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jt1520
May 14th, 2009, 05:31 AM
Serena's protests lack teeth

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http://a.espncdn.com/i/columnists/Tandon_Kamakshi_35.jpg (http://search.espn.go.com/kamakshi-tandon/) By Kamakshi Tandon
Special to ESPN.com
Archive (http://search.espn.go.com/kamakshi-tandon/)

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2009/0512/ten_g_serenawilliams_576.jpgJavier Soriano/Getty ImagesSerena Williams believes the WTA Tour's punishments are too severe.
MADRID -- Serena Williams (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=394) is on a four-match losing streak for the first time in her career, and she wants you to know that she's holding the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour responsible. Recently, Williams has repeatedly accused the tour of forcing her to playing tournaments when not fully fit, alluding to a draconian system of fines and punishments that compels her to drag an obviously hurting leg on court week after week.


A few days after she lost in Rome last week, an update on Williams' Twitter page said, "I don't think it was a good idea to play Rome, but I would have been punished so I played and now I am suffering but the WTA has RULES!"


She expanded on the theme in one of her typically colorful blog entries for her Web site, writing: "Now, I'm getting my leg prepared for the French Open. I don't think it was good for me to play Rome, but the WTA has rules and regulations that they enforce. There are moments like now where I feel they don't care if you are headless if you don't play a tournament you are severely punished. I personally disagree with some of the rules enforced by the WTA, yet I comply. So, for now, I am preparing myself and trying to remain calm."


Just to make sure the message was getting through, Williams repeated the sentiment in similar terms during a pre-tournament news conference in this week's Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open. "Unfortunately, it doesn't matter if you are injured, it doesn't matter if you are dead or alive, if you don't play they are going to fine you heavy on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, so I have to play," she said. "Whether I'm injured or not, that's how it is, so I have no choice."


A day later, Williams retired at 6-4 down against Francesca Schiavone (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=378) in her first-round match with a right knee injury, acknowledging that she abandoned the match to avoid aggravating the injury ahead of the French Open. "I didn't want to risk my chances to play Roland Garros," Williams said after Monday's loss. "I wanted to do well [here] but at the end of the day, I'm trying to play Paris and still trying to play singles and doubles there."


She had anticipated the injury would be an issue before arriving in Madrid. "Yeah, but I don't really have a choice whether I can play or not," she said, echoing her earlier complaints.


Williams said the problems that have plagued her through the early spring are all related, beginning in the final of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami and continuing through first-round losses at the Andalucia Tennis Experience in Marbella, the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, and now Madrid.


So what are these "severe punishments'" compelling the world No. 2 to traipse around the courts of Europe instead of resting her leg? Actually, nothing that debilitating -- a couple of five-figure fines and potentially a few hundred thousand in bonus prize money. Not peanuts, but hardly crippling for a multimillionaire athlete who values her health.
[+] Enlargehttp://a.espncdn.com/photo/2009/0512/ten_g_serena1_200.jpg (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/columns/story?columnist=tandon_kamakshi&id=4161689#) Ryan Pierse/Getty ImagesDespite the amount of money Serena Williams has earned, she takes exception to giving any of it back to the WTA Tour.


For a player at Williams' level, pulling out of Madrid would mean a $75,000 fine, plus giving up the $400,000 in bonus money the WTA awards to top players for playing all four mandatory events. But Williams had already forfeited the bonus when she pulled out of the mandatory BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, so the only financial cost of pulling out of Madrid would have been the fine, which is relatively modest given her $2 million earnings to date this season.
Still, the recently cost-conscious Williams sees even $75,000 as steep. "I'm remodeling a house," she said. "Seventy-five thousand dollars -- I don't know about to anyone else, but that's a lot of money to me. That's like my whole furniture bill -- some stairs, rugs, that can go a long way. In this economy, I'm not in a position to just write out $75,000 checks. Are you?"


Ana Ivanovic (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=200), who also has a knee injury, decided to go the opposite route, withdrawing from Madrid and accepting the penalties. The Serb has also previously criticized the tour's increased scheduling requirements: "I do believe it's going to be a lot of tournaments we have to commit to and it's maybe going to be a little bit harder in that sense," she said at the end of last season. "We don't have much opportunity to choose, and at the end of the day it might be that we play more matches than we did in previous years." Of course, the real teeth behind participation in mandatory events like Madrid is supposed to be the suspension players can receive for missing it. But that rule has a major loophole -- the suspension is waived as long as the player appears at the tournament to explain her absence, or does a tour-related promotional event in the tournament region in the next 12 months.



What's more, WTA officials say that fulfilling the appearance obligation also cancels out the fine, leaving only the rankings penalty of zero points for the tournament. That makes Williams' financial concerns and statement about "having to play" even more incongruous. In fact, she need never have set foot on court -- having come to Madrid and already done her pre-event promotional activities by Monday, she had already saved $75,000 for the home renovations budget and didn't have to risk further injury by playing a match.
The increased scheduling restrictions the tour has introduced this year have come with a significant increase in prize money, most prominently the $4.5 million events like Madrid that offer prize money equal to the men's. Wittingly or unwittingly, players traded freedom for cash when submitting to the Roadmap.
The ATP's stance


The ATP also levies punishments to players who miss mandatory events. Here is a brief outline from ATPworldtennis.com:
If eligible to play in one of the Grand Slam or ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, a player must count the points from these tournaments, even if it is 'a zero pointer' because he missed the event. Just as in Formula One and numerous other sports, if a competitor misses a race or an event, he loses his chances to earn points. Players with direct acceptance who do not play an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament will be suspended from a subsequent ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event which will be the next highest point earned ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event within the next 12 months. If an injured player is on-site within the first three days of a tournament to conduct promotional activities over a two day period, a suspension will not be enforced but a 0-pointer will be counted on a player's ranking.



