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View Full Version : So, what really happened during the RG semis? Trying to look objectively..


ys
Jun 6th, 2003, 04:11 AM
OK, lets look at it, trying to be more or less objective..

In Miami, Serena was stupid enough to follow the Anti-French wave of those days and said something stupid and offensive to the French. Did it
happen? Yes. She did apologise for that later. Could those words of her be partly a reason for what happened? I think, they might.

Some American media explain it as a backlash for booing French players in Miami. Could it be the case? I don't think so. In all other matches of Americans that I saw, there was nothing like that. Even in Rubin-Henin or Venus-Zvonareva. In both matches crowd was cheering against Americans but still well within tennis etiquette.

Strange thing, in this kind of incidents, it's always Serena. In Indian Wells, it was her. Here it was her. I think there is something in her look, maybe some agressiveness and arrogance, that helps getting crowd started.

Could we say that she is at least partly provoked what happened by her actions ( including actions past). Perhaps, yes, and she has to blame herself for that. But was this reaction an appropriate? By no means.

What we have now? We hear people saying that - lets call it "environment" of the match was the main reason of Serena's loss.

Is it true? After watching the tape again, I must say that I am in at least partly in agreement with this sentiment.

That point at 4:2, 30:0.. Was that point critical? Serena lost that point. She had to hit the second serve. her winning percentage on the first serve was significantly higher than winning on the second serve. She won less than 50% on second serve, she won more than 50% on the first serve. If she'd won that point, what would have happened? I think, she would not have lost that game from 40:0, and having 5:2, she would most likely have won the match. So, it is a valid thing to assume that that point alone might have costed her a match.

Was she right to ask for the first serve? I have to give her the benefit of the doubt. I can imagine, that if, while already swinging, I would note by my peripheral vision that my opponent raised the hand, I probably would not be able to hold my hand and I would hit the ball. But would the quality of my serve be affected by the fact that I noticed the raised hand fraction of a second before hitting the ball? Very possibly, yes.

Was Henin wrong not giving Serena the first serve? I think she was.

So, what we have? We have crowd booing Serena at any opportunity, cheering her mistakes, an opponent not behaving sportsman-like, and umpire and linesmen being clearly biased against her - how else can you interpret his consistent unwillingness to check the marks by Serena's request, and after she insisted - her being correct at every singles time, on a couple of occasions by few inches? I am not saying that linesmen were intentionally robbing her of points- but there is every reason to think that they also wanted Henin to win and they followed their wishful thinking in making calls. Was this altogether enough to swing the outcome of an extremely close match? More than enough.

Lets face it, Henin's clay game is probably superior to Serena's clay game, but Serena's champion's mind is superior to anyone's else, and that's what should have won her this match. The "environment" robbed her of that advantage, it rattled her mind. It didn't affect her mechanics - her shots were OK till the very end. What was clearly not OK - was her decisions at shot selection. I've never seen her failing to put away so many very easy balls by playing strange, *strange* shots. Only within last few games she failed to put away a lot of balls hitting them from inside of service line. Each of them could have costed her a match. And those dropshots..

Why they did it in this match, not in a Mauresmo match? Simple, crowd behaviour matters only when it is a very close match.

Was it worse than in IW? Probably not, but again, that time she was on her best surface against much inferior opponent, unlike today.

She has my sympathies today.

tenn_ace
Jun 6th, 2003, 04:13 AM
Not Mine.

Greenout
Jun 6th, 2003, 04:16 AM
YS- I'm glad you mentioned the chair umpire
for the match. As I said in other posts, I've seen
this guy before in ATP events. He's always giving
bad line calls, and seems to pick on a certain player
on any given day. Some days it's against a German,
another day he's for the seeded player, other days
he's against the seeded player.

hollywood7172
Jun 6th, 2003, 04:19 AM
oh who CARES about serena-bigass-williams or justine-bonyass-henin-hardenne? i'm still PISSED my two faves went out in the 4th round, goddamit! :mad: :fiery:

