Serena Williams + US Open = drama!
It wasn’t quite Serena’s shove-a-ball-down-you-f*****g-throat “A”-level material, but the former world No. 1 brought the drama to Arthur Ashe Stadium once again in the women’s final of the 2011 US Open during a surprising loss to Australian Sam Stosur on Sunday.
After losing the first set 6-2, Williams unraveled early in the second when she was docked a point for yelling “Come on!” after hitting what she thought was a winner, but was a ball that Stosur got a racquet on. Applying the ITF “hindrance” rule, the chair umpire let Serena know that she had lost the point.
Taking the point penalty as a person attack, Serena then lost it.
“Aren’t you the one who screwed me over last time?” Williams directed her anger toward the chair umpire Eva Asdaraki. “You have it out for me? I promise you, that’s not cool. That is totally not cool.”
During the changeover Williams amped-up her vitriol at Asdaraki.
“If you ever see me walking down the hall, look the other way,” Williams said. “Because you’re out of control, you’re out of control. You’re not only out of control, you’re a hater, and you’re just unattractive inside. Who would do such a thing? And I never complain. Wow!…A code violation because I expressed who I am? We’re in America right now!…Don’t even look at me! I promise you, don’t look at me, ’cause I am not a [inaudible]. Don’t. Look. My. Way.”
Williams went on to lose the match 6-2, 6-3 to Stosur, one of the few players who can out-power the younger Williams.
Afterward in her press conference, much like two years ago when she threatened to force-feed a ball to a linesperson who called her for a foot fault, Williams feigned memory loss about the incident.
“I don’t even remember what I said,” she said. “It was just so intense out there. It’s the final for me. I guess I’ll see it on YouTube. I was just in the zone. I think everyone, when they play, they kind of zone out kind of thing. I don’t know, I’ll see it later I’m sure.”
While the point penalty gave Stosur the break to start the second set, Williams broke back immediately, but could not sustain her fire.
“I tried to get more fired-up and kind of get more like into it and kind of just get more Serena-esque and into the match and get going and stuff like that,” she said.
Lost in the ugliness was the first Slam win for Stosur, who became the first Australian woman to win a Slam since Evonne Goolagong Cawley at Wimbledon in 1980.
“I can’t actually believe I won this tournament,” the 27-year-old Stosur said. “To go out there and play the way I did is obviously just an unbelievable feeling.”
On bouncing back after Serena’s tirade, the Aussie said, “For sure, it was difficult to stay focused, and then obviously the crowd got heavily involved. You know it was probably the loudest I ever felt a crowd in my whole entire life. It was definitely an overwhelming feeling. But once I hit that next ball in the court and started playing again, I felt settled.”
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