Tennis-X Notes: Serena Shafted? More Off-season = More Money?
by Staff | November 23rd, 2010, 1:13 pm


SERENA GETTING THE SHAFT? — From Orville Lloyd Douglas writing for The Guardian on the general media ‘disparagement’ of Serena Williams: “But in certain circles of the US tennis establishment, [Caroline] Wozniacki’s emergence is seen as a positive development, precisely because it puts Williams “in her place.” Chris Chase, a tennis correspondent for Yahoo Sports, for example, has a history of writing hostile commentary about Serena Williams. Recently, he accused Williams of “hyping” her foot injury — despite the fact that a torn tendon had forced her to pull out of all the season’s remaining events. And, he writes, Williams’ fans should simply “deal with it” if Wozniacki is the new No 1. ESPN writer Peter Bodo is another long-time critic of the Williams sisters. Earlier this year, Bodo called the Williams sisters’ patriotism “false and self-serving” because they had failed, as he saw it, to make a firm commitment to play for the US squad in the Federation Cup (the WTA tour version of the Davis Cup). And when the sisters again chose not to play the Indian Wells tournament this year, where Venus and her father Richard had been booed and allegedly racially abused following her withdrawal with injury from a match against Serena back in 2001, Tom Gainey of Tennis X said they should get over it.” — OK…we’ll say it again…Serena should get over it and play Indian Wells. And — “Recently, Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena, told the New York Times he believes the USTA discourages African American youth from pursuing the sport because they don’t want blacks dominating tennis, which is still, culturally, a white sport. That is a view that chimes with the fact that Maria Sharapova is the highest-paid female athlete in the world, despite the fact she’s only won three grand slam singles titles — ten less than Serena Williams has.” — Wow, that is a huge leap. The U.S. Tennis Association to Russian Maria Sharapova being highly paid? There are tons of black kids sponsored under the USTA’s high-performance programs across the U.S. Good job Guardian, keep the crazy British guest writers coming. As one commenter on the Guardian website put it, “Yes, let’s ignore the fact that the USTA spent more money trying to develop Donald Young into the next Tiger Woods than they’ve spent on any other player in recent history. Your claims of prejudice ring hollow and false. The constant race-baiting from the media gets tiresome.”

TAKE A PHOTO, BECAUSE WE’RE GONE — Don’t look for Olympus to hang around much longer as a USTA/US Open sponsor, according to the Courthouse News Service. The reports says the USTA is suing its current sponsor for trying to back out of their deal that runs through 2011. Olympus would reportedly save about $12 million if the courts let it back out of next year’s deal over what Olympus says is a contract breach in the USTA letting Panasonic film at the 2010 US Open in HD. The report notes that Olympus has been hit hard by the recession and wants to save cash by pulling out early. “Olympus has repudiated its own reciprocal promises to the USTA, USOS LLC and USTA NTC and has sought to contrive an illusory pretense on which to avoid significant continuing financial commitment Olympus (and its subsidiary Olympus Imaging) are obligated to pay to the USTA, USOS LLC and USTA NTC,” according to the complaint.