LeonHart
Jun 6th, 2003, 04:19 AM
The umpire wasn't biased IMO, on those two points, it was the umpired the overruled OUT, the two points that Henin approached the net, not very confident in Serena's calls, which of course started the whole thing...

ys
Jun 6th, 2003, 04:42 AM
Thinking of all this, I find it hard to imagine Serena playing Roland Garros next year.. :(

tenn_ace
Jun 6th, 2003, 04:43 AM
too bad... but it will be her loss... at this pace, there won't be any tournaments left foe her to go.

remember, other players got worse treatment but came back again and again. so it will be her choice

ys
Jun 6th, 2003, 04:47 AM
remember, other players got worse treatment but came back again and again. so it will be her choice

Any of them ever winning it? All they got was some more negative emotions. I think, should Serena return next year to play IW, there will
be no problem whatsoever. But should she be a contender for a title next year at RG, she'll get the same reception, almost guaranteed.

Hurley
Jun 6th, 2003, 04:50 AM
I disagree, actually. I think a looooooot of the reaction today had to do with the fact that the crowd wanted someone -- ANYONE -- other than Serena to win a Slam.

Now that this streak is over, I'm pretty sure she'll be fine, unless she comes into RG04 having won the previous three majors. Which is surely possible.

Venus Forever
Jun 6th, 2003, 04:57 AM
I disagree, actually. I think a looooooot of the reaction today had to do with the fact that the crowd wanted someone -- ANYONE -- other than Serena to win a Slam.

Now that this streak is over, I'm pretty sure she'll be fine, unless she comes into RG04 having won the previous three majors. Which is surely possible.
If this is true, how come wait until Serena is up 4-2 30-0 in the third with the wild behavior and emphatic boo's towards Serena. Why??

Why not when it's 4-5 in the second so she can close it out in straights??

Your logic doesn't make sense.

per4ever
Jun 6th, 2003, 06:38 AM
Thinking of all this, I find it hard to imagine Serena playing Roland Garros next year.. :(
Serena has more character then all of her fans together..she'll be back and ready to compete for that title.

irma
Jun 6th, 2003, 06:42 AM
serena used my favorite quote yesterday:
"when you try to keep smiling, you are able to work through it."

I am not always good in living after that quote but I 100% agree with it!

Doris Loeffel
Jun 6th, 2003, 07:51 AM
Any of them ever winning it? All they got was some more negative emotions. I think, should Serena return next year to play IW, there will
be no problem whatsoever. But should she be a contender for a title next year at RG, she'll get the same reception, almost guaranteed.

Hmmm maybe she forgot that she was already booed of the court after she won her first round match and celebrating it like she had already won the whole thing. Didn't hear any complains back then.

But yes I have to say that the public was baised and some of the booing or cheering really came at the wrong moment. At the other hand I have to say I've seen worse. As for the umpire I recall at least one overrule infavor to Serena.


If this is true, how come wait until Serena is up 4-2 30-0 in the third with the wild behavior and emphatic boo's towards Serena. Why??

Why not when it's 4-5 in the second so she can close it out in straights??


Maybe becouse it was only the second set and Juju still would have a chance in the third as beeing in the third the whole thing would be over??

Tarsius
Jun 6th, 2003, 07:58 AM
As for the umpire I recall at least one overrule infavor to Serena.
All of Serena's corrections regarding whether Henin's shots were out were ruled in favor of Serena. The umpire gave her all the points she argued for.

1jackson2001
Jun 6th, 2003, 08:09 AM
What really happened is that Justine won. We can look and prod, and poke and squint, but the fact is that the match is over and winner that emerged was Justine.

