View Full Version : Richard Williams accused of coaching from the stands at Nasdaq-100

Apr 1st, 2003, 04:36 PM
Excerpt from http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,5205-629300,00.html:

One lineswoman approached the umpire three times to say that Richard Williams was coaching from his front-row seat and, as such, exerting undue influence.

Nothing was done because, well, it would take a courageous umpire to rebuke the man arguably more powerful than Larry Scott, now officially installed as chairman and chief executive of the WTA.

Excerpt from http://sport.independent.co.uk/tennis/story.jsp?story=392390:

A baseline judge left her chair and spoke to the umpire three times during Saturday's women's singles final to report that Serena Williams was being coached from the front row seats by her father, Richard. Pappa Williams' instructions amounted to little more than fundamentals such as, "Go down the middle, Serena!" But he was breaking the rules, and the umpire had a word with Serena about it.

Apr 1st, 2003, 04:38 PM
To be fair Richard is not the only one who does this. Anyone seen those funny nose rubbings Nigel Sears does when he watched Hantuchova play???

Apr 1st, 2003, 04:42 PM
Exactly. How many times did Melanie coach Martina from the stands or Kournikova's mom coach her from the stands? What about Stephano Capriati signals to Jennifer. It happens. It's not right that it happens, but it does. I really wonder how the WTA can crack down on it.

Apr 1st, 2003, 04:43 PM
well, i suppose that serena serena wouldn't have been able to beat capriati for the 7th consecutive time without richard's instruction to "go down the middle". (sorry i couldn't resist :o ) anyway, good for the linespeople for catching it, and serena was dealt with accordingly so all's well that ends well.

Apr 1st, 2003, 04:46 PM
To raise an issue, in Athlectics they are abolishing the rule, as there is no way to crack down on it. Do you think that tennis should go the same way?

Apr 1st, 2003, 04:47 PM
If Serena heard it, Jennifer shold have heard it too. She would then know where Serena would hit her next shots. :)

Serendy Willick
Apr 1st, 2003, 04:50 PM
Big deal, I hope they are this quick and adamant when Capriati, Hantucova, and Henins coaches do the exact same thing. Maybe they can also tell the idiots in the crowd that if they want to be an umpire maybe they should apply for the job instead hooting and whistling from the damn stands.

Apr 1st, 2003, 04:56 PM
Could "KILL THE BITCH, MARY!" be counted as couching? *wonders*

Apr 1st, 2003, 04:57 PM
Marys Dad was banned from the tour you know, but I dont see Richard going to same way...

Apr 1st, 2003, 05:01 PM
Coaching exists, i remember Hingis being the one warned in Usopen 2000 vs Venus :o

Apr 1st, 2003, 05:01 PM
This has happened before, and once it was very funny. The chair told Serena they were going to deduct a point if Richard kept coaching, and Serena's quite audiable response was "What do you want me to do? I'm trying not to listen to him."

Even members of the crowd laughed.

There's an easy solution to this. Tell everybody that if the chair umpires sees it coahcing, the person doing the signaling will be politely escorted form the stadium. Somebody will try to get over, they'll get nailed, and that'll be that. It's not a big deal, except the WTA won't enforce the rule.

Apr 1st, 2003, 05:01 PM
One more to 3000 posts ;)

Apr 1st, 2003, 05:02 PM
I love how one story has the tour too terrified to do anything while the other one has the umpire speaking to Serena.

Apr 1st, 2003, 05:07 PM
Why, Pam Shriver coaches too ;)
Although it is not technical couching like hit a forehand that way or the other way, Pam still coached because she helped and helping another player is coaching....so even commentators do it :eek:

Richard should have given a warning.
so should have pammy. ;)

Apr 1st, 2003, 05:09 PM
"What do you want me to do? I'm trying not to listen to him."

& LOL again...
way to go Serena ;)

Apr 1st, 2003, 05:26 PM
Sometimes, the opponent doesn't care if someone's coaching from the stands. When someone mentioned people actually being escorted from the stadium, I dredged up this article from my memory.

The following is an excerpt from a December 1999 article by Andrea Leand (http://www.geocities.com/steffiarticles/99-12.htm).

At the Porsche Grand Prix, one of the most illustrious tour stops and Germanyís prime pro showcase, I remember vividly facing Graf in the semifinals on the stadium court. I was ranked in the top twenty at the time and was a tour veteran, and fully expected to overpower this rookie.

