The highlight of the women's final at the US Open in New York yesterday wasn't Samatha Stosur's performance and mental toughness, it was her opponents mouth.
Los Angeles native and a former world's number one ranked tennis player Serena Williams became supremely pissed after a chair umpire took a point away from her for yelling "Come On!" during a point. It was break point on Williams serve (30-40) and Williams thought she hit a winner, but instead of waiting for the point to end, she screamed out in anticipation.
The chair umpire, Eva Asderaki, made the correct call and gave the point to Williams opponent Sam Stosur, but the crowd went nuts and Williams lost it. She argued and question whether Asderaki was the one who "screwed her over last time." Williams went on to say that it was "not cool" before she stepped back on the court to play. But it didn't stop there, on the next change over, Williams berated Asderaki some more calling her a "hater" and "unattractive inside."
Players get angry in every sport, but how much abuse should be tolerated? Are women's explosions perceived differently than men's? Fellow American tennis star, Andy Roddick has had more than a few blowups with chair umpires. Players may need to blow off steam, but should that steam be directed at the umpire, the audience, a tennis racket, or a suppressed? Clearly emotion is apart any sport. Hockey players are allowed to fight, the umpire can eject a baseball player from a game, but what is acceptable on a tennis match?
John Murray, sports performance psychologist and the author of Smart Tennis: How to Play and Win the Mental Game