Many realized it only at the end of last season, too late to push for signficant modifications. "Many players probably didn't look deep into it and kind of let it go, and all of a sudden you're there with the change, so it's a little bit hard," said Ivanovic.


"The WTA is doing everything for themselves, for the sponsors, but they don't realize we have to choose where we want to play and not want to play," said Agnieszka Radwanska (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=405), just one of a number of players expressing reservations and confusion about the upcoming season's calendar makeover.


Ironically, one of the few players who expressed public support for the changes has been Serena's sister Venus (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=403), who is a member of the WTA Player Council.


"It creates a stronger business model for not only the players but the tournaments," said Venus. "I feel like the Roadmap is a great thing."


"The cornerstone rationale behind the tour's 2009 Roadmap calendar is that fans deserve to see their favorite players playing more consistently on the tour's biggest stages, and that players deserve as healthy a calendar as possible," the WTA Tour said in a statement. "In this latter regard, the tour's 2009 Roadmap calendar is in many respects the healthiest calendar for players in the tour's history, highlighted by a longer offseason, more in-season breaks, and a top player commitment reduced from 12 to 10 events."


Serena was even-tempered on Monday, given the circumstances, but would not be drawn on whether she would accept a drop in prize money for the return of greater flexibility. "I don't know about that; I'm just here to try to compete and do my best and it didn't work out," she said.
One of the key elements of the new tournament participation rules is that being injured no longer allows players to avoid fines and/or an appearance at bigger events. Asked if she thought the new rules were developed partly as a reaction to her frequent and sometimes dubious pullouts in past years, Williams said, "Yeah, I don't know, I guess."
Last week, Williams made headlines when she declared that she, and not the newly crowned Dinara Safina (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=246), was the "real" world's No. 1. The truth of the statement is difficult to dispute, even if the reigning U.S. Open and Australian Open champ drew some criticism for her bluntness.
But her protests about being forced to play ring more hollow. For years, Williams paid the rules scant attention and set her schedule according to her own priorities and physical state. Now, she seems to be setting a rather low price on her own health by choosing to play injured rather than pay a few fines.
It's a strange sight: a player who has earned almost $24 million in prize money during her career -- not to mention millions more in endorsements -- martyring herself over a few hundred thousand dollars. But so far, she has no convincing explanation for why she has made that choice. And make no mistake -- a choice it is.

In The Zone
May 14th, 2009, 05:39 AM
It is not anyone's business to discuss finances of other people. It's rude, unprofessional and classless.

The article could have made it about Serena being foolish about her knee and her legacy and the slams, blah blah -- but it focused on money. Talk about classless. It totally drained any respectability the article had to offer.

Inktrailer
May 14th, 2009, 05:43 AM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jonathanoverend/2009/05/serena_wrong_over_wta_rules.html

Posted on the BBC website last night. She should really talk less in public.

дalex
May 14th, 2009, 06:54 AM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jonathanoverend/2009/05/serena_wrong_over_wta_rules.html

Posted on the BBC website last night. She should really talk less in public.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jonathanoverend/serenablog595.jpg

Fran is so nice :awww:...

bobbynorwich
May 14th, 2009, 07:01 AM
It is in poor taste to discuss someone else's finances. But in this case both the BBC and the ESPN articles merely quoted what was already in the public record --- that is, her earnings as listed on WTA website and Serena's disclosure at a press conference about her remodeling expenses as the reason for playing to avoid a fine. They obviously had to reference her income level to put the $75,000 fine into perspective. The reporters didn't dig into her personal finances. They didn't make any judgments about how she handles her finances or her lifestyle. The ESPN piece did however question whether an injured professional athlete should protect her bankbook instead of her body. Because Serena raised her financial situation as the rationale for playing despite injured and so it was not only right --- it was essential --- for the reporters to bring that into the story.


The real problem with the BBC story is Overend's assumption that Serena didn't seek a medical waiver and that she doesn't understand the WTA rules. No one knows for sure if she sought a WTA physician's waiver (as some posters have claimed), but it's 100% certain that Serena understands a doctor's excuse will prevent a player from getting a fine. That part of the story is just silly and unfairly makes her sound not-so-bright.

.

Junex
May 14th, 2009, 08:32 AM
It is not anyone's business to discuss finances of other people. It's rude, unprofessional and classless.

The article could have made it about Serena being foolish about her knee and her legacy and the slams, blah blah -- but it focused on money. Talk about classless. It totally drained any respectability the article had to offer.

Didn't we always read about it in Forbes Magazine?

Oh right, Forbes is the rudest, most unprofessional, very classles magazine in the world!!!!

It is only it is when it is done without the knowledge or consent of the person involved, but clearly with Serena and most celebrities/athletes they have partial disclosures of their assets to the public which this article doesn't get beyond into!

Jizynovic
May 14th, 2009, 08:45 AM
she will not takes the RG
why should she concern of missing the tournament

Golovinjured.
May 14th, 2009, 11:32 AM
So, she didn't even need to play Madrid? She would have lost absolutely nothing by not playing her R1, so what's her argument? She'd done her promotional work in Madrid - so the $75,000 fine was waived - and she'd already forfeited her bonus $400,000 from Indian Wells, so no fines.

Anyone else :confused:

Inktrailer
May 14th, 2009, 11:58 AM
Maybe she couldn't get a doctors certificate???

2Black
May 14th, 2009, 02:05 PM
Who are we to say that $75,000 isn't alot of money to someone. If you make more money, you spend more so $75,000 could very well be alot to her.

If I became a multi-millionaire, I would hope that I remember that 75,000 is ALOT of money!!!

Golovinjured.
May 14th, 2009, 02:09 PM
^^ She'd already secured her $75,000 because she'd done the media work.



