Serena Lets Loose on Umpire Again, Loses to Stosur in US Open Final

by Staff | September 11th, 2011, 10:45 pm

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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39 Comments for Serena Lets Loose on Umpire Again, Loses to Stosur in US Open Final

kli Says:

Classless as always… Serena… Much prefer Venus.

Joel Says:

Typical Serena. On form Sam. I was not expecting this outcome, but I welcomed it. I hope Sam can turn around and repeat the victory at home in January.

BT Says:

It’s a shame that this incident with Serena and the umpire is detracting from Stosur’s victory. I feel bad for Sam just like I did for Kim Clijsters two years ago. Some of the sweetness of the victory gets stolen by the drama and its really unfair.

Serena herself admitted that in the end it made no difference to the result. If anything I think it boosted her level for a game or two.

I remember that point and thinking briefly that she celebrated pretty early but I doubt Stosur would have got that ball back regardless.

What does get me annoyed is Serena’s memory loss about anything that makes her look bad. Sure she has a temper but admitting it when you are in the wrong is a sign of someone with class. There was no such admission. To be fair this victim/”everyone’s out to get me because of my skin color” psyche has probably been drilled into her by Richard.

ELB Says:

Another shameful incident. If Serena would just admit she blew it, it would all be settled. But once again, she “doesn’t remember” and never really apologizes. A total lack of class and maturity. BTW – Johnny Mac seemed to think that the call was a “gray area” – Carillo straightened him out! He’s the best tennis commentator on TV but he should have been thrown off the court any number of times when he was playing for his loutish behavior. I’m glad the ump’s don’t tolerate that sort of thing anymore!

Thangs Says:

Wow..Congrats Sam! Stopping the cherry picking by Serena.. Missing Kim/Henin badly..Only they can stop the williamses.

blah Says:

follow this simple advice, serena: next time you feel the need to speak on court, shut. up.

Dory Says:

Here’s my opinion: Yes Serena is egoistic, yes she is arrogant, yes she cannot control her temper, but she’s a champion. It was completely wrong of her to shout before Stosur hit the ball and it was wrong to not accept it and make it personal with the umpire. But she did NOT shout intentionally. Her temper is a problem. Does the USTA really want to deprive everyone of the great tennis she gives us by banning her? Things are again being blown out of proportion for no reason. By comparison, how often does Roddick get banned or sensationalized by the media for being extremely rude and insulting to chair umpires and officials? Do you know McEnroe’s wife once slapped an umpire? Just forget it. Yes her ego is too inflated for her to acknowledge that indeed her winner did not count. But banning is too harsh. I hope the USTA doesn’t do anything extreme.

Alan A Says:

Aren’t you the one who screwed me over last time? Who could ask that but a woman who refuses to accept that the rules apply to her and that there is something wrong with her disregard for her opponents and the officials.

Full marks to the umpire for having the courage to call Williams on her unsportsmanlike behavior. Let’s see if the WTA also have the courage to do the right thing this time and ban her from the sport.

Tennis does not need this thuggish, selfish, bully.

Skorocel Says:

Too much ado about nothing… Serena screamed just before hitting a would-be-certain winner? Oh my god! Fact is, it didn’t really matter in the end (I mean the code violation & the subsequent break for Stosur) as she immediately broke the Aussie back, didn’t she? What, however, matters in this case is that the media (including will once again have something to write & babble about, and Serena (who’ll most probably get out of all this with a pocket-money fine), the USO, the WTA, and women’s tennis in general will once again gain some attention ;-) So in the end, the wolf will sate himself while the sheep will still remain in one piece, and everyone in this kingdom will be happy…

Sean Says:

Tennis X says: “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.” But Tennis X made the editorial choice to make the story about Serena instead about the fact that Stosur played the match of her life and pounded Williams off the court. Sto served better, hit harder, defended better and beat her at the net. Where is the post match analysis X? Shame on you!

amarillojay Says:

