US Open | GLOSA: Reverence and respect for Serena? Yes, but everything has its limits

A few days before the start of the US Open, Serena Williams somewhat mysteriously announced that she will play her last battles of her tennis career in front of her home fans at her favorite tournament.

Her statement caused a sensation. Ticket prices soared to dizzying heights, the media frenzy surrounding the six-time Flushing Meadows winner reached unearthly heights.

Serena Williams’ matches, including the doubles with her sister Venus, were understandably put on the world’s largest tennis stand, Arthur Ashe, and the first in the popular “Night Session”.

Photo: Frank Franklin II, CTK/AP

Serena Williams celebrates her victory over Anet KontaveitPhoto: Frank Franklin IIČTK/AP

So far so good. The twenty-three-time Grand Slam champion absolutely deserves such an approach. And that more than twenty-three thousand fans would clearly be on her side was expected and understandable.

In the first round, Černohorka Koviničová found out, and in the second, the world number two Anett Kontaveitová. She even left the press conference in tears after the 1:2 defeat in sets. “It was hard. It was something I hadn’t experienced before. But I don’t think it was a personal attack against me. I’m definitely not ashamed of losing to Serena. It was just difficult with the audience,” the Estonian slurred as she cried.

The truth is that the winning balls of the famous Serena’s rival, who was fourteen years younger, went almost unnoticed by the American audience, but they only reacted to the points of their icon with frenetic applause.

This was also noticed by the fans, who evaluated the audience’s behavior on social networks with difficult-to-publish expressions. “No applause and awards for Kontaveit, disgusting audience.” This is just one of many similar comments.

Photo: Mike Segar, Reuters

Serena Williams greets fansPhoto: Mike SegarReuters

The organizers also contributed to the excessive glorification of Serena, who, despite the customs and generally recognized officials, sent Kontaveit to the court first for the match, even though she was supposed to come to the court as a higher-ranked tennis player only as the second. “Utterly disrespectful without respect for tradition,” tennis expert Stuart Fraser, writing for The Times, said of the organizers.

Of course, Serena Williams is not to blame for all of this. It is difficult to ask the fans to appreciate the opponent a little or to warn the organizers about who should come to the court first.

It was another matter when she completely ruined the ceremony for the winner Naomi Osaka with her behavior in the final match of the US Open in 2018, at which the irritated audience booed so much that the young Japanese woman broke down on the press during the announcement.

Whether Serena Williams reaches the US Open for her coveted 24th Grand Slam title or ends up with her third opponent does not play that much of a role. They deserve respect and recognition in all respects, however, regard for opponents from the audience and organizers should be automatic. But that doesn’t happen in New York.


The article is in Czech

Tags: Open GLOSA Reverence respect Serena limits

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