What's more, WTA officials say that fulfilling the appearance obligation also cancels out the fine, leaving only the rankings penalty of zero points for the tournament. That makes Williams' financial concerns and statement about "having to play" even more incongruous. In fact, she need never have set foot on court -- having come to Madrid and already done her pre-event promotional activities by Monday, she had already saved $75,000 for the home renovations budget and didn't have to risk further injury by playing a match.

sammy01
May 14th, 2009, 02:18 PM
the rules seem fair to me. she could have incurred only a 0 pointer on her ranking for skipping madrid if she complies with the rules.

lets face it the WTA is the one thats made her the highest earning female athlete ever, if she cant come and fulfill her commitments which are as little as doing tournament promotion then she deserves any criticism thats leveled at her.

the WTA isnt forcing her to play its forcing her to support the tour by doing promotional work even if shes injured, i don't think thats much to ask when serenas made a life out of the WTA.

Knizzle
May 14th, 2009, 02:42 PM
Can't the WTA deny u access to a tournament if they feel you have pulled out of consecutive tournaments for unwarranted reasons?

Knizzle
May 14th, 2009, 02:59 PM
the rules seem fair to me. she could have incurred only a 0 pointer on her ranking for skipping madrid if she complies with the rules.

lets face it the WTA is the one thats made her the highest earning female athlete ever, if she cant come and fulfill her commitments which are as little as doing tournament promotion then she deserves any criticism thats leveled at her.

the WTA isnt forcing her to play its forcing her to support the tour by doing promotional work even if shes injured, i don't think thats much to ask when serenas made a life out of the WTA.the WTA did not make her, she doesn't owe them squat.

Ciarán
May 14th, 2009, 03:06 PM
This blog was posted on the BBC website by their tennis correspondent Jonathan Overend. I think it is a very interesting article and solidifies the fact that Serena really did retire just not to be 'beaten' 4 matches in a row or done it to gain some sort of attention. After reading this I have lost a lot of respect for her as a person.


Picking up the pay cheque has become a casual habit for many tennis players.

I once witnessed a top 10 star sauntering into a tournament office, having been thrashed unforgiveably, and the cheque was acquired with the smile of a lottery winner and the slyness of a pickpocket. A quick glance, to make sure there were sufficient zeros, and he was gone.

Players are creatures of habit - they like to use the same locker, eat at the same restaurant, not step on the lines - and the pocketing of the cheque has become a habit too. Not a moment's thought. Rich man's RSI.

Of course for guys and girls lower down the rankings this is an essential pay day, the only way they can survive on the costly tennis circuit. It's some of the millionaires who could do with showing a little more respect and gratitude, one in particular.

Serena Williams is a magnificent tennis player who retains the ability to play everyone else off the court.

Her "Serena Slam" of 2002/2003, when she won four successive major championships, is one of the finest achievements in the recent history of women's sport and, by outlasting many of her long-since-retired contemporaries, she has proved that a pursuit of healthy off-court interests can assist career longevity.

But over the course of her career too many people have nodded their head whenever she opens her mouth. People are scared of her; officials, umpires, opponents, yes even journalists. And this week, here in Madrid, things have got out of hand.

Serena, who has earned $24 million in prize money from the WTA over her career (and at least treble that with appearance fees and endorsements) claimed she is being forced to play in tournaments.

She said she would be punished if she didn't play and couldn't afford the fines. Folk nodded and wrote the stories.

She has cluttered airwaves, press conferences and even cyberspace with total disinformation and the record needs setting straight.

Since injuring her right knee in the final of the Miami tournament in April, she has played every event she has entered - Marbella, Rome and Madrid - without winning a match. Here in Spain she played one set against Francesca Schiavone before retiring.

On the Friday before starting in the Spanish capital, Serena sent out a tweet through Twitter: "I don't think it was a good idea to play Rome but I would have been punished so I played and now I am suffering but the WTA has RULES!"

She followed that by posting on her official website: "There are moments like now where I feel they don't care if you are headless if you don't play a tournament you are severely punished."



After the Schiavone match, when asked whether she should have pulled out of the tournament rather than attempt to play, she said: "I'm not into just throwing thousands and thousands of dollars away [in fines]. I'm remodelling a house and, I don't know about anyone else, but it's a lot of money to me."

"I mean, that's my whole furniture bill and some stairs, rugs, that can go a long way."

The clear implication is that she feels forced into playing through injury by an overly strict WTA rulebook. A rulebook she clearly hasn't read properly.

Nobody is forcing an injured player to play a match, that clearly would be insane and irresponsible. What the WTA has introduced, for its premier tournaments, is a requirement for injured players to turn up to the venue, shake a few hands, do some media and sponsor work.

If those commitments are fulfilled - and a medical certificate is produced - the fine for not playing will be waived. The player can even turn up on any one of three nominated dates in the future, if more convenient.

Serena Williams would not have been fined for pulling out of her match with Schiavone because she had already honoured her commitments and the suggestion that she would have been fined $75,000 was total hogwash.

The same situation was true in Rome - a bit of handshaking and publicity work and the fine would have been waived.

The WTA has not particularly helped itself by having such a complex tournament structure (and a rulebook which clearly some players cannot follow) but they are totally justified in demanding more from their stars.

Good people, from Florida to London, work tirelessly on basic salaries to try to get millionaires more millions. The least they can ask is a bit in return and Serena's ranting is just plain rude to those who, amongst other things, have secured equal prize money at Wimbledon.

Away from Madrid, where the much vaunted new stadium "The Magic Box" has been short on atmosphere and has been critisised by the players, diplomatically in public, more colourfully in private, Richard Gasquet is starting his fight to clear his name from allegations of drug taking.

The former Wimbledon semi-finalist tested positive for cocaine in Miami and has been provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) pending a tribunal hearing.