MO’ OFF-SEASON EQUALS MO’ MONEY — Now that the ATP has announced an extended off-season to seven week beginning in 2012, that leaves more time for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to add to their ever-expanding exhibition tours. This December the pair will play two matches against each other, one is Zurich where Federer’s foundation will receive all the proceeds, and one in Madrid where the money will benefit Nadal’s charitable foundation. Both matches will be televised on ESPN. ESPN recruited their commentator Patrick McEnroe to hype the matches. “Federer and Nadal have rarely played each other on a hard court surface — and never at the US Open — so it will be fun to see their styles in this environment,” McEnroe said. “These are called exhibitions, (but) whenever these two guys square off, the competitive juices start flowing and the crowds and spectacle will be terrific as each plays in his own country.” Nadal needed to skip ATP events he had committed to prior to this week’s year-end Masters due to injuries, but the Spaniard continues to add multiple exhibitions, charitable and not-so-charitable (e.g. ‘I brought this truck. You fill it with cash, no?’) exhibitions. The two will also play the oil-rich Abu Dhabi exhibition in January. “We can’t kid ourselves,” said Jean-Francois Caujolle, tournament director of the Paris-indoor, in the NYT. “The players have to play along. This longer off-season has to be a real period of rest.”
Mark Philippoussis
received a bankruptcy mortgage notice on his million dollar house in Australia…Former No. 1 Carlos Moya of Spain announces his retirement, helped along by a slow-healing foot injury. “That day has come,” the 34-year-old said at a press conference. “I don’t want to picture that moment when I play my last match. It is true that I’m young for life, but for sport I am a little bit old.” Moya lost in the 1997 Australian Open final to Pete Sampras, the next year won the French, then a year later achieved the No. 1 rank after finishing runner-up at the Indian Wells. “It’s not how I dreamt of ending my career.”..Slovakia’s 32-year-old former French Open semifinalist Dominik “The Dominator” Hrbaty announced his retirement, with his wife due to give birth in December…Tennis Channel has extended its TV rights with the ATP World Tour through 2015, which includes 19 tournaments (all 9 Masters 100 events) and the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London…Jelena Jankovic had what she described as a minor eye surgery earlier this month…The environmental group Greenpeace hung banners at the Paris-indoor protesting the involvement of sponsor BNP Paribas in funding a nuclear project in Brazil. What AFP described as “militants” hung 118-square-foot banners from the Palais Omnisport de Bercy, calling on the bank not to fund the reactor. “Most of the equipment that would be used to finish the reactor predates Chernobyl and has languished on the site for the last quarter of a century,” Greenpeace said…Former No. 1 and current senior tour player Mats Wilander on Roger Federer: “He is obviously not as confident in winning tennis matches. It’s changed. In the locker room, they know they can beat him. In the locker room, the guys know they can beat [Rafael] Nadal, too. But guys enjoy playing against Federer much more than Nadal. It’s easier to beat Federer than Nadal.”…Tommy Haas became a father when his fiancee Sara Foster gave birth to a baby girl this past week.

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22 Comments for Tennis-X Notes: Serena Shafted? More Off-season = More Money?

skeezerweezer Says:


Quite the “slam” there on the Williams. They is no doubt they are the divas of tennis, and make there own road. But the fam has been like that since they were itty bitty, staying for the most part out of the junior circuit. Still, I would want to have Serena’s game any day in the clutch when she is on. The ultimate woman tennis warrior.

Re: Mo Money

‘I brought this truck. You fill it with cash, no?’




“But guys enjoy playing against Federer much more than Nadal. It’s easier to beat Federer than Nadal.”

Easier? Tell that recently to Sod, Novak & Murray. Has Rafa played them lately? Stat from the other thread, Fed is 13-6 this year against the top 10…just sayin..

Since when do they allow players who aren’t playing in the locker room…er….Mat?

Swiss Maestro Says:

thanks for the laughs, staff. you guys are too funny!

” i brought this truck. fill it with cash, no? ”

that is ROFLMAO funny. priceless. i have this picture of rafa driving one of those 18wheelers to these exos.

Swiss Maestro Says:

Skeezerweezer :

your last line is very funny. good one!

Fot Says:

Mats need to get somewhere and sit down and just shut his mouth. He puts his foot in it every time he opens it!

killerc Says:

Honestly if peter bodo or whatever is slamming Serena, he’s an idiot.
Yeah, she can take off month periods and still DOMINATE @ any WTA tourney. It’s not her fault the rest of the opposition isn’t as physically gifted.
Patriotism in sports? wtf who cares! it’s sports, not about religion, politics, whatever. Professional sports is about money. Give em money and I’m sure they might feel more urge to comply. anyways they are getting older. The new usa ladies should step up.

Woznaki is all pusher and until the offensive skilled ladies like Serena, KIM are all injured or gone; Caroline will never win a slam until she changes her ways.
The statements about racism are brash but look at the facts, how many other pros are there in American tennis who are black and playing in the top 500. not a lot. The sport of tennis in america hasn’t been as hugely popular as it was back in the early 80s. If you pushed it in more public schools and urban areas more, you’d probably have more diversity of players. Yet Tennis still behind like 5 other sports in the American sporting world.

