FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Over the weekend I wrote that Serena Williams has a chance today to do the right thing and apologize about her actions on Saturday night.
And today she did just that.
“I wanted to apologize first to the lineswoman, to the USTA, and my fans most of all, and to Kim Clijsters who ended up having such a wonderful tournament and winning the championship, and what an amazing feat that was,” Williams said after she and her sister Venus beat the team of Cara Black and Liezel Huber for the Woman’s Doubles Championship, 6-2, 6-2. “I just really wanted to apologize sincerely, because I’m a very prideful person and I’m a very intense person and a very emotional person. I think it all showed.
“Most of all, I’m a very sincere person. I wanted to offer my sincere apologies to anyone that I may have offended. I would again like to thank the fans for all the support that I’ve gotten. I think it’s awesome and cool that I’ve got so much support. I appreciate everything.”
Because she apologized, Serena will find out that America is a very forgiving country. Baseball players like Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi were more or less exonerated for their steroids uses because they said they were sorry. And those like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, who still live the lie, are having problems.
Serena, though, didn’t take any drugs, didn’t shoot herself with a gun she smuggled into a club, nor did she have dog fight each other. No she lost her temper, much like the way John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, and even Andre Agassi have done in the past.
In baseball, actions like that are cheered. Yet not in tennis, which is more civilized, especially on the ladies side.
“I don’t really follow too much baseball,” Serena said. “I think every athlete is really intense.”
So now tennis needs to get out of its own way and move on from this ugly incident. Williams lost the singles title, partially due to her actions and of course her poor play, which caused the incident. Rather than having a tremendous investigation, the WTA needs to let the fine stand and consider the situation closed.
As for Serena, let’s see if she learned her lesson. In the future, will she think twice if she foot faults again? Well her tune changed about the lineswoman.
“I don’t think my foot touched the line in that call,” she said. “Looking back on it, I think the lady did the best that she could. She was just doing her job. I guess at the time, she probably saw it as what it was. You know, she was just doing her best.”
And that’s all anyone is looking for – their best. On Saturday, Serena was wrong for threatening the lineswoman, today she said she was sorry.
Serena paid her fine and seems like she knows she did wrong.
Now its time to move on.