Tuesday, March 27, 2007
"Hit The Net Like Any Negro Would"
Serena Williams won the 2007 Australia Open looking like the champion of old.
Despite being unseeded she made her way to the final where she clobbered Maria Sharapova 6-1 6-2. That victory 'served' notice that she was back on the tour.
As of this writing, Serena is making her way through the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. Some of you may recall that Serena was the champion there in 2002, 2003, and 2004.
I will not be surprised if Serena wins this tournament. Yesterday she won her third round match against Czech teenager Lucie Safarova 6-3 6-4. This she did despite suffering racist abuse from a white man in the audience.
The man was obviously trying to unsettle Serena while all around him, including the match officials, just looked on.
Serena said she heard him say: "Hit the net like any Negro would." She described her re-action by saying: "I was shocked. I couldn't believe it. I had to do a double take. I think I hit a double fault on that point."
News reports indicate that the man continued the racial abuse throughout the match and was only ejected by security when Serena complained to the chair umpire. This she did toward the end of the second, and concluding, set.
I am dumbfounded. Why the hell did the chair umpire not act sooner? Also, where were the decent minded people in the majority-white audience? Surely someone, just one person, could of stood up for decency. Or, preferably, kicked his racist ass!
Instead, Serena had to endure the racist abuse for almost all of the match. Sad day for professional tennis huh?
Be that as it may, Serena is taking a "stand". She commented thus: "I shouldn't have let it bother me because growing up in Compton we had drive-bys, and I guess that's what my dad prepared me for, but I'm not going to stand for it."
Good for the Sista.
And bad for all of those at the Sony Ericsson Open who 'stood for it' ...
PS: As I was finishing this post I found out that Serena just clobbered Sharapova again. The score in Miami was
Onward Sista :0)
*****UPDATE (31/03/06) ... Serena won the tournament! She beat Justin Henin in the final: 0-6 7-5 6-3*****