Serena is one of the most classless players in professional sports
The only reason I had to add “one of the” is because of sports like boxing, though even ear-biter Mike Tyson had enough class to give his opponents credit when he lost. If I had to compare the sportsmanship of Ron Artest vs. Serena Williams, it would be Artest in a landslide.
Whenever Serena seems in danger of losing she starts hamming it up. All of a sudden a multiplicity of “injuries” begin afflicting her frail body. She limps around one second then sprints in perfect form the next. She had a stomach ache. She wasn’t up to par. All her opponent had to do was show up. She was only playing at 40% .
Her performance against Hantuchova was a laugh-fest. The gushing about her triumphant comeback while under pain of “injury” had me in stitches. The only thing worse than her acting skills was the incessant rain. Hantuchova deserved to lose for getting intimidated by Serena’s ridiculous shenanigans; I’m glad Henin didn’t fall for it. Stitch had the guts to call it like it was. The rest of the media are all peering through red, white and blue-colored glasses.
Searching for a jewel in the rough amongst the three hundred or so news articles praising Serena’s miraculous comeback against Hantuchova I finally stumbled upon a journalist with above-room temperature IQ:
“There was something terribly unnatural about the whole process: the stop-starts; the sobs; the squeals; the magnificent urges; the toilet breaks Williams initially demanded and then forgot to take; her inability to walk, let alone run, and then her sudden ability to sprint.”
It’s no surprise that Serena behaves this way. Her father’s performance in the stands was one of the most disgraceful spectacles I’ve ever seen in all of professional sports. Constantly standing up and blocking the view of people behind him, pointing at the sky in order to encourage Serena to kill time and hope for rain, cheering hysterically whenever Hantuchova would make an error.
It is not possible to beat Serena Williams. Why? Because she’s either (ahem) injured or “not playing at 100%”. She only beats herself. No one is even capable of beating her.
Newsflash Serena: unless you’re the incredible bionic woman you will not be able to play at 100% every match. Your opponents rarely, if ever, play at 100%. I have a theory: Vince Carter would be the greatest player in basketball if he played at 100% every game. Well, he doesn’t, so he isn’t. End of story.
The key to a great athlete vs. a flash in the pan is consistency. Even if some of Serena’s injuries are legitimate, that’s what happens when you’re out of shape. Other players work their asses off to stay in pristine condition and reduce the risk of injury.
Serena saying she “would have won” if she were playing at “100 percent” is the epitome of arrogance and poor sportsmanship. My personal opinion: Henin would have no problem beating her on any surface if she too played at the top of her potential. What she lacks in brute strength she more than makes up for in skill.
You know what else makes a great athlete? Character. When Federer lost to Saffin a ways back he said Saffin “was the better man”. He didn’t make excuses. He didn’t claim he had a tummy ache. He didn’t say he was playing at 50%. He gave his opponent the credit he deserved. That’s class.
If Serena had a modicum of character she would have said something similar after losing to Henin. If she wanted to play up her injury she could have said, “I wasn’t playing at my best due to injury, but there’s no guarantee I would have won even at my best. She was the better player today, and I congratulate her on her win”.
Finally, to those of you harping about “racism”, you are totally out of line. You don’t see scores of tennis fans complaining about James Blake, do you? This is not about skin color, this about sportsmanship. Serena has none, and I for one am thrilled that she has been sent packing.