble is that serena is criticized by professionals too - look no further that anne keothavong on the bbc sport website for confirmation.
    I hope this helps to clear up why some , including me (only an armchair detractor as you say), believe serena's behaviour to be condemnable.

  • Comment number 80.

    @47 - Right, so Djokovic pulling out Queens and Monte Carlo and then retiring in the Cincinnati final had nothing to do with him being tired? Facts are, he has pushed himself a lot this year hence the reason he has pulled out of tournaments he would normally play. With the exception of Dubai, Belgrade is the only non-Masters/Grand Slam tournament he has played this year because he is financially involved in its running.

    Also you can't compare the 70's and 80's to the present day. Better racket technology and sport science for one thing. Guys like McEnroe and Edberg never had an entourage of nutritionists, sports psychologists and computer analysts working out how they could improve their diet and forehand movement technique. Guys like Nadal and Djokovic are almost preconditioned sentient hitting machines. They are a product of supreme talent and 21st century technology.

  • Comment number 81.

    79.
    At 00:40 14th Sep 2011, Saitchy wrote:

    The trouble is that serena is criticized by professionals too - look no further that anne keothavong on the bbc sport website for confirmation.
    I hope this helps to clear up why some , including me (only an armchair detractor as you say), believe serena's behaviour to be condemnable.

    -------------------------------------

    lol...........Anne Keothavong isn't fit to tie Serena Williams shoelaces.

    Anne Keothavong should show a bit more respect to her superiors, since she has no idea what it's like to even make it to the second week of a Grand Slam let alone step out onto court for a Grand Slam final in front of 20,000.

    She has no business publicly criticising a fellow professional player through the media at the best of times, let alone when the fellow professional in question has achieved more in the past fortnight, (both professionally and financially), than Anne Keothavong has managed in her whole career. Anne Keothavong has no experience whatsoever of the types of matches in question and should quite frankly keep her opinions to herself until she's got some comparable memories of her own to refer to. It's all very easy to say how somebody should behave in a situation she's never experienced nor is likely to experience for herself.

    It's an insult to Serena Williams to even consider Anne Keothavong as being in the same bracket as her.

  • Comment number 82.

    I don't want to condone Serena's actions, but these are double-standards. Serena's outbursts happen at the US Open only; everyone calls her names (someone here called her a racist, I never knew 'hater' equates to 'racist') and want her to be banned (some for a year, why can't you play tennis and see what it feels like to be banned for a year). Marat Safin had these outbursts every now and then on the tour, yet everyone applauded him for such behaviour, saying it 'fires him up', or 'it makes him look funny and entertaining.' #justsaying

    Oh, and for all those complaining about the fines, face it, it's common in every sport which has high-earning people. Cricketers are fined half their match-fee, which is little to what they earn. Footballers are fined 10k while the player earns 50k without considering endorsements. Do I agree with that? Not necessarily, but that's how money and sports is.

    Overend, your #wouldntgetthatwithwilliams is quite true. But then I'll add #wouldntgetthatwithfederernadaldjokoviceitier. Since Sam celebrated her title with her fans and Serena wouldn't, it doesn't necessarily make Sam a saint or whatever. Does anyone complain when Federer or Nadal celebrate without their fans? I don't think so. Stop sensationalizing stuff.

  • Comment number 83.

    The referee was absolutely right in penalizing Serena Williams, who,in my opinion , is a disgrace to tennis because of her arrogant attitude . She should have been sent off!

  • Comment number 84.

    32.At 14:31 13th Sep 2011, redcurrant87 wrote:

    "A lot of people seem to be hell bent on wanting to see her publicly humiliated, grovelling on the floor begging the media and the public for forgiveness............AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!!!!!! Multimillionaire 13 Grand Slam Champions don't have to go around explaining themselves and apologising to all their armchair detractors."

    While you make your point very well; no one needs to see Serena being publicly humiliated. She did that herself with that ridiculous outburst. The fact she seemed to be refraining from getting angrier only made it look worse and her like a child. Then again, how can you say something much worse than "you're a hater, and you're unattractive inside"? I don't think she should be banned, but she really should apologise out of common decency. The umpire didn't deserve such petty insults.

  • Comment number 85.