For much of the match I did. Her dodgy one-handed slice backhand sat up for me to tee off on, and her extended elbow on the forehand looked as if it would disconnect from her arm. But Graf never gave up. I dominated off the ground, although Graf retrieved far more balls than I expected. I would blast winners into the corners, only to see them returned with disconcerting pace. Somehow, I found myself in a third set. But just when my veteran experience looked like it would pay off, all hell broke loose.

I remember leading 3-2 in that final set up a service break when officials started crowding the court. I was unaware of any problems and could not understand the German conversations between the umpire and the tournament referee. But I knew something was up when two officials surrounded Mr.Graf, who was sitting in the front row of a courtside box. Steffi grew angrier as the conversation continued. Finally, the umpire informed me that Mr.Graf was coaching from the stands illegally.

I did not notice Peter Graf coaching at all- or should I say not more than other coaches did on the tour. Even if he had been giving Steffi hand signals, it was not helping her. I was still in control of the match and she was growing frustrated. And, as the old adage goes, if it ainít broke, donít fix it. So I did not want any action taken and argued that point with the umpire. Back then, umpires never took action unless a player complained. And I was stunned that German officials wanted to penalize one of their own. When they booted Peter Graf from the arena, I was dumbstruck, along with a sold-out stadium crowd.

This was unheard of at the time. It was not until ten years later that another parent would be escorted from an event- when Mary Pierceís father Jim struck a spectator at the French Open and was kicked out of Roland Garros. But on this occasion, Graf felt her fatherís pain and embarrassment and retaliated furiously to the indignation- as I knew she would. With adrenaline flowing, she blasted balls on the lines, issuing insults to the umpire between winners. I tried to slow the pace, stall her momentum, give her time to calm down and return to her former frustrated self, but to no avail.

When she began charging the net with the score 5-5, I knew I was in trouble. Steffi attacking net? It was as unlikely then as it was 15 years later. But she was out of her mind, rushing in like a raging bull at a red flag. At deuce I put up a deep lob, knowing her overhead was one of her dicier shots. With aplomb Graf galloped back, leaped up in the air and slam dunked the ball past me. That was the match.

Neither of us shook hands with the umpire after she prevailed 7-5. That umpire ruined my chance to win the prized Porsche given the victor. And instead of getting my picture in the paper the next day, photos of Steffiís father being escorted from the arena like a criminal monopolized the headlines. Steffi boycotted the tournament for the next 13 years, playing it only once more at the end of her career.

King Lindsay
Apr 1st, 2003, 06:05 PM
That article was hilarious!

Richard coaches Serena? Oh well, i'm sure they all do it.

Apr 1st, 2003, 06:22 PM
I think it would be fun if the coaches were allowed to coach. As in the coach is sitting by their player on court. I'm sure coaching advices might have changed the outcome of some important matches. It would be interesting to see a Williams final with Venus being coached by her dad and serena by her mom.

Apr 1st, 2003, 06:25 PM
Sort of much ado about nothing.

How much can you coach from the sidelines, anyway?

Once a point is underway it is underway and no player has time to look over at her coach and get instructions on what to do with the ball. By the time she looked back, the point would be over she would have lost it.

Apr 1st, 2003, 06:57 PM
It's funny that the article picks on Serena, but IMO in her matchup in Miami with Jen their was alot of illegal coaching. Did they notice Pam Shriver, and Stefano coaching Jen from the sidelines? No mention of that. Anyways, Melanie Molitor was the best side court coach in tennis history. She would make all types of gestures for martina. She was warned a couple of times, but not often.

I don't think the coaching helped Serena anyways, but what helped Serena in the third set was a tiring Jen.

Apr 1st, 2003, 06:58 PM
Steffi boycotted the tournament for the next 13 years, playing it only once more at the end of her career.

I hope venus and serena are around long enough to do this to indian wells! 13 years! She meant business.

King Lindsay
Apr 1st, 2003, 07:12 PM
This is the argument against coaching.

Not all the players can afford a coach. Lower-ranked players are put to an even bigger disadvantage when they run up against higher-ranked foes for lack of a coach, or lack of a coach of comparable quality.

A tennis match is one person against one person in a mental and physical battle. if you allow coaching, it becomes a physical battle only. The mental acumen possessed by players like a Conchita Martinez or Amanda Coetzer is thrown out the window if her opponent has a hot-shot coach who can counter that advantage. for me, that would suck a lot out of tennis. Think about it ... would Jana Novotna have choked away Wimbledon 1993 if she had Hana Mandlikova pumping her up and keeping her calm during the changeovers?

i think coaching is better left to what it is today. i really don't see any reason for a change.

Apr 1st, 2003, 07:22 PM
I agree 100%, King Lindsay.