The Frenchman protests his innocence but needs a world-beating legal team to get him out of this one. It's a sad story and a potentially career-ending development for someone who is perceived as mentally fragile and not particularly worldly-wise.

His suspension is under the World Anti Doping Agency (Wada) code, rewritten in January this year, which no longer protects athletes' anonymity after positive tests. Suspensions are now the norm until the tribunal sits, but this was not the case five years ago when tennis faced one of the biggest drugs scandas in sporting history.

Remeber the "Nandrolone Seven" from 2004? Seven players tested positive for the banned steroid but were acquitted on a legal technicality so their names never came out.

I was told at the time, by a very well-placed informant, that at least one major international star was in that group. If the affair had happened now, that star would be firmly in the dock - suspended, named and undeniably shamed. Lucky them.

As for Gasquet, he thought the win of his life was at Wimbledon 2007 when he blitzed 100 winners past Andy Roddick to retrieve a two-set defecit in their quarter-final. A victory in a very different court later this year would be even bigger and, unfortunately for him, even more improbable.

spartanfan
May 14th, 2009, 03:12 PM
Obviously this writer has not followed Serena's career very closely, her comments are said tongue and cheek, and not to be taken seriously when it comes to money issues.

volta
May 14th, 2009, 03:12 PM
oh God

Dini.
May 14th, 2009, 03:12 PM
Interesting article.

I agree that her comments have gone way out of hand. But she is frustrated, that is quite evident.

Just sort yourself out Rena. :hug:

Miss Atomic Bomb
May 14th, 2009, 03:13 PM
Another hater to add to the haters list , such writers are just jealous of her achievments :wavey: It was pretty obvious he hasnt followed Serena at all,most of her comments are toungue in cheek comments.

ps:- If a person 'loses' the respect he had for another person by reading the review of some random guy who had never even followed her, then he has some issues.

frenchie
May 14th, 2009, 03:13 PM
Oh please leave Serena alone!

Ciarán
May 14th, 2009, 03:21 PM
Another hater to add to the haters list , such writers are just jealous of her achievments :wavey: It was pretty obvious he hasnt followed Serena at all,most of her comments are toungue in cheek comments.

ps:- If a person 'loses' the respect he had for another person by reading the review of some random guy who had never even followed her, then he has some issues.

Why would a sports editor be a bias hater or jealous of a sport he does not even compete in? And it's not only that, as a huge sport athlete that many people look up to she should be more conservative IMO.

Miss Atomic Bomb
May 14th, 2009, 03:26 PM
Why would a sports editor be a bias hater or jealous of a sport he does not even compete in? And it's not only that, as a huge sport athlete that many people look up to she should be more conservative IMO.

By conservative you mean shout out " Allez up your ass " to a whole nation on their own soil?


Serena is what she is, she jokes around a lot, she is free spirited, and thats why her fans love her. She shouldnt change for anyone else.

дalex
May 14th, 2009, 03:38 PM
Serena is what she is, she jokes around a lot, she is free spirited, and thats why her fans love her. She shouldnt change for anyone else.

Exactly! And if I may add... the same should be said for certain Serbian tennis player... the wonderful & charismatic Ms. Jankovic. ;)

ruanz3
May 14th, 2009, 03:39 PM
No surprise coming from Serena, just look at all these threads about her.

Lucemferre
May 14th, 2009, 03:40 PM
Another article taking everything way to seriously ans bashing Serena. Very refreshing :hearts:

Lucemferre
May 14th, 2009, 03:41 PM
Exactly! And if I may add... the same should be said for certain Serbian tennis player... the wonderful & charismatic Ms. Jankovic. ;)

But she always get a pass and is always 'funny' :o She should get the Serena treatment or even worse because she won no majors.

SvetaPleaseWin.
May 14th, 2009, 03:43 PM
tbf the article is right.

Slutiana
May 14th, 2009, 03:43 PM
Obviously this writer has not followed Serena's career very closely, her comments are said tongue and cheek, and not to be taken seriously when it comes to money issues.
Yeah. I thought that was a joke too.

I think its more to do with the big fat 0 that she would have gotten from the last two tournaments.

TheBoiledEgg
May 14th, 2009, 03:48 PM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jonathanoverend/2009/05/serena_wrong_over_wta_rules.html

he's the BBC Tennis Correspondent
i dont always agree what he says cos he hates Kolya and is so far up Murray's ass but he's not far off the mark here

InsideOut.
May 14th, 2009, 03:49 PM
The writer has a point. :shrug: It does seem true that Serena is pretty ignorant of the rules surrounding injured players.

дalex
May 14th, 2009, 03:49 PM
But she always get a pass and is always 'funny' :o She should get the Serena treatment or even worse because she won no majors.

Whatever. Jelena got enough of the "treatment" for not having a GS title. And she is funny. No need for :o...

Wimbledon9
May 14th, 2009, 03:49 PM
What is it with these Serena fans, she can do no wrong with them, maybe she wants to destroy womens tennis well in a few years she is gone with loads of money and she does not give a shit what will happen after her. I do not like it when a person with so much money and so little class makes jokes or not we do not know, with an amount of 75.000 dollars a lot of money for most people who have to work hard for years to earn it. Serena should think were she came from.

QUEENLINDSAY
May 14th, 2009, 03:57 PM
Stay on the subject guys! The writer is just stating the obvious and he just nailed it.

bobbynorwich
May 14th, 2009, 03:58 PM
The real problem with the BBC story is Overend's assumption that Serena didn't seek a medical waiver and that she doesn't understand the WTA rules. No one knows for sure if she sought a WTA physician's waiver (as some posters have claimed), but it's 100% certain that Serena understands a doctor's excuse will prevent a player from getting a fine. That part of the story is just silly and unfairly makes her sound not-so-bright.

treufreund
May 14th, 2009, 04:08 PM
Serena shows no sensitivity to those who humbly work to make the WTA possible. She is a rich, spoiled diva with no sensitivity towards those who are struggling in this bad economy. Acting like $75,000 (which she would not even have been fined!!!! :fiery: ) is a big amount to her is the epitome of crassness. Her fans seem to ALWAYS BELIEVE that Serena is the VICTIM no matter what rude things she says or how she behaves. :rolleyes:

mdterp01
May 14th, 2009, 04:17 PM
:yawn: :zzz:

mdterp01
May 14th, 2009, 04:29 PM
the WTA did not make her, she doesn't owe them squat.