How nice it is to be on a site where Serena is not being apologized for. Over the years I have watched this woman bully everyone and make excuses when she gets beaten down.She is classless and clearly a spoiled child in a sport where we have seen many extrude this sort of behavior but what is different about Serena is her total lack of remorse for her behavior. She is in the same class with McEnroe but not as likable.

mmm Says:

It’s unfortunate that tennis-x made this article all about Serena. It should be about Sam Stosur and her first major title. Serena wasn’t playing well and decided to cause drama and try to steal the spotlight with her B.S. Glad to see her lose!

killerc Says:

Well maybe they can start calling this violation on some of the ridiculous screaming on the ladies side when they hit the ball…

Serenas COMEON was premature by half a second but I figured they would of played a let for the circumstance – it was a winning shot!

Sam played great – went out and won it.

madmax Says:

the [inaudible] bit is ‘loser’.

David Says:

You can take the girl out of Compton, but you can’t take Compton out of the girl.

Just Me Says:

Dory: If you’re going to quote “facts,” please check the accuracy first.

McEnroe’s wife didn’t slap an umpire, it was Jeff Tarango’s wife who did that when her husband stormed off Court 13 at Wimby 1995 claiming that the ump, Bruno Rebeuh,had fixed matches. After he received a code violation, he yelled at the crowd to “shut up.” It wasn’t the first controvery for Mr. Tarango. The previous year in Tokyo, he pulled down his pants during a match with Michael Chang.

That misstatement of yours regarding McEnroe’s wife could cost you in a court of law, so you should be careful about what you say. I might also add that an apology and retraction wouldn’t hurt.

NewBalls Says:

“Do you know McEnroe’s wife once slapped an umpire?”

Sorry, but as looney as Tatum O’Neil is she never slapped an umpire…it was Jeff Tarango’s wife who slapped an umpire at Wimbledon. Get your “bad boys” straight!

Craig Says:

I am waiting for the day when these arrogant americans are shut out of this planet. Good thing is that the Chinese are all set to do that.

Adam Says:

what a psycho. chick is nuts

Zman Says:

So Chris, what inept country do you hail from? What an idiotic, generic statement about americans. Your ignorance about americans is obvious. Keep waiting…God Bless America!

Dory Says:

Sorry apologies to McEnroe and his fans for spreading FUD and lies. Should have gotten the facts right. I read it in some well published book which I won’t name here which was true enough for me to believe it. Anyways, how would they sue anyone over the internet? :)

Dory Says:

I think I will just stop coming here permanently. Extremely sorry about that misinformed comment. I am angry at myself for not verifying it.

Leo Says:

I truly admire Serena’s game. When she’s in form, no one can beat her. But her childish and spoiled behaviour on court when things don’t go her way makes me not want to watch her matches. She should learn from her sister Venus.

queen Says:

Bitch is crazy

Wheeler Says:

Anyways it was also wrong of the umpire to award the point to Stosur. She should have made them replay the point. Giving the point to Stosur means the umpire thinks Serena intentionally did that and there’s no proof of that, Serena won’t intentionally distract an opponent, she doesn’t need to. What does the rule say? Should they replay the point or award it to the opponent if there is such a distraction?

BT Says:


I believe the umpire was correct. Unintentional is your hat blowing off or some sound coming out of your mouth AS you hit the ball. It is intentional when you scream out in celebration after hitting the ball AND before your opponent has hit it OR before it has gone past them. While I agree the intent was probably not to distract Stosur the fact is it could have and because Serena had control over when to yell out in celebration her yelling is an intentional action.


Fiona Fairbairn Says:

Serena Williams is an amazing player but her ego is out of control. She tries sooo hard to be classy but it’s just not her nature. She’s a big phony-baloney in my opinion and perhaps a bit unstable.

