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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2003, 07:24 AM Thread Starter
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Washington: Crowd behavior affected Serena

Crowd behavior affected Serena
By MaliVai Washington
Special to ESPN.com


PARIS -- All tournament long, Justine Henin-Hardenne has had a lot of crowd support because she's from Belgium, where a huge portion of the population speaks French. It's not a surprise that much of the crowd was for Henin-Hardenne in the semifinal against Serena Williams.

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Former ATP Tour pro MaliVai Washington is providing ESPN.com with analysis during the French Open. He was courtside at the semifinal between Serena Williams and Justine Henin-Hardenne


In addition, I think a lot of people wanted to see someone other than Williams in the final.

However, I thought the crowd at times showed poor taste toward Serena. There were a couple of occasions when the linesperson didn't call the ball out and Serena stopped in the middle of a point to circle the mark and the chair umpire confirmed that the ball was out. Serena was completely in the right, but the crowd reacted negatively toward her. After that, they proceeded to cheer when Serena would miss the first serve, which is completely inappropriate.

I think the crowd was definitely a factor in the match, when you have an extremely rowdy crowd there are times when it works in your favor and there are times it works against you. Two days ago, the crowd was for Amelie Mauresmo and it worked against her because she couldn't handle the pressure. Thursday, the crowd was for Henin-Hardenne and at times got ugly toward Serena and that affected her.

One incident late in the third set drew some attention. Henin-Hardenne put her hand up to wait because she wasn't ready to receive serve. At that moment, Serena proceeded to hit a serve into the net. Because Henin-Hardenne asked her to wait, Serena should have gotten a first serve. I don't believe the chair umpire saw Henin-Hardenne hold her hand up to wait therefore he didn't grant Serena a first serve. Serena argued that she should have gotten a first serve, but ultimately hit a second serve.

Serena better than anyone thrives in pressure situations whether it's the final of a major or saying she wants to win the "Serena Slam" or playing in front of huge crowds that are against her. It's impossible to come out victorious every single time.

When it was over, Serena shook hands with Henin-Hardenne, but never broke stride on her way to her chair. I would have loved to have seen Serena wish her luck in the final or congratulate her more than she did because I don't think her frustration or disgust was aimed toward Henin-Hardenne. In the heat of the moment, and with the way the crowd was behaving, I don't think she was interested in doing anything more than getting off the court and leaving Roland Garros.
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2003, 07:29 AM
 
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Well good grief I actually agree with some (most!) of what Washington says for a change! Nice article.

But what is confusing me is, didn't everyone think that Serena positively fed off hostile crowds? How come they've suddenly changed their tune because she lost one match?
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2003, 08:05 AM
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NOONE should have to be confronted with foolish, rowdy heathens every time they step on a court to compete. Blood runs through Serena's veins just like it runs through yours. Serena is not a robot, and she doesn't have to pretend not to be affected by such imbecilic behavior. She had just gone through this bullshit with Mauresmo. Obviously, Serena felt the so-called fans of tennis would at least be respectful toward both she and Henin, regardless if Henin was their favorite or not.

Serena has every right to question the calls that were out, yet not called out by the linesperson. As we all know, EVERY call she questioned was correct in her favor. The ass-holes in the stands just couldn't take that she had gotten the upper hand on Henin. Such ignorance has no place in this type of competition.
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2003, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Number1Kim
Well good grief I actually agree with some (most!) of what Washington says for a change! Nice article.

But what is confusing me is, didn't everyone think that Serena positively fed off hostile crowds? How come they've suddenly changed their tune because she lost one match?
Anyone who has been in difficult situations like abuse, been bullied or prejudiced against will acknowledge that there is always a last straw and this was probably it for serena. Now that i look back this may have been a blessing in disguise. She has been under tremendous pressure against the crowds and to do it against amelie, henin and then kim would have been just too much.
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2003, 09:49 AM
 
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I think I didn't express my point clearly - I certainly don't think she SHOULD be exposed to bad crowds and of course she has the right to challenge bad calls, and in fact I have no less respect fot the woman for crying or losing or anything else. I just didn't understand why the crowd was blamed when previously she and others have been so proud of how crowds don't get to her. Is it a case of "they don't get to her except when they do".

The "last straw" suggestion may be the answer.

I am very sorry if you thought I was disrespecting Serena as a person because I am not like that at all.
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2003, 07:18 PM
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I agree with ^^. Serena has gone on record many times saying that the crowd doesn't affect her, that she even relishes playing in front of hostile crowds and shutting them up by demolishing her opponent, like she did against Mauresmo.

For her and people like Mal, Pam Shriver, Mary Joe etc to now claim that the crowd was the reson she lost, and to somehow imply that Justine's win wasn't well deserved, is childish and in poor sport.

No one complained in 1999 when the FO crowd reduced Hingis to tears - that was much worse than what Serena faced.

The crowd only turned on Serena when she started making her own line calls, which is 'just not done', even though she was correct.
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2003, 07:35 PM
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The crowd only turned on Serena when she started making her own line calls, which is 'just not done', even though she was correct.
It's not supposed to been done by the Williamses, that's why they turned on her.

