The world of tennis is in disarray

Del Potro

This last U.S. Open was both entertaining and dramatic. Kim Clijsters and Juan Martin del Potro, both underdogs, captured the Grand Slam championship in their respective competitions. Getting the most press, however, was Serena Williams’ tirade against a lineswoman. (Serena was later fined $10,000.) Tennis had been fairly stable the past few years in terms of competition, top players, and sportsmanship. As of the U.S. Open, however, that sentiment is changing:

– Roger Federer, of all people, was docked $1,500 for using profanity while arguing with the chair umpire open during the men’s final. Was the expletive in Swiss-German?

– Led by Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych, the Czech Republic have reached their first Davis Cup final in 29 years after beating Marin Cilic and Lovro Zovko of Croatia in doubles.

Spain also advanced into the Davis Cup finals, only without the services of Rafael Nadal. Spain owes a big thank you to Feliciano Lopez and Tommy Robredo. To his credit, Nadal is still suffering from abdominal pain.

– Can you believe Juan Martin del Potro is only the seventh male not named Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal to win a Grand Slam in the last seven years? Crazy. The others were Andre Agassi, Gaston Gaudio, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Marat Safin, Andy Roddick, and Novak Djokovic. In breaking it down that means, between those 28 Grand Slams, only nine champions have been crowned.

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Serena goes crazy on lineswoman, eliminated from U.S. Open

Serena Williams is a badass. After dropping the first set to an unseeded Kim Clijsters, Serena slammed her racket into the court, mangling it entirely. Of course, the frustrated action wasn’t unprovoked, as she was playing far below her usual level. In the second set, Serena started to regain her form, until a terrible lineswoman decided to ruin the excitement.

With Williams serving at 5-6, 15-30 in the second set, she faulted on her first serve. On the second serve, a line judge called a foot fault, making it a double-fault. That made the score 15-40, putting Clijsters one point from victory.

Williams went over and shouted at the line judge, who walked over and reported it to the chair umpire. That led to the chair umpire awarding a penalty point to Clijsters, ending the match.

Though it is unclear what exactly Williams said to the linesperson, she was heard on the CBS broadcast telling the linesperson, “I didn’t say I would kill you. Are you serious?” during the discussion with tournament officials that followed.

Williams already had been given a code violation warning when she broke her racket after losing the first set.

What a lame way to end this exciting semifinal. At least Serena was entertaining, ripping into this dolt without restraint. Watching the countless replays on CBS, you can clearly see Serena mouth the words, “I’m going shove this ball down your f–ing throat.” Yowza. That’s my girl.

Needless to say, Kim Clijsters was outplaying Serena before all the mayhem ensued. Clijsters, a former Grand Slam champion, had taken 2 years off to nurse injuries and grieve over the death of her father. Later, she got married and even had a baby. Although her life had changed drastically, Clijsters couldn’t stay away from the game any longer. The U.S. Open is her first Grand Slam since returning and, guess what, she’s in the finals. Good for her.

She’ll face Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark on Sunday for the championship.

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