Serena Williams’ gifted brat US Open outburst had nothing to do with feminism
I refer to your report on the US Open final (“Serena Williams blasts umpire as ‘liar and a thief’ in historic loss to Japan’s Naomi Osaka”, September 9) and the letter from Paul Chiu (“Umpire who upset Serena Williams committed a double fault”, September 12).
Williams is an accomplished, respected tennis player and star. However, her conduct on the court last Saturday was less than exemplary.
Williams was clearly at fault. Her coach was tutoring her, even if she missed the tutorial, she did smash her racket in frustration and nobody can ever call an umpire a “thief” and “liar”. You can disagree with the umpire, lodge a complaint, even protest and seek redress. However, you cannot call the umpire names in the presence of a live global audience. The umpire is merely doing his job. Just because a player is an international star does not give them the right to abuse less-known match officials.
Williams’ unsporting tantrum has overshadowed the achievement of the 20-year old Japanese player, Naomi Osaka. Osaka’s moment of glory was eclipsed by Williams’ outburst. Imagine, Osaka actually apologised to the crowd for winning the match. How surreal could it get for a winner?
To exacerbate matters, Williams is putting a feminist gloss on the entire nasty episode by alleging that the umpire handed down penalties just because she is a woman. This is awful behaviour from a sports star. It has nothing to do with feminism. Williams should learn court manners from Roger Federer, the epitome of tranquillity and good behaviour, whether he wins or loses. I am disappointed with Williams’ lack of sportsmanship. I was an admirer of her game. Now, I think she may just be a gifted brat.
Rajendra Aneja, Mumbai