On clay players can make their own calls... ump will jump down run over, take a look at it.. palm down or index finger pointed up and out, simple as that.. with no crowd "participation", unless one of the players are Venus or Serena. It's just not supposed to be done by the Williams sisters.
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2003, 07:41 PM
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Everyone feels bad for Serena because she cried when she lost one match...and because the crowd turned on her....that is sooo pathetic!!!

Of course the crowd was going to turn on her...didn't she KILL Mauresmo in the Quarterfinals two days before? And, didn't she look like a damn monster (predator) while doing it? Like she was going to really, actually kill Mauresmo.

By the way, did Mauresmo cry when she lost badly to Serena? I don't think so!

Just live with it people...Serena showed her lack of class too!
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2003, 07:54 PM
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Personally, I never believed Serena's claims that crowds do not affect her.

She uses a facade of invincibility but she is human. It would not be impossible for her to block out the crowds in most situations but fail to do so against Henin-Hardenne at Roland Garros.

"You are not judged by the height you have risen, but from the depth you have climbed." Frederick Douglass-1881
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2003, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annarocks
Everyone feels bad for Serena because she cried when she lost one match...and because the crowd turned on her....that is sooo pathetic!!!

Of course the crowd was going to turn on her...didn't she KILL Mauresmo in the Quarterfinals two days before? And, didn't she look like a damn monster (predator) while doing it? Like she was going to really, actually kill Mauresmo.

By the way, did Mauresmo cry when she lost badly to Serena? I don't think so!

Just live with it people...Serena showed her lack of class too!
Everyone knows Justine didn't win that match fare. SHE KINDA STOLE IT and that's the reason the board didn't go crazy after she got that title. So its to you benefits to just let this go, because I don't think you want your favorite's scandle to be talked time again. Serena was classy enough to give Justine credit.
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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2003, 08:02 PM
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annarocks
Everyone feels bad for Serena because she cried when she lost one match...and because the crowd turned on her....that is sooo pathetic!!!

Of course the crowd was going to turn on her...didn't she KILL Mauresmo in the Quarterfinals two days before? And, didn't she look like a damn monster (predator) while doing it? Like she was going to really, actually kill Mauresmo.

By the way, did Mauresmo cry when she lost badly to Serena? I don't think so!

Just live with it people...Serena showed her lack of class too!
The beating Amelie got from Serena at the FO was justified and well deserved becuase of what Amelie said about Richard Williams last year after Wimbeldon (after another beating from Serena). She said that Richard would fix the match so Venus would win (Serena did) and along with Justine, said that the domination of the sisters at slams was not good for tennis. Of course she could have prevented that at Wimbeldon and at the USO (where Venus beat her), but she couldn't because she didn't play well enough.

Face it; payback is a bitch.
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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2003, 08:09 PM
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okay, first of all, Justine did not STEAL the match.
ridiculous assertion!

second, I agree that I think the crowd does affect Serena more than she lets on. she is a pretty emotional person so its hard to believe that she could block it out entirely.

anyway, movin' on to Wimby...
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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2003, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by RAA
okay, first of all, Justine did not STEAL the match.
ridiculous assertion!

second, I agree that I think the crowd does affect Serena more than she lets on. she is a pretty emotional person so its hard to believe that she could block it out entirely.

anyway, movin' on to Wimby...
What you mean Justine the cheater didn't steal that match? She did that under the thousands pairs of eyes.
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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2003, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annarocks
Everyone feels bad for Serena because she cried when she lost one match...and because the crowd turned on her....that is sooo pathetic!!!

Of course the crowd was going to turn on her...didn't she KILL Mauresmo in the Quarterfinals two days before? And, didn't she look like a damn monster (predator) while doing it? Like she was going to really, actually kill Mauresmo.

By the way, did Mauresmo cry when she lost badly to Serena? I don't think so!

Just live with it people...Serena showed her lack of class too!
VenuSerenAnna?
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2003, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizchris
The beating Amelie got from Serena at the FO was justified and well deserved becuase of what Amelie said about Richard Williams last year after Wimbeldon (after another beating from Serena). She said that Richard would fix the match so Venus would win (Serena did) and along with Justine, said that the domination of the sisters at slams was not good for tennis. Of course she could have prevented that at Wimbeldon and at the USO (where Venus beat her), but she couldn't because she didn't play well enough.

Face it; payback is a bitch.
Payback?
Justine beat her!

N N




~|~ Justine Henin-Hardenne ~|~ ~|~ Karolina Sprem ~|~ ~|~ Ashley Harkleroad~|~ ~|~ Marissa Irvin ~|~ ~|~ Corina Morariu ~|~ ~|~ Anna Kournikova ~|~ ~|~ Clarisa Fernandez ~|~ ~|~ Flavia Pennetta ~|~ ~|~ Iroda Tulyaganova ~|~ ~|~ Lina Krasnoroutskaya ~|~ ~|~ Denisa Chladkova ~|~ ~|~ Patty Schnyder ~|~ ~|~ Aniko Kapros ~|~ ~|~ Daja Bedanova ~|~ ~|~ Maja Matevzic ~|~ ~|~ Alexandra Stevenson ~|~
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