Marine Says:

Oh dear, poor, poor Williams family always a victim, isn’t it? I mean, this is a bit of an old story, they’re no victims and yes they should have gotten over the IW a long time ago. Serena was racially abused at Miami and booed off the court at the French Open. Yet, she still plays it, lol.

Maya Says:

Wilander is always disparaging Fed. Wilander at his height couldn’t carry Fed’s jock strap.

chad Says:

And, he writes, Williams’ fans should simply “deal with it” if Wozniacki is the new No 1. ESPN writer Peter Bodo is another long-time critic of the Williams sisters.

umm im a huge serena fan and im not worried about the fact that she isnt number 1 anymore. im more worried about when she’ll be playing again. furthermore serena knows one thing: you dont have to be number one to be the best player. and being number one doesnt validate you as a champion. all it means is that youve played quality tennis and earned more points than the number 2 player. many players have been number one without winning and serena needs to prove nothing to anyone. shes the only active player that has won each grand slam and she has 6 more slams than the next most decorated champion (justine henin)

steve-o Says:

Few players have done as much to break down barriers and democratize women’s tennis as the Williams sisters. You might put Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova in that same class, but pretty much no one else.

Venus’s advocacy was a major reason the Grand Slams now pay equal prize money to women and men. Every woman who plays at Wimbledon has her to thank for this.

There still is a great deal of racism in tennis today. The Oudin mania last year was proof that much of the American tennis establishment wants a great white hope (emphasis on WHITE) to promote so they can wash their hands of the Williams sisters once and for all. Why else would they so overhype a girl who hasn’t even won a tournament? That brouhaha was a celebration of mediocrity over merit–it was because of what she was (bubbly, white all-American blonde princess), not of what she has accomplished (very, very little).

As for Indian Wells, that tournament needs the Williams sisters far, far more than they need it, and the tournament directors would be well-advised to realize this.

dunbar Says:

I think steve-o may have a point, but I don’t think it’s a simple racism issue. The thing about the Williams sisters, especially Serena, is that they are DIFFERENT. In some mysterious way, they seem to transcend nationality, and they are very much world figures. It’s probably quite hard, therefore, for ordinary Americans to relate to them.

I agree with chad. Serena Williams is simply monumental, and being #1 is neither here nor there. Of course, if the competition were stiffer, this would be another matter. As it is, everybody knows that in any tournament, if Williams is fit and motivated, then she is the one to beat. There is something of the queen lying over the water about her, with everyone recognizing that the formal queen is there on suffrance, so to speak.

This may be an unsatisfactory situation (or not, of course, depending on where you’re coming from), it is certainly very odd – but there it is, the facts are as they are.

jane Says:

If the exos are both for charity, then great! Not “mo money” for players to pocket, but to donate? Then no one is harmed, fans see their faves, and players can use exos as practice.

“or protesting the involvement of sponsor BNP Paribas in funding a nuclear project in Brazil. ”

We need Vulcan’s commentary here. Come back Vulcan. I don’t know, but nuclear related things scare me and there seems to be a move towards using its form of energy lately, but the waste cannot be gotten rid of. And look at what’s happening in N.Korea right now. Hmmmm… maybe GP were on the right track.

dunbar Says:

The problem is not nuclear, and it never was. The fall out, if it cannot at the moment be disposed of, can certainly be buried safely. And nobody has the least idea of where technology will be at in, say, a couple of hundred years.

The problem of North Korea is a terrible one regardless as to whether they have nuclear weapons or not, which of course the regime, which cannot feed its own people, would use as a bargaining chip. The regime wishes to survive, and the chances of its actually using nuclear weapons are about zero.

The problems humanity faces are extremely daunting and maybe insuperable. The nuclear issue is grossly overplayed, and some environmentalists are finally seeing sense and acknowledging this.

jane Says:

I don’t know dunbar. I know that the tailings, seeping into water for example, are possibly to blame for numerous cases of cancer, for instance in first nations tribes in Northern Canada. Caribou have also been affected. And when we bury something, cannot that material then filter into the earth and have ramifications? Return of the repressed so to speak? I am not convinced it has been “grossly overplayed”. Nuclear weapons are still a horrendous prospect; why do you say the chances are “about zero”? How do we know that?