Bubba Says:

Keep it up Williams. Behavior like this only gives white folks another reason to look down at us.

jeanius Says:

The hindrance rule has no criterion for what is deliberate. It is a subjective call and how does an umpire or anyone at all know whether it was a deliberate attempt to distract Stosur, successful or not. Go ahead, prove or disprove that Maria Sharapova’s shrieking is an attempt to distract her opponents (which I believe it is.) Who is to know in any case, and how would you know? Why not allow a challenge and review the point? Then who is to make the judgment- the same umpire? If there is a question, replay the point. Regardless, it’s a rule that can’t be properly applied and it should be discarded. That isn’t to say that Serena’s reaction wasn’t disgusting. She should grow up.

Eric Says:

You guys don’t understand the sense of the “intentional” in the phrase “intentional hindrance.” It doesn’t mean that the umpire is imputing a desire to mess Sam up, it means that the player was in control of the action. Nothing made Serena scream “come on” as Stosur went for her shot; it was voluntary. Involuntary hindrance is, as BT says, a hat blowing off in the wind or something.

Kimberly Says:

to be honest, i don’t think USO is taking her behavior seriously enough. THey should ban her from the tournament for 1 year. Apparently she didn’t learn her lesson the first time. If I were the umpire I would feel very intimidated with her pointing her racket at me.

MMT Says:

“jeanius Says:
The hindrance rule has no criterion for what is deliberate. It is a subjective call and how does an umpire or anyone at all know whether it was a deliberate attempt to distract Stosur, successful or not.”

I’m afraid you’re dead wrong about the hindrance rule. Here is text of Rule 26: Hindrance, from the ITF/USTA rules of tennis (

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).”

Serena’s shout before the point ended was neither unintentional nor beyond her own control, and thus the point was duly awarded to Stosur. The umpire does not deserve to have her integrity impugned by Serena, and be repeatedly insulted by her, just for doing her job properly.

MMT Says:

“Eric Says: It doesn’t mean that the umpire is imputing a desire to mess Sam up, it means that the player was in control of the action.”

According to the ITF/USTA rules, you are correct. The hindrance need not be intentional, only the act causing it.

However, in Serena’s defense, she also did this in the WTA tour finals in Qatar against Kuznetsova in 2009, and a let was played, but that is because the hindrance rule is different on the WTA tour than it is in the ITF/USTA.

Here’s the point in Doha, 2009:

Here’s the WTA rule (

If a player hinders her opponent, it can be ruled as either involuntary or

1. Involuntary Hindrance

A let should be called the first time a player has created an involuntary
hindrance (e.g., ball falling out of pocket, hat falling off, etc.), and the
player should be told that any such hindrance thereafter will be ruled

2. Deliberate Hindrance

Any hindrance caused by a player that is ruled deliberate will result in
the loss of a point.”

Thus, in the WTA hindrance rule, the standard is higher, where the hindrance has to be judged intentional for the point to be directly awarded to she who was hindered – in other words, Serena would have had to shout something like, “MISS IT!” to lose the point directly.

Here a let was played, and correctly so.

BT Says:

Thanks for posting the official rules up MMT. Very interesting the difference between the ITF and the WTA on the rule.

It does prove though that the umpire was 100% correct in her ruling.

BT Says:

I just noticed with the release of the new rankings that NONE of the Top 4 ranked women are current grand slam title holders. When was the last time that happened? In fact only 1 of the 4 has ever won a grand slam title!

Eric Says:

“According to the ITF/USTA rules, you are correct. ”

I know. ;)

babzi Says:

Sam Stosur was in total control of the match. Serena as usual does not like getting beaten and beaten she was. Full credit to Sam and a shame that so much attention is focused on Serena’s rantings and not on the person who actually went out there and fought and won the match fair and square. Serena should be ashamed of herself, especialy on such an important day to the US people, to bring the game of tennis into such controversy.
The US people fortunately are bigger than Serena gives them credit for!

Polo Says:

Just when I was starting to like Serene, her true colors unfurl again. All this “nice” demeanor she has been showing since her return suddenly looks phony. She has no sense of remorse for her blatant mistakes and boorish behavior. It makes me feel really glad that it was Stosur who came out the victor at the end.

jane Says:

MMT, Interesting that the ITF and WTA would have different rules; I would have thought they’d be the same.

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