    #71 UKexPat123

    Thanks. Well-written.

  • Comment number 86.

    #81: Again, since when did Serena's achievements entitle her to be abusive towards anyone? She went beyond arguing the point (which was fair enough) to a straightforward personal tirade. Which is what Anne Keothavong said, quite rightly. And why shouldn't she have an opinion? You seem to have one and I bet you haven't won a slam either. :-) Anne's brother is an umpire, so she has that perspective in addition to her own as player.

  • Comment number 87.

    It was the 0-15 point she won on Stosur's serve in the next game when she walked up court pointed her racket at the umpire and shouted something at her which moved me from the camp of this being a blow up over a subjective call (it's clear she shouted before the point was over but as others have said whether that was a hindrance or not is debatable and I'd have replayed the point but can understand why the umpire did what she did) to totally unacceptable behaviour. And I think her punishment should have reflected that.

    Re Murray - think he needs to do exactly what Djokovic has done. Go away look critically at the weaknesses in his game (that head of his and on occasion his first serve %) and bring in a team to change them. There is an article on the BBC about Djokovic saying that being aggressive is the key to his success and I think Murray needs to be more aggressive in most of his matches so that it is not a vastly different game plan when it comes to playing the top 3. If anyone had said after the USO last year that 2011 would see Djokovic lose 2 matches all season and win 3 slams we'd have thought you mad but, he looked at his game and has changed it. I see no reason why Murray couldn't go away and get in touch with the people who could help him. Not suggesting that he'll have a Djoko season if he does but think he needs to do something before they leave him behind. I still think he is talented enough to win a slam but am now thinking his head might be the only thing stopping him. And that can be changed.

  • Comment number 88.

    @ post 81 by redcurrant.

    In your response to post 9 by saitchy you ony helped in validating his/her argument.

    What has ranking, experience, earnings, talent have to do with courtesy, humility and sportsmanship? Obviously from your misguided point of view that if you have a top ranking, have been in lots of finals, have earned millions and are incredibly talented then those three qualities are simply superfluous and made redundant. - WRONG.

    The fact that you question Anne Keothavong and all these so called 'armchair detractors's ability to judge common etiquette and sportsmanship is ridiculous. I have never played professional sport and never will but think that as a human being with a reasonable sense of right and wrong I am fully entitled to suggest that Serena's actions were abusive, unwarranted, threatening and quite simply wrong and she should have been punished accordingly. I'm not so worried about the laughably small fine as it was more important that her appalling behaviour was acknowledged by the USTA.

  • Comment number 89.

    In reply to post 32's comment about the bad behaviour of Serena Williams and Andy Roddick, why aren't they simply suspended as happens in other sports?
    3 events for instance, or even better (considering that Williams hardly plays between Grand Slams any more) the following Grand Slam.
    And while we're at it we could easily play without any Americans at all taking part.
    In the men's game at least no one would notice they're absence.

  • Comment number 90.

    I've not had time to read through all the posts here, so forgive me if my point has already been brought up.

    I'm a fan of Serena, and tbh think she was hard done by on losing the point for her 'come on'. A replay of the point would have sufficed. However she did go OTT after the next point and then during the changeover. However like some posters have said, she didnt threaten the umpire in anyway, she was meerley going on a rant, as many people do during a change of ends (Rafa had one in spanish during his final with Nole).

    My question is that from now on could a 'non grunter' stop play after a grunt and say that it put him/her off their next shot. The rule dictates that if deliberate then the point should be awarded, and if not deliberate the point replayed. Would grunting, if deemed by the official as a hinderance, be classed as deliberate or non deliberate?

    Thoughts?

  • Comment number 91.

    #90. Re Grunting - I suppose it depends for example when players play S'pov they know she'll grunt like a banshee for most of the points so it is not out of the ordinary when she grunts, I imagine the players just drown her out. It was out of the ordinary to have someone shout 'Come On' during the point so Stosur would not have expected it.

    The flaw in this argument is obviously that if a player who does not grunt, grunts at the end of a 30 shot rally out of exhaustion, in my argument they could be penalised because it is not expected of them and it could have hindered the other player. I'd much rather have it the other way, that S'pov and Azarenka and the like were penalised from the first point of a Grand Slam for their over the top grunting, I'm sure it would cure them of the affliction fairly sharpish...

