US Open Notes: Serena Slammed by Tennis Media

Posted on September 6, 2007

From the Sydney Morning Herald: "The American media turned on Serena Williams on Wednesday, labelling the former world number one as "classless" and "graceless" after her sullen reaction to her US Open exit at the hands of Justine Henin. "I just think she made a lot of lucky shots and I made a lot of errors," Williams said at her news conference. "I really don't feel like talking about it. It's like I don't want to get fined. That's the only reason I came. I can't afford to pay the fines because I keep losing." Williams's words and manner were greeted with widespread disdain. "(Williams) met the media afterward like a rattlesnake meets a ground squirrel," wrote Bill Dwyer, in the Los Angeles Times. "If anybody was expecting perspective afterward, or maybe a gracious nod to a better effort by an opponent, forget it. We had sullen Serena. Snippy Serena. Snarly Serena." In the New York Times, under the headline, "Williams needs a lesson in etiquette", Selena Roberts wrote: "Who's classless now? The grumpy, borderline nasty disposition that Williams displayed after her loss was a little jarring considering she had her own lack of preparation to blame for giving in so easily to Henin. Serena was bitter, angry and upset. She directed some of that at Henin. Who could use charm school now?" In an interview with USA Network, which hosts television coverage of the US Open, John Wertheim, the senior writer for Sports Illustrated magazine, described Serena's reaction as "stunning". "There's a lot to admire about Serena but this happens again and again where we just have these completely graceless post-match (news conferences). Lucky shots? I think she means winners."...Bud Collins has signed up to do on-air work and write for the Tennis Channel...Richard Williams speaking to Africa Today: "I tell it as it is to my girls and to the press. Stick it up...I don't care. I am just myself. I am an only one of this kind of voice in this sport. I am not afraid to say things. I can be extremely bloody and you can call that immature or naive. Do I care? A common misperception of me is that tennis is my life and that I have a slow-paced life. Most people see me here at Wimbledon and think I just take walks along the tennis courts and smoke cigarettes, but I constantly have projects on the go. At present I buy diamonds, gold and oil. I make trips to South Africa and Angola. I don't go out. I am what you call a workaholic. If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be on the phone with my beautiful girlfriend or business partner."...Paradorn Srichaphan will marry a former Miss Canada in November, and make a comeback from injury in 2008...World No. 3 Novak Djokovic has qualified for his first year-end Masters Cup in Shanghai...Bjorn Borg, who has played one event this year on the Blackrock Masters senior tour, has been given a wildcard into the year-end event...From ESPN's Scoop Jackson's "The 25 reasons tennis is better than college football": "1. Because even though she lost this weekend, Maria Sharapova didn't go out like Notre Dame; 4. Ana Ivanovic; 8. Because they don't name college football stadiums after jazz icons (Louis Armstrong), AIDS and human rights activists (Arthur Ashe) or world-class, world-changing feminists (Billie Jean King); 9. Because the NCAA would never invite eight "wild card" teams to play in their "tournament" the way the USTA did with players like John Isner and Donald Young at the Open; 13. The on-the-court postmatch interview between Andy Roddick and Justin Gimelstob; 16. Because Janet Jackson wouldn't show up at a USC game the way she did at opening day of the U.S. Open."...From the New York Times' Karen Crouse: "Roger Federer, the world No. 1, came out for his fourth-round match at Arthur Ashe Stadium last night wearing black shorts that appeared as if they had been cut from a tuxedo above the knee. He was going for the evening formal look, but his all-black ensemble -- shirt, socks, shoes, headband -- seemed a poor fit for Federer, whose persona is more Pat Boone than Johnny Cash...In the first set against [Feliciano] Lopez, a left-handed Spaniard, the man in black bore little resemblance to the Federer who has won 11 Grand Slam titles. Lopez hit shots that Federer, whose court positioning is usually impeccable, did not even bother to chase." -- That's because Lopez, as they say, was "swinging for the fences" -- court positioning doesn't really matter when you're opponent is trying to hit the biggest winners possible and everything is going in...Prince wasted no time in signing American breakout rookie John Isner to a racquet contract before the US Open ended: "The past few days have been surreal," Isner said. "I came into the Open not knowing what to expect and I left capturing my first Grand Slam win, getting the chance to play on Arthur Ashe Stadium court against the world's No. 1 and signing with Prince -- it has been awesome."..."Age of Love" reality TV star and erstwhile tennis player Mark Philippoussis will make his Outback Champions Series senior tour debut at the Stanford Championships on Oct. 17-21 at the Dr. Pepper Center in Dallas. Philippoussis will be making his return to competitive tennis after undergoing knee surgery in January...John Isner, Corina Morariu, Andy Roddick, Lindsay Davenport and Anna Kournikova are in the lineup for the 2007 Advanta WTT Smash Hits annual charity event, hosted by Elton John and Billie Jean King, on Wed., Oct. 10, at the Pavilion at Villanova in Villanova, Pa. Advanta WTT Smash Hits benefits the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the local charity ActionAIDS...Venus Williams on the difficulty of comprehending she can lose a match: "It's just a shock. Like I don't believe I lost when I lose. I have to like actually start settling in and realizing, 'Oh, my God, it happened.'"