ESPN’s “Serena vs The Umpire” documentary is poorly (strategically) timed but still outlines an issue in the sport and maybe in Serena’s team?

I’ll be interested to know what Serena and her camp think about the timing of the release of this documentary.

Even at Wimbledon a couple of months back she was reluctant to take part in questions about a magazine article scheduled for release during the championships regarding what happened at the US Open. The article was in Harpers Bazaar which is an American women’s fashion magazine.

The big question at that point was why have it scheduled to be released during a major and not wanting to talk about it.

I kind of feel this might be a similar situation.

Serena took no part in this documentary which broadcast from ESPN. A couple of the people who were involved in it were: Chris Evert and surprisingly her coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

Chris Evert said;

“As long as I live I hope I’ll never witness anything like that, it was horrible for Tennis”

Serena’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou who has been outspoken before and admitted after last years final he was coaching from the stands but Serena didn’t engage had this to say in the documentary;

“It was horrible for us, It was fantastic for Tennis.”

“That was the best moment for Tennis in the last 10 years”

I’m not sure Serena feels the same and I’m interested to see what the general feeling is right now in the camp because I can’t imagine she would be pleased with this?

What happened was always going to be brought up with the championships looming but I am surprised that Patrick took part as he is a major part of her team. Maybe she gave him permission but we know there have been issues before.

Minutes after the final last year, Patrick was interviewed in the stands by ESPN’s Mary Carillo and admitted he was signalling and when put to Serena she had this to say;

Still to this day for me there is a prejudice.

This all stemmed from a warning for coaching. Serena never uses on-court coaching or talks to her box. Patrick Mouratoglou admitted he made signals but Serena didn’t engage so she was obviously irate at being accused of cheating.

Serena then picked up a point penalty for racket abuse.

She still wasn’t happy with the original penalty for coaching and went on about it. She asked for an apology for him essentially calling her a cheat. Because there was then a subsequent point penalty she called Carlos Ramos a thief for stealing a point off her.

As Serena made her way at the change of ends back towards the service line the umpire announced a game penalty for the American for verbal abuse.

Was it verbal abuse? I don’t think so.

Serena made the comment to the referee that men get away with a lot worse and it’s true, there is a double standard in the game and sport. If a woman shows emotion or anger they are perceived as being hysteric but if a man does it then it’s seen as passionate.

A year on the outline issue is still there. I believe there was an element of sexism involved in the treatment of Serena. This wouldn’t have happened in a men’s match I firmly believe that.

For example over the course of this season we have seen Fabio Fognini say he hoped a bomb would drop on the Wimbledon grounds. We have also seen Nick Kyrgios (who I do like but don’t condemn his behaviour) threw a chair in Rome, expletive language and just got a fine after. He also was incredibly rude and disrespectful to Fergus Murphy in Cincinnati but got nothing near what Serena did for a lot worse. He got fined over $100,000 after but what about punishment there and then?

Obviously last year’s final will be spoken about and both Naomi and Serena will inevitably asked what they think about it etc…

In a phone interview with New York times, former WTA CEO and current USTA Chief Executive of Professional Tennis Stacey Allaster has said Carlos Ramos will not be umpiring any of Serena’s matches and apparently Venus’ too.

You can read the full piece here;

Screenshot 2019-06-17 at 10.14.00

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