  • Comment number 92.

    The biggest and ungracious loser is/was Serena Williams with her remorseless attitude. Giving a wrong ruling by a professional is one thing but hurling personal affronts at a professional doing her duty is, needlessly to say, not only uncalled for professionally but also indicative of a lack of character in Serena Williams. And to condone her actions by fining her a minimal amount is shameful of USTA. Serena is a bad role model and she wrongly confuses competitiveness with unethical, aggressive, unsporting behavior! In earnest, she should have been pulled up with a very severe punishment, should have been clearly told that her behavior was unacceptable, and may be told to enroll in a behavioral improvement class. Serena really needs to learn some basic manners .
    Pete Sampras, Nadal, Micheal Jordan, Ronaldo (Brazil), Micheal Holding (Cricket), Imran Khan (Cricket), Sachin Tendulkar (Cricket), Brian Lara (Cricket) are the prime examples of noble competitiveness

  • Comment number 93.

    who can stop Djoko?
    obviously Nadal can't, Murray can if Djoko is injured. that leaves just the old man -Fed. In my opinion, Djokovic has lost just once this season to Fed at Rolland Garros. I see tennis going back to the Federer years of 2004 to 2007 in the next 3 years. Djoko is set to dominate except Fed grows younger.

  • Comment number 94.

    @93: Fed grows younger? This is an exciting time for tennis. I'm sure many have mentioned it - but Fed came SO close to beating Djok in the semis. However Nadal would have completely had Fed's number again should that final have occured. The great thing now though - is Djok seems to have Nadal's number. I used to be an avid Murray supporter, but after this US open showing, I don't think he'll ever be able to beat the best, namely Nadal, in Slams. However when you DO throw in Murray to the mix, who can occasionally beat the best at Masters events; it does make for an exciting tale to the rest of the season and going into 2012.

    Beat yeah, Fed to get younger and win all slams next season.

  • Comment number 95.

    mFlem

    Yes it's a fascinating dynamic between the top three - Nadal must hope Federer is in Djok's half of the draw for the AO - that offers him his best hope of another slam.

    Whilst not denying Djokovic the acclaim he deserves, it is worth remembering that the 30 year old Federer beat him in Paris and should have had him in New York - at his peak I wonder how the two would compare. If Federer had just nailed that match in New York would we would be spared much of the hyperbole in the press.

  • Comment number 96.

    Like many here I am sure, i am surprised by redcurrant87's comment. The call might have been severe but Serena's behaviour and inability to apologies or show any sign of remorse was shocking. Her outburst, given her previous antics, should have been reprimanded and I agree that the USTA's reaction was very tame and inadequate. It is sad that such a great champion seem to hold officials in such contempt and and lack any kind of humility.

  • Comment number 97.

    Congratulations to Novak Djokovic and Sam Stosur. The champions were outstanding against all their gallant challengers. Well played.

    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Comment number 98.

    "Criticised in some quarters for his timing, Ramos quite rightly called first Nadal and then Djokovic for pushing time limits. "


    Yes, he gave them one meaningless warning but then nothing afterwards. How many times have we seen umpires warn Nadal and Djokoivc over time delays yet fail to follow that up with a point deduction when their antics continue. Both are a disgrace to the sport.

  • Comment number 99.

    Novak game and record has set a new standard, it will certainly be listed in golden letters. Like any other achievement it will be surpassed. To find four greats in the same era Novak, Rafael, Roger and Andy will be somewhat difficult.

    Stosur, was one player who was not overwhelmed, others very good girls lost because of nerves. Serena is very good but Stosur proved attitude makes a lot of difference.

    Serena grunts and her insults to the Umpire was very unbecoming of any human being, she should have apologized in front of the crowd. Umpiring is not an easy job, but to insult with abusive language is unbecoming. If the umpires get $250, its about time USTA should reconsider and better still fines should be much higher and given to the Umpire.

  • Comment number 100.

    'We could easily play without any Americans at all taking part. In the men's game at least no one would notice their absence.' - Geoff @ 89

    Steady on - they got two players to the quarters.

 

Page 1 of 2

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.