Monday, September 12, 2011

Samantha Stosur Outclasses Serena Williams

Still beaming from Samantha Stosur's powerful straight-sets dismantling of Serena Williams yesterday to claim the U.S. Open crown, the 27-year-old Aussie's first Grand Slam title. (Afterward, I'd honestly have to say I seemed WAY HAPPIER than she was!) I can't remember a more tension-filled, not-sure-who's-gonna-win-till-the-last-point 6-2, 6-3 match in my 35 years of watching tennis -- a testament to Williams' competitive spirit -- but when all was said and done, Stosur literally Serena-ed Williams off the court, in a fashion that I have not seen since Maria Sharapova arrived with a thump at the 2004 Wimbledon.

I remember writing Stosur off when she lost the 2009 French Open final -- a match she clearly should have won having beaten Justin Henin and Serena Williams to get there -- so it's all the more satisfying to see a player actually learn from her experiences (something the experts always say players will, then none of them (Vera Zvonareva, Caroline Wozniacki, et al.) ever seem to do. Williams had played horrible against Wozniacki in the semis, but because the not-so-great Dane had no weapons to take it to her, Serena won easily anyway. Not so with Stosur, whose kick serve and unreadable forehand created winner after winner after winner. It's a pity that Williams' classless behavior -- I'm sorry, but you just can't act like THAT -- is getting all the press today when it was Stosur's outclassing of the 13-time major champ that is the real headline news of the day.

Congrats, Sam!

UPDATE: OK, it's been a few hours. You know I can't NOT weigh in on Serena's indefensible behavior. Read HERE.


Tommy C said...

Kenneth tennis has another problem. People are ripping Serena for poor sportsmanship for her reaction to the penalty point for her "come on". I would be angry too. If Serena was penalized a point for alleged interference then every woman, specifically Maria Sharapova should lose a point for their obnoxious grunts. It's the same thing according to the hinderance rule. But Sharapova screams when she hits EVERY shot and she doesn't get penalized. Maria Kirlilenko is another prime example. In her match with Sam Stosur earlier in the tournament she was grunting on every point until it got tight in one stretch and even the announcers said her grunt went away for some points. So that distracting behavior can be controlled. Let's do something about the REAL offenders, not penalize Serena for one "come on" when she and every one in the stadium knew it was a winner that Storsur was not going to get back.
I'm happy for Stosur and she did outplay Serena, but the bashing that Serena is getting is uncalled for. She is not the major offender. Just a woman trying to pump herself up in a championship match.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

Tommy C: Your point is well-taken -- although grunting while hitting and screaming to pump yourself up while the ball is still in play aren't really the same thing -- but I'd argue that you're missing the real point: You can't make veiled or direct threats at officials! Be a condescending prick all you want (Andy Roddick), or carry on like a 2-year-old (John McEnroe). But I think it's an entirely different thing to become threatening. Serena went way too far -- again. It's fine if she's upset (who wouldn't have been?). But she lost me completely the minute she took it to the next level.

BW said...

And people need to stop saying it was a "penalty point" or (as Serena said) "code violation." It was not. During the course of the point, she did something that, under the rules, not the code of conduct, causes the loss of that point. It's like touching the net while the ball is still in play -- you're not allowed to do that, and the other person gets the point.

(Also, accounts of when the shout happened do not match the replay I watched over and over. Serena shouted before Samantha even started to run for the ball, not as she was barely ticking it with her frame.)