THANK YOU!!!! :worship:

gmokb
May 14th, 2009, 04:44 PM
Just imagine paying all these fines everytime she is injured and pulls out of a matches? They add up, she already gave them $400K as the writer just pointed out. She is correct to refuse to give away anymore and I agree, show up and pull out. Serves them right and baby girl continue to speak your mind. Too many celebs are concern about be politically correct or hyprocritics.

serenus_2k8
May 14th, 2009, 04:46 PM
Serena is only rich because of immense talent and very hard work. Why do people act like her name was just plucked out a hat and millions of dollars thrusted in her hands. Just because she is successful doesnt mean she needs to just bend over for anyone and keep her opinion to herself :rolleyes:

The WTA isnt scared of Serena. They are scared of what the implications would be should a star like Serena pack up and leave. She helps generate so much worldwide interest for womens tennis that a lot of other players simply dont, hence she deserves to be well paid and have her opinion respected, not least of all because of how long she has been playing on the tour for which means she has enough experience to back up her comments.

The fact that even huge tennis fans like the posters here cant get to grips with all the new rules the WTA has means Serena may simply be unsure where she stands in terms of fines and honouring commitments. It just seems so rich when in the past she used to pull out when injured and all the journalists flocked out with their ''Shes out partying'' etc excuses, yet now when she shows up and its obvious she isnt/wasnt lying, she is a massive villain too despite doing her absolute best to support the tour...

Golovinjured.
May 14th, 2009, 04:47 PM
OMG ARE YOU GUYS EVEN READING? SERIOUSLY?

What's more, WTA officials say that fulfilling the appearance obligation also cancels out the fine, leaving only the rankings penalty of zero points for the tournament. That makes Williams' financial concerns and statement about "having to play" even more incongruous. In fact, she need never have set foot on court -- having come to Madrid and already done her pre-event promotional activities by Monday, she had already saved $75,000 for the home renovations budget and didn't have to risk further injury by playing a match.

Serenita
May 14th, 2009, 04:48 PM
It is not anyone's business to discuss finances of other people. It's rude, unprofessional and classless.

The article could have made it about Serena being foolish about her knee and her legacy and the slams, blah blah -- but it focused on money. Talk about classless. It totally drained any respectability the article had to offer.
Blinded by hate! this is getting way to personal.

Ciarán
May 14th, 2009, 04:49 PM
I appreciate where you are coming from, but the WTA will not fine Serena for being injured.

joão.
May 14th, 2009, 04:53 PM
Serena :(

Matt01
May 14th, 2009, 05:10 PM
Another hater to add to the haters list


LOL...I really low how quick the oversensitive, deluded Serena fans are to label people as haters as soon as someone dares to criticize their fave. If I remember correctly there is a haters list in the Serena subforum so you can add that person now.

terjw
May 14th, 2009, 05:21 PM
Can't the WTA deny u access to a tournament if they feel you have pulled out of consecutive tournaments for unwarranted reasons?

No. The only time they can do that is if you pull out of a mandatory tournment and don't do your Aces activitiy. But no-one is going to skip the Aces activity "punishment" and prefer a suspension instead. As the article said - she could have withdrawn and done her Aces activity and she doen't even get fined.

God knows what she's whining about.

terjw
May 14th, 2009, 05:27 PM
Just imagine paying all these fines everytime she is injured and pulls out of a matches? They add up, she already gave them $400K as the writer just pointed out. She is correct to refuse to give away anymore and I agree, show up and pull out. Serves them right and baby girl continue to speak your mind. Too many celebs are concern about be politically correct or hyprocritics.

If a player is long term injured - she can pull out of tournament until she says she is OK and punishments / consequences only apply to the first tournament withdrawn in the consecutive sequence. So for example this would be the case with Vera Zvonoreva. But you do have to withdraw from them all at the start. Not the drip drip of late withdrawals every week which she used to be so fond of doing.

As always - a lot of misinformation about the WTA rules.

starin
May 14th, 2009, 06:21 PM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jonathanoverend/serenablog595.jpg

Fran is so nice :awww:...

I know if you see the video on wtatour.com Fran was really sweet to Serena. :hug: Fran

And Kamakashi Tandon has written a negative article on Serena?! :speakles:
i'm shocked, absolutely shocked. it's not like every single article this lady writes is extremely negative on both WS. She's just a hater w/ an axe to grind.
I really don't understand what the WS have done to inspire such ire from the American tennis press.

serenus_2k8
May 14th, 2009, 06:23 PM
If a player is long term injured - she can pull out of tournament until she says she is OK and punishments / consequences only apply to the first tournament withdrawn in the consecutive sequence. So for example this would be the case with Vera Zvonoreva. But you do have to withdraw from them all at the start. Not the drip drip of late withdrawals every week which she used to be so fond of doing.

As always - a lot of misinformation about the WTA rules.

Well the drip drip withdrawl is only due to the nature of her injury. It would be insane to cancel a load of events if she had a strain that could get better after a week or so resting. Plus since she was number 1 and shes a huge marquee player, its better for her and for the tour if she is given the oppurtunity to try and arrive at the events. I bet they arent complaining that she waits until she is positive she cannot play before pulling out, thats for sure.

serenus_2k8
May 14th, 2009, 06:24 PM
I know if you see the video on wtatour.com Fran was really sweet to Serena. :hug: Fran

And Kamakashi Tandon has written a negative article on Serena?! :speakles:
i'm shocked, absolutely shocked. it's not like every single article this lady writes is extremely negative on both WS. She's just a hater w/ an axe to grind.
I really don't understand what the WS have done to inspire such ire from the American tennis press.

