Will Obama say that the lineswoman “acted stupidly”?

In the fragmented Daily News story about Serena Williams’s F-word-laced threat against a lineswoman in the semi-finals of the U.S. Open last night that cost her the match, you have to read all the way to the end of the article before you get to an account of what actually happened:

[After Kim Clijsters won the first set,] Clijsters held serve at love to go up 6-5 in the second, and as Williams served in the 12th game to try to force a tiebreaker, Williams hit a backhand into the net to go down 15-30. On her ensuing second serve, she was called for the foot fault to make it 15-40—double match point.

An infuriated Williams walked over to the lineswoman—the USTA would not release her name—angrily shook her racket at her and let fly with profane comments. The lineswoman walked over to the chair umpire, Louise Engzell, to report what had been said. Brian Earley, the tournament referee, came on the court to discuss the matter. Williams approached the net and denied that she had threatened the lineswoman.

With the second code violation, Earley informed Williams that she would be assessed a point penalty. A match-point penalty. She got no slack for a call that replays showed was clearly wrong.

In the interview room, Williams declined to disclose what she said to the lineswoman.

“I don’t think that’s necessary. I’m trying to move on,” Williams said. “I’m clearly not happy. Obviously I wanted to fight. I always fight when I’m down.”

Thus the foot fault cost her a point and made the game go to 15-40, double match point. Her threatening tirade against the lineswoman cost her another point, which because it was match point cost her the match. Now that we’ve got the basic sequence of the event, I’ll jump back to earlier in the article to fill things in. This is the second paragraph:

It all unraveled in unimaginable fashion a few minutes before 11 p.m. Saturday night, with a foot fault, a profane tirade and a code violation that happened to come on match point, after an irate Williams told a lineswoman, “I swear to God, I’ll f——-take this ball and shove it down your f——throat.”

Faster than you can spell colossal anticlimax, the rackets were down, the match was over, the crowd was incensed and a teary-eyed Williams was leaving the court to a cascade of boos.

Isn’t it something, that shaking your racket at a lineswoman and saying, “I’ll f****** take this ball and shove it down your f****** throat,” only results in the loss of a single point, rather than the automatic loss of the game, the set, and the match?

The Telegraph has a follow-up:

Serena Williams unrepentant for rant after Kim Clijsters defeat

Here is some of the Telegraph’s account:

Gesturing at her with her racket outstretched, Williams—who had earlier been given a code violation for racquet abuse—hurled a volley of abuse towards her, resulting in the point penalty and the loss of the match.

The lineswoman then ran up to umpire Louise Engzell to report the incident which brought tournament referee Brian Earley on to the court.

It was never confirmed what Williams had said to the lineswoman, but the on-court microphones picked up her saying to the official in an argument: “I never said I would kill you, are you serious?”

Notice how the brilliant Telegraph writer gets the event out of sequence, with Williams losing the match BEFORE the lineswoman complains to the umpire. Do you ever get the impression that today’s reporters write their stories on a bar stool, half-soused, and then hand them over to half-soused editors and half-soused headline writers?

—end of initial entry—

Philip M. writes from England:

Do you think Obama is going to accuse the lineswoman of “acting stupidly”?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 13, 2009 05:57 PM | Send

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