I do not have Serena Williams’ talent. I do not have her cool collection of tennis outfits and I most certainly do not have her attitude… or do I? Do we all? We just don’t have cameras following us around every day monitoring our every move. I’m pretty sure that the house wife who is admonishing Serena Williams right now, is also the same person who hurled a list at expletives at me when I took her parking spot at Ralphs. I’m guessing the same critic who bashed Serena’s bad attitude is the same guy who has road rage and incessantly honks his Mercedes horn at my beat up Volkswagen which I am known for driving too slowly.
Look, I admire and respect the player. I’ve been watching her and Venus for years and I love their raw athleticism. Yet, to play devil’s advocate, there’s a reason the sport is called the sport of kings. One doesn’t scream at the official, who is making about 1/100th as much as you are…it’s not ‘king-like’…and, okay, it’s just rude.
But we all have that rage. I recently started playing doubles again with a terrific teacher Nikki, who offers “a comprehensive tennis program for ages 3-100 for the social player to the competitive player.” Now, I’m nicely ensconced between the ages of 3 and 100… but offering classes for social and competitive players…that’s tough. I am an incredibly competitive player in a class filled with (lovely) social players. I knew it was a problem when I was at the net today and repeatedly hit my opponents, who didn’t get out of the way because they were so gobsmacked that someone had joined the class to win…rather than just chat.
So, I think understand Serena; the passionate athlete has grown up with a fierce mentality to win. And the lineswoman’s bad call caused her to lose it. Unfortunately, it was in front of millions of people.