You mean other than being infinitely more amazing and achieving far more than all of the put together? :lol:

youizahoe
May 14th, 2009, 06:36 PM
God, can't we just move on? I bet any human says things that are stupid at least 10 times in their lives, should we all be punished for it? No. It's frankly a quite dumb article that doesn't say anything new compared to the 500 others that have already been published days in advance.

Serenidad2
May 14th, 2009, 06:37 PM
Fightforyourrightsrena. :inlove:

starin
May 14th, 2009, 06:49 PM
You mean other than being infinitely more amazing and achieving far more than all of the put together? :lol:

:lol:
But they should be happy cuz in the last decade or so the WS have won 17 singles slams. Compared w/ 5 slams won by all other Americans :tape::help:
As American tennis writes and commentators they should be thankful the WS have given them 10 years of slam winning tennis. If there were no WS they would have absolutely nothing to write about except how Roddick isn't good enough to win slams. I mean you would think they would root for the WS but instead they are constantly hoping they fail. :help:

Serenita
May 14th, 2009, 06:51 PM
:lol:
But they should be happy cuz in the last decade or so they are they have won 17 singles slams. Compared w/ 5 slams won by all other Americans :tape::help:
As American tennis writes and commentators they should be thankful the WS have given them 10 years of slam winning tennis. If there were no WS they would have absolutely nothing to write about except how Roddick isn't good enough to win slams. I mean you would think they would root for the WS but instead they are constantly hoping they fail. :help:
:kiss: well said.

bobbynorwich
May 14th, 2009, 07:27 PM
Well the drip drip withdrawl is only due to the nature of her injury. It would be insane to cancel a load of events if she had a strain that could get better after a week or so resting.

What exactly is the nature of this injury? In the press conference the day before her Madrid match, Serena said she: "felt confident," "felt good," "am happy to be here" and "am excited to get my first win." Huh? If you have a serious injury, how can you be confident, feel good, be happy for playing there, and anticipate a win? Interview excerpt:

Serena Williams says the Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open will be critical to restoring her clay court form in the build up to the French Open later this month. The world No.2, who didn’t win a match in Marbella or Rome, said she’s felt confident during the clay court swing but acknowledged that confidence hadn’t translated into results so far. “I feel good going into this tournament but then I felt good going into Romesaid Williams. “I’m happy to be here and excited to get my first win on a clay court this season.“I’ve had a heavy schedule but I wanted to try to play some clay court events and I absolutely love Spain,” she said. http://simplyserenawilliams.blogspot...onference.html (http://simplyserenawilliams.blogspot.com/2009/05/serenas-madrid-press-conference.html)Yet, incredibly, during the press conference the very next day after losing to Schiavone, she lashed out at the WTA's policies and fines that require her to play despite some unspecified month long injury to her left leg. She also suggested that it wasn't so much an injury but rather "I didn't want to risk my chances to play Roland Garros."



Rather than blaming her woes all on the WTA, she could have done some damage control to repair her image if she'd said something that took personal responsibility, like:I really think the new WTA requirements are too demanding, but I'm going to do my part to prevent further injury under this new unforgiving schedule. As of today, I'm going to work very hard to drop the extra weight which I now realize is putting too much strain on my legs and knees. If not about the weight specifically, a little ownership and personal responsibility for her fix would greatly lessen all this negative pr.

Furthermore during that interview, when asked whether her habit of pulling out of tourneys and long absences was one of the reasons the WTA adopted the new rules, she reportedly said something to the effect: "Yeah, maybe, it could be." This was quoted in a different thread which I can't find now, so if anyone has the interview transcript, please post to verify. The crux of the problem is that Serena's just having a bundle of trouble adapting to the new house rules, which she (and a few others) made happen. Now she's back to her old tricks. Imo, the tennis world should be outraged at her recalcitrance.

Btw, is it the left leg which is taped or the right one which is being worked on?

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/45761000/jpg/_45761710_williams226body.jpg

LDVTennis
May 14th, 2009, 08:26 PM
What exactly is the nature of this injury? In the press conference the day before her Madrid match, Serena said she: "felt confident," "felt good," "am happy to be here" and "am excited to get my first win." Huh? If you have a serious injury, how can you be confident, feel good, be happy for playing there, and anticipate a win? Interview excerpt:

Serena Williams says the Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open will be critical to restoring her clay court form in the build up to the French Open later this month. The world No.2, who didn’t win a match in Marbella or Rome, said she’s felt confident during the clay court swing but acknowledged that confidence hadn’t translated into results so far. “I feel good going into this tournament but then I felt good going into Romesaid Williams. “I’m happy to be here and excited to get my first win on a clay court this season.“I’ve had a heavy schedule but I wanted to try to play some clay court events and I absolutely love Spain,” she said. http://simplyserenawilliams.blogspot...onference.html (http://simplyserenawilliams.blogspot.com/2009/05/serenas-madrid-press-conference.html)Yet, incredibly, during the press conference the very next day after losing to Schiavone, she lashed out at the WTA's policies and fines that require her to play despite some unspecified month long injury to her left leg. She also suggested that it wasn't so much an injury but rather "I didn't want to risk my chances to play Roland Garros."


Rather than blaming her woes all on the WTA, she could have done some damage control to her image if she'd said something that took personal responsibility, like:I really think the new WTA requirements are too demanding, but I'm going to do my part to prevent further injury under this new unforgiving schedule. As of today, I'm going to work very hard to drop the extra weight which I now realize is putting too much strain on my legs and knees.
If not about the weight specifically, a little ownership and personal responsibility for her fix would greatly lessen all this negative pr.

