NWR Women's tennis

Not wishing to get at you Tom (and I do find it a bit annoying too) do you really think they do it for no good reason? At this level and with so much at stake, as suggested above it must assist their performance. (I confess to be the father of three girls and having to fight the female corner on occasions!).
Sounds like they've got you under their thumb ... :D
It really didn't take hold, to my recollection, before Seles (and perhaps attributable to Bolletieri). My problem with the women's game at present is I miss the dynamism of years past when different styles and talents really made the game intriguing---Graf, Navratilova, Seles, Sabatini, Arantza Sanchez-Vicario, Novotna, MJ Fernandez---you could look forward to such different matchups in any final. That's missing now, though I hope it will return (it's switched to the men's game which has been quite engaging for me the last couple years because of that aspect, with Federer, Nadal, Murray, Djokovic, Berdych, Raonic, Tsonga, Wawrinka, Ferrer).
I watched it (via Betfair). Astonishing.

Strange that the coach admitted it!

Also, seems that it's being expanded (almost #Metoo style) into a much bigger thing.

Serena furore exposes double standards and structures of our society

Can anyone think of situations where someone else called the umpire a liar and a thief (or similar) and got away with it?

I'm not a big tennis follower but that was Serena's ongoing gist that there are double standards.

Shocking example to set regardless and IMHO shameful of BJK to support what was appalling behaviour.

Sadly it detracts from genuine examples of everday sexism such as the female player earlier in the tournament getting a warning for swapping her back to front top around.
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Two contentious points
1. Is Serena or her coach right about whether he was coaching her? Probably they only know, but you can bet the press will be very observant in the next slam and tapes will be analysed to see if there is strong evidence that she was looking to her coach for guidance in this match.
2. Equal treatment? Best to analyse this in the cold light of day, ideally through statistical analysis. How many players of either sex have made a personal criticism of the umpire (of that level) and what penalty (if any) did they receive? It's all too easy to quote isolated examples on both sides of the argument, so it's necessary to look at the cold numbers to prove/disprove it. I hope that analysis is sponsored by the relevant tennis associations. Strong accusations have been made and such analysis will either validate the accusation and initiate training/awareness to rectify it, or provide the evidence to demand a retraction/apology from the accusers.

I can't answer either of those questions (at this point in time), and any speculation would probably expose any subconscious prejudice I had.

A couple of asides:
1. There is a real risk this situation ends up with Serena splitting from her coach. Such public disagreements can be difficult to recover from, as they have the potential for residual resentment even if they seem to patch it up.
2. I'm often intrigued by the effects of body language etc. with umpiring/refereeing, arising from some *guidance given when learning how to officiate basketball games. It strikes me there is one very unfortunate problem with how tennis is set up, with the lead official perched up on a chair, high above the players, but also in a vulnerably high position so they feel 'exposed'. The latter is something I'm sure they adapt to over time, but the superior/inferior positioning is always likely to be a a factor for some players. One of the very positive aspects of clay court tennis, is the way the umpire will come down onto the court to check the marks for a tight decision. It brings them and the players back to being on the same level and takes away the impression of the authority figure sitting up there and casting judgement without them getting off their butt. In doing so, it seems to bring out the best in players, often checking themselves and saving the umpire the walk, even if the point goes against them.


* Subtle things like when calling a foul, point the palm flat, facing down at the player'f feet, not at their face, with the raised fist avoiding a bold thrust of a straight arm, but instead clearly raised but without any aggression/force to it. Ditto for the two raised fists when ejecting someone, and the sad but firm facial expression. "It is a sad but necessary act, not a celebration!". Compared to football, the referees at the time used to thrust yellow/red cards in the face of players, and with a posture that gave the impression of a 'justice dispenser' who was upset with the player, but unwilling to discuss why. Much has improved over recent years, but it still has a way to go. It is important also to have **grown-up conversations with players, including where sensible, giving them a quiet warning. I was very impressed by a player after one game who congratulated me on called a holding foul on him. He and an opponent started grabbing each other on the edge of the key and I warned them, they stopped, then they started again and I warned again. Then when it carried on, I pinged the first to grab the shirt. That player said he appreciated that I'd warned, and that I indeed followed through on the warning when it carried on. He knew where he stood and that's much of what's important to players.

** Unlike the umpire whose words could be construed as coaching Kygrios in that recent match. Such players often need a clear strategy, of making the boundaries very clear, but avoiding the impression of being a jumped-up dictator. However the words used were very badly chosen, even quite worrying for the integrity of the game.
Irrespective of the sex of the player, I'd like the umpires to feel empowered to deal with illegal coaching, racquet abuse, and verbal abuse as per the rules. A true professional needs to be able to behave professionally. In too many sports, there has been creeping tolerance of bad behaviour and increasing abuse and intimidation of officials. It's even happening in rugby union, where the referee used to really rule the roost.

Tom Cannavan

Yes, even if a lifetime of sexism and racism lies somewhere deep behind this, her words and actions were unacceptable, the umpire did his job, and she deserved the punishment IMO. Despite going down in history as one of the greatest tennis players ever as she clearly still will, I suspect she knows she's blown it big-style in terms of taking the gloss off of her career, so now claiming the moral high ground is her defense.
I thought that articles today in the Guardian and Metro were a more accurate assessment than the Washington Post. I have sympathy for Serena in so far as she cannot control the actions of her coach but the venom with which she spoke to the umpire was deserving of punishment.
The clip I caught unless I am mistaken had her saying she was standing up for women and her child!!!
( Happy for someone to tell me I was imagining that..... ffs)
I am not sure that the umpire had any issue with them at all.
I just hope that she retires before we witness too much confirmation of a suspicion that I have formed of a not particularly nice person.
You cannot be serious!! :rolleyes:
Also, McEnroe didn't get away with it. The umpire penalised him a point which was the appropriate level of punishment for what was a first offence in that particular match.

Serena lost a game because it was her third offence: she'd already been penalised for coaching (formal warning) and a racket smash (loss of point).