Mitzi L. Heim Says:

I don’t know why some people don’t like to talk nice about Roger Federer.Are they just envious or jealous or what? Roger is not only the best tennis player you will ever see, he is an all around good guy and you don’t hear him dissing any of his rivals.He donates tons of money to good causes and his foundation is magnificent and helps so many.His life is tennis and now he has a wonderful family to share it all with. GO ROGER, you are the best and you always wil be.

jer468 Says:

I think that it is fair to say that Serena and the press have a love/hate relationship with each other. Serena gives the press a lot to write about, and the press give her a level of celebrity that she then parlays into $$$.

But part of the problem with the press is definitely of the Williamses’ own making. Serena and the parents especially have never learned the adage that if you don’t have something nice to say that perhaps you shouldn’t say anything at all. They come across as arrogant and in my estimation, not too bright. (Venus on the other hand I find to be very thoughtful and respectful.)

For me, a low point with Serena was after the US Open debacle when her immediate response was to blame everybody but herself. Eventually when there was such a backlash she acknowledged that maybe she could have behaved a bit better. I think we saw Serena’s true colors last year at Flushing Meadows.

She’s been absent for so much of her career that I honestly don’t think I’ll miss her when she’s gone.

dunbar Says:

James Lovelock – the originator of Gaia – points out that the natural radioactivity generated from the earth is much higher than anything we do. Obviously, one has to take one’s info here from experts – but if James is sanguine (he is however convinced that climate change will prove catastrophic) that’s good enough for me. Lovelock is a man of great integrity as well as of genius, beholden to one, especially neither to the world of business nor of academia.

I suppose nuclear weapons will probably be used one day. The genie is out of the bottle and that cannot be reversed. Just not by North Korea – their survival is dependant entirely on China, who would never permit them to use nuclear weapons. Not out of sentiment – they have none. Their own interests forbid it. Meanwhile, I think it is a mistake to conflate nuclear energy with nuclear weapons. Many would not agree. Fair enough.

guy Says:

one crazy reason tennis is white dominated in the USA might have to do with the fact it’s an 80%white country.
but i doubt the williams family would understand that. it’s a little too mathematical for them.

if anything sports like football and basketball are prejudiced against white athletes.

Diane Says:

Serena stays quiet about her injury and is called “secretive.” She then talks about it and is accused of “hyping” it.

TD (Tam) Says:

Tennisx staff quote: “OK…we’ll say it again…Serena should get over it and play Indian Wells.”

It is not the Williams sisters who need to get over it, it’s the media. Every spring it’s the same song and dance with the media, trying to stir up controversy, “Will they or won’t they play IW?” “Why won’t they play IW?” “Was the crowd really racist?” “Are the Williams racist?” blah blah who cares? They have made their decision and it is a player’s perogative to not be forced to play a tournament if they deem it harmful to their well-being.

I am hardly a Williams fan but I wish this issue would be dropped already and people would move forward and enjoy watching the tennis, whether Serena and Venus play or not. Their presence, or non-presence, has never impacted my tennis-viewing pleasure. Indian Wells has survived just fine without them.

And Orville Lloyd Douglas is a git.

ahonkan Says:

Mats seems to open his mouth only to shuffle his feet, esp when it comes to talking about Fed. Can’t think of any reason why he (and Bodo and 1-2 staff writers on br) hates Fed so much. Fed is on the down slope of the Bell curve of his career and Mats could have said it differently. Seems there are two ways of saying something – the right way and the Mats way.

chris Says:

The Williams sisters can’t blame race for their many problems. Not since Jimmy Connors have I so disliked and disapproved of a tennis player. They act like creeps, win or lose, year after year. They’re dreadful role models for girls of any race. Why can’t they just grow up, shut up and play tennis?

dunbar Says:

Heard today that Serena’s foot still troublesome, and she will not be playing in the AO. Time is slipping by, the way it does, without you noticing it, and you begin to wonder if Serena will ever come back. I don’t think it’s got to that point yet. It’s got to the point where one wonders if it’s getting close to that point where it’s close to the point. If you take my meaning…

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