Furthermore during that interview, when asked whether her habit of pulling out of tourneys and long absences was one of the reasons the WTA adopted the new rules, she reportedly said something to the effect: "Yeah, maybe, it could be." This was quoted in a different thread which I can't find now, so if anyone has the interview transcript, please post to verify. The crux of the problem is that Serena's just having a bundle of trouble adapting to the new house rules, which she (and a few others) made happen. Now she's back to her old tricks. Imo, the tennis world should be outraged at her recalcitrance.

Insightful, reasonable, logical. Come on, what kind of trouble are you starting? That's only going to incense the mob around here.---:D

bobbynorwich
May 14th, 2009, 08:38 PM
Insightful, reasonable, logical. Come on, what kind of trouble are you starting? That's only going to incense the mob around here.---:D

Well thank you, LDVTennis. Hopefully though many fans will enjoy a good and fair debate on whatever the issue. It is a debate forum after all and if we all agreed, it'd be nothing more than a boring lovefest fan site. Personally, I find fans sites of my faves a complete waste of time ... nothing much new to learn and no real debate. Anyway, hope springs eternal.


http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)

.

thrust
May 14th, 2009, 08:43 PM
the WTA did not make her, she doesn't owe them squat.

THEY DON'T OWE HER SQUAT EITHER. SERENA IS A IMMATURE CHRONIC COMPLAINER. SHE IS A GREAT TENNIS PLAYER, BUT ALSO A SORE LOSER WHO HAS A MUCH TOO HIGH OPINION OF HERSELF. IF SHE IS BROKE THEN SHE IS STUPID, AS SHE HAS MADE MANY MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN TENNIS. THEREFORE, TENNIS OWES HER NOTHING!

darrinbaker00
May 14th, 2009, 08:53 PM
the WTA did not make her, she doesn't owe them squat.
The WTA Tour gave Serena Williams the opportunity to travel the world several times over and make millions upon millions of dollars while doing so. It also gave you the opportunity to know that she even existed.

darrinbaker00
May 14th, 2009, 08:55 PM
Insightful, reasonable, logical. Come on, what kind of trouble are you starting? That's only going to incense the mob around here.---:D
In other words, everything your posts aren't.

darrinbaker00
May 14th, 2009, 09:01 PM
Well thank you, LDVTennis. Hopefully though many fans will enjoy a good and fair debate on whatever the issue. It is a debate forum after all and if we all agreed, it'd be nothing more than a boring lovefest fan site. Personally, I find fans sites of my faves a complete waste of time ... nothing much new to learn and no real debate. Anyway, hope springs eternal.


http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_wall.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)

.
No offense, Bobby, but as long as we're all hiding behind user IDs, passwords and firewalls, I don't think real debate is possible. You and I don't know each other, so we have no idea if the opinions we express on this board are genuine or just an Internet persona we've created for ourselves. That's how I see it, anyway.

bobbynorwich
May 14th, 2009, 09:22 PM
No offense, Bobby, but as long as we're all hiding behind user IDs, passwords and firewalls, I don't think real debate is possible. You and I don't know each other, so we have no idea if the opinions we express on this board are genuine or just an Internet persona we've created for ourselves. That's how I see it, anyway.
Thanks for the heads up. Hmmm .... interesting way to look at it, have to think that over a bit.

To me, the debate is cleaner without the clutter of interpersonal stuff --- just the logic of the argument, its support, and how expressed. I never considered that opinions on chatboards weren't genuine, just the opposite actually. In social settings, people often don't say what they really think, rather they filter --- hardly the case here on the WTF. :devil: Even good friends often will avoid or mute their views on topics where they disagree to "keep harmony." Anyway, different strokes for different folks.

:)

darrinbaker00
May 14th, 2009, 09:49 PM
Thanks for the heads up. Hmmm .... interesting way to look at it, have to think that over a bit.

To me, the debate is cleaner without the clutter of interpersonal stuff --- just the logic of the argument, its support, and how expressed. I never considered that opinions on chatboards weren't genuine, just the opposite actually. In social settings, people often don't say what they really think, rather they filter --- hardly the case here on the WTF. :devil: Even good friends often will avoid or mute their views on topics where they disagree to "keep harmony." Anyway, different strokes for different folks.

:)
Unfortunately, Bobby, that's how online sexual predators catch their prey. True enough, we hide behind masks in real life, but here in cyberspace, we can be entirely different people. I'm not saying everyone does it, of course, but since I have no way of knowing for sure who is and who isn't "real," I take everyone with a grain of salt.

southern star
May 14th, 2009, 10:26 PM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jonathanoverend/2009/05/serena_wrong_over_wta_rules.html

[Excerpt]
Serena, who has earned $24 million in prize money from the WTA over her career (and at least treble that with appearance fees and endorsements) claimed she is being forced to play in tournaments.

She said she would be punished if she didn't play and couldn't afford the fines. Folk nodded and wrote the stories.

She has cluttered airwaves, press conferences and even cyberspace with total disinformation and the record needs setting straight.

Since injuring her right knee in the final of the Miami tournament in April, she has played every event she has entered - Marbella, Rome and Madrid - without winning a match. Here in Spain she played one set against Francesca Schiavone before retiring.

On the Friday before starting in the Spanish capital, Serena sent out a tweet through Twitter: "I don't think it was a good idea to play Rome but I would have been punished so I played and now I am suffering but the WTA has RULES!"

She followed that by posting on her official website: "There are moments like now where I feel they don't care if you are headless if you don't play a tournament you are severely punished."