Serena will be more pumped in Wimbledon.

vaiva
Jun 6th, 2003, 05:45 PM
Nice analysis ys :kiss:

For me, the match was a case of "be careful what you wish for, for you just might receive it" in the form of the worst-case scenario.

katrientje
Jun 6th, 2003, 05:56 PM
I think Serena might have pushed herself a little bit too much in the position of being "invincible", in interviews and stuff. It's a natural reflex of the public to cheer for the underdog in these kind of situations, like Rena pointed out (just like they cheered for serena playing Venus, when Venus was considered the stronger one).
The crowd definitely got carried away and totally exagerrated, but I wouldn't make too much fuss about all this.

treufreund
Jun 6th, 2003, 10:12 PM
I think if you screw up like Serena did then don't ask for another first serve. I don't when I am playing. I know that I sometimes play or serve when I am distracted or have a bad toss and have to carry the responsibility for it. It is unfair to expect the opponent TO PAY FOR MY MISTAKE. At such an important point in the match why serve during all that noise. who knows what was going through Serena's head so I cannot prove that her intent was to rush Juju but she should have said to herself that she should have stopped and not expect another first serve. If she had hit an ace would she have taken the point back. Who knows? but I doubt it so why expect juju to give her another first serve if she feel that serena rushed her. she did not ACCUSE SERENA of anything maybe juju is more judicious nowadays of accusing her opponent of things after the Lindsay incident. People are saying that she handled the situation passively but if she had argued she would have looked worse and if she had given Serena another first serve she would probably be telling herself that Serena rushed her and then she paid the price for letting her take another first serve.

Also all of this happened very quickly under unreal pressure in a bizarre environment. so to now say you will hate JUJU or SERENA forever based on this is crazy.

moon
Jun 6th, 2003, 10:24 PM
I don't hate Juju, but I find it very hard to cheer for her knowing that she has no scruples.

shap_half
Jun 6th, 2003, 10:38 PM
I don't hate Juju, but I find it very hard to cheer for her knowing that she has no scruples.


wtf does that even mean? She had no scruples because she didn't say anything when no one asked her? I don't recall the umpire or Serena asking Justine whether or not Justine's had was up. They looked at her and she shrugged it off. Should she have recognized her actions? yes. Should Serena have served knowing Justine's hand was indeed up? No. So who really is at fault? Serena fully admitted having seen the hand up prior the serve and then Serena asked for one back and Justine shrugged when they looked at her. By shrugging she automatically cheated and lied? I wouldn't go that far.

Serena has had to fight this kind of crowd reaction before, so I don't understand why she's all of a sudden blaming her loss to the crowd.

treufreund
Jun 6th, 2003, 11:04 PM
i watched the match again and the crowd was NOWHERE nearly as bad as IW. they cheered for Serena's mistake about 4 times which is too many but mostly they just roared after the points. also juju's missed first serve was cheered twice

"Topaz"
Jun 6th, 2003, 11:06 PM
Something is very strange here!
I find myself agreeing with ys. :o

tennischick
Jun 7th, 2003, 12:27 AM
me too TP. for the second time tonite! :eek:

moon
Jun 7th, 2003, 12:35 AM
wtf does that even mean? She had no scruples because she didn't say anything when no one asked her? I don't recall the umpire or Serena asking Justine whether or not Justine's had was up. They looked at her and she shrugged it off. Should she have recognized her actions? yes. Should Serena have served knowing Justine's hand was indeed up? No. So who really is at fault? Serena fully admitted having seen the hand up prior the serve and then Serena asked for one back and Justine shrugged when they looked at her. By shrugging she automatically cheated and lied? I wouldn't go that far.

Serena has had to fight this kind of crowd reaction before, so I don't understand why she's all of a sudden blaming her loss to the crowd.

Justine was wrong in not acknowledging that she had indeed held up her hand. why didn't she just admit it? because she did whatever she could to win the match AT ANY COST. I have a problem with that (for any player, not just Justine). Maybe you don't. It's as simple as that.

jojoseph
Jun 7th, 2003, 12:47 AM
It's very simple, if Serena shoots an ace over the net, I have to think that Justine gets upset cause she held up her finger.

So, in that situation, you have to redo the serve. If not, at the very least, she tells the judge that she did in fact hold up her finger and he just didn't see it, then lets him make a determination whether or not to redo the serve.

I think she just got caught up in the match and maybe there's a little animosity competitive-wise and she was just basically thinking "screw it", let's just play, and that's that.