Francesca Schiavone consoles Serena Williams after she retired injured during their first round match in Madrid

After the Schiavone match, when asked whether she should have pulled out of the tournament rather than attempt to play, she said: "I'm not into just throwing thousands and thousands of dollars away [in fines]. I'm remodelling a house and, I don't know about anyone else, but it's a lot of money to me."

"I mean, that's my whole furniture bill and some stairs, rugs, that can go a long way."

The clear implication is that she feels forced into playing through injury by an overly strict WTA rulebook. A rulebook she clearly hasn't read properly.

Nobody is forcing an injured player to play a match, that clearly would be insane and irresponsible. What the WTA has introduced, for its premier tournaments, is a requirement for injured players to turn up to the venue, shake a few hands, do some media and sponsor work.

If those commitments are fulfilled - and a medical certificate is produced - the fine for not playing will be waived. The player can even turn up on any one of three nominated dates in the future, if more convenient.

Serena Williams would not have been fined for pulling out of her match with Schiavone because she had already honoured her commitments and the suggestion that she would have been fined $75,000 was total hogwash.

The same situation was true in Rome - a bit of handshaking and publicity work and the fine would have been waived.

MaBaker
May 14th, 2009, 10:30 PM
:speakles:

bobbynorwich
May 14th, 2009, 10:38 PM
Unfortunately, Bobby, that's how online sexual predators catch their prey.

Good point. I'll have to keep reminding myself that a steady vitriole of "you are a hater" "no, you are a troll" is really just foreplay and keep my guard up.

http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_imsorry.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)

HRHoliviasmith
May 14th, 2009, 10:56 PM
Good point. I'll have to keep reminding myself that a steady vitriole of "you are a hater" "no, you are a troll" is really just foreplay and keep my guard up.

http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_imsorry.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)

you are really growing on me... :lol: :spit:

wait a minute, you're a serena-hater...nevermind. :rolleyes:

southern star
May 14th, 2009, 11:09 PM
Come on, it's not THAT shocking.

Brooks.
May 15th, 2009, 02:45 AM
"The cornerstone rationale behind the tour's 2009 Roadmap calendar is that fans deserve to see their favorite players playing more consistently on the tour's biggest stages, and that players deserve as healthy a calendar as possible," the WTA Tour said in a statement. "In this latter regard, the tour's 2009 Roadmap calendar is in many respects the healthiest calendar for players in the tour's history, highlighted by a longer offseason, more in-season breaks, and a top player commitment reduced from 12 to 10 events."

The problem is that this has not been happening. Serena has lost in the first round of her last three tournaments. She's the biggest star in the WTA right now, but who cares if she shows up only to be gone after the first round. Players need to be able to choose what is best for them. This year has been awful for the WTA and some of that blame has to be placed on this new roadmap.

southern star
May 15th, 2009, 03:38 AM
"The problem is that this has not been happening. Serena has lost in the first round of her last three tournaments. She's the biggest star in the WTA right now, but who cares if she shows up only to be gone after the first round. Players need to be able to choose what is best for them. This year has been awful for the WTA and some of that blame has to be placed on this new roadmap."

I've really enjoyed this year's tennis, it has been a great WTA tour so far.

It's unfortunate that one of the top 5 players has had a bad year, but that's how it is sometimes. Serena is just one player.

StephenUK
May 15th, 2009, 08:07 AM
Another thing - I find it very distasteful in these days of the credit crunch, when people are losing their jobs and homes for this super-rich princess to play the poverty card. The Williams family love to play up their Compton roots at all times, but these comments prove that Serena is about as close to that reality as Marie Antoinette was to the starving mob playing shepherdess in the Petit Trianon. Maybe she should leave her pampered world of sycophants and spend a few days getting back to reality doing some voluntary work with the poor and then she would appreciate her life a bit more instead of whingeing.

Matt01
May 15th, 2009, 09:48 AM
The problem is that this has not been happening. Serena has lost in the first round of her last three tournaments.


And how is that the fault of the WTA or the new Roadmap? They are not responsible for that, it's Serens's own fault that she (except for a lucky win at AO) sucks this year.

LCS
May 15th, 2009, 10:01 AM
:worship: Ivanovic for crapping on Madrid and the WTA :worship:

bobbynorwich
May 15th, 2009, 12:00 PM
I've really enjoyed this year's tennis, it has been a great WTA tour so far.

It's unfortunate that one of the top 5 players has had a bad year, but that's how it is sometimes. Serena is just one player.

Yes, it has been a fascinating year with a dozen or so serious contenders for any title, lots of thrilling matches in every tourney, and the 'coming of age' by many younger players.

The injuries of Ivanovic and Zvonareva were unrelated to the Roadmap. If Serena was injured in Miami which ended April 3, she could have cancelled out of Marbella and Rome to heal for Madrid which started May 9. In fact though, she only played 2 matches (one each in Marbella & Rome) between April 3 and May 9 --- hardly taxing. Unlike the other players, she skipped IW --- so if anything, those other players have more legitimacy to make a complaint about overplaying.

To solve her roadmap problem, Serena could announce that she is intentionally letting her ranking drop to 11 by year's end to avoid the restrictions of the Roadmap next year. Btw, it's not the same thing if finding herself ranked 11th by yearend and then claiming she planned it that way all along. She's not eligible for its $400,000 commitment bonus due to missing IW, so why not really stick it to the WTA?

Vlover
May 15th, 2009, 01:28 PM
southern star;15644420
It's unfortunate that one of the top 5 players has had a bad year, but that's how it is sometimes. Serena is just one player.

Poor Serena! What a terrible year so far, winning the only major and making the finals of Miami and winning the most prize money to date.:rolleyes:

Now that the haters have gotten what they all wanted with Safina #1, "dominating" the clay season, possible lock on being the FO champion, why are people still spending so much time on the evil witch Serena.:tape: Where are the glowing articles about about the #1's achievments instead of disecting Serena's every word and finacial status.:tape: