Serena Williams Quits Cincy Event, Heads to Roller Coaster, Then Kardashian Wedding

Serena Williams had time on her hands after pulling out of Cincy event with an injury

 

REPORTING FROM MASON, OHIO – Serena Williams just didn’t want to be here. So just before her match with Sam Stosur Wednesday, she withdrew from the Cincinnati Open with what she called a “bit of an aggravation’’ and “not feeling excellent’’ and “a little swelling’’ in her big toe.

Please.

Later, pictures of her emerged on the web sitting in a roller coaster at the amusement park a few blocks from the tennis center. She also said she would likely make it to Kim Kardashian’s wedding Saturday.

“Now that I have time, I probably will,’’ she said. “I hadn’t thought about it, so. . .’’

Williams just didn’t want to be here. Is she hurt? Sure she is. Everyone in tennis is.

But Williams made a commitment to come here, and then showed up for one match – enough to avoid being fined for breaking her commitment – and then stuck it to the tournament, stuck it to the tour, stuck it to the ticket-buying fans.

Her appearance on the roller coaster was sort of a raised middle finger.

So who wins? Williams wins. The tour will do nothing to her. She owns the tour.

Who loses? Tennis fans, as always. They get such little respect. The tour said Williams would come. Williams said she would come. Fans bought tickets to see her.

Later in the day, Victoria Azarenka pulled out with a hand strain, and I asked her if it was a big issue now, or if the bigger issue was making sure she was ready for the U.S. Open.

“Both,’’ she said.

Last week, Jo Wilfried Tsonga took it another step in Canada, trailing Novak Djokovic a set and 3-0, and then pulling out because his arm hurt. He said he knew he couldn’t come back and beat Djokovic with one arm. And that was not just a measure of disrespect to fans, but also a sign of what kind of fighter Tsonga is not.

“I would have continued to play,’’ Williams said, when asked if she would have played on if her first round match had gone three sets. “I definitely would have continued to play. Always. . .

“But I don’t think this is a good time for me to take a big chance. I just don’t think that would be smart.’’

Not with the U.S. Open coming in two weeks.

This isn’t as simple as it seems. Williams is back after a year away with a foot injury and then blood clots in her lungs. She just returned to the tour in June and her body isn’t used to the beating.

She had played seven matches in the previous eight days. She seemed to be lacking motivation in her first round match here, and afterward someone asked her if she was worried about overplaying.
“Yeah, I’m going to have to figure that out,’’ she said. “I definitely don’t want to overdo it. My main goal right now is obviously to do well.

“And nothing against Cincinnati or Toronto or the Stanfords that I played, but this is all preparation. Everyone is preparing for the U.S. Open. So I have to be smart and make sure it’s not too much.’’

I’ve blamed the tour before for having too many demands on the players, too many mandatory tournaments. As a result, for the past few years, Williams has shown up at non-majors and lost on purpose, or just invented injuries to avoid fines for not playing.

But since Wimbledon, Williams has played, as she said, Stanford, Toronto and Cincinnati. And on the women’s tour, those are not mandatory events. The rules get confusing, but in the end, she signed up for those three tournaments on her own.

And now she just pulled the cord.

After losing in the fourth round at Wimbledon, Williams dug in to get ready for the Open. She has won two non-majors in a row, which has meant a lot of practice time, a lot of matches.

For years, she has tried to keep her schedule down and her mind fresh. And I think she just didn’t feel like playing anymore, and wanted to be fresh for the Open. That’s understandable.

So Williams is the most divisive athlete in American sports, and this withdrawal will fit perfectly into that. If you don’t trust her, you have evidence that you’re right: She gave her word and then left. If you believe in her, then you can understand what she’s doing: She has been playing way more than her body is used to, and the U.S. Open is coming.

Either way, it’s true. But Williams is the one who chose to come to Cincinnati. She didn’t pull out because of anything connected to her health or her blood clots. She gave her word to tennis fans, and it should take more than “a little swelling’’ in the big toe to break it.

 

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About gregcouch

I can talk tennis all day long, and often do. And yet some of the people I talk to about it might rather I talk about something else. Or with someone else. That’s how it is with tennis, right? Sort of an addiction. Sort of a high. I am a national columnist at FoxSports.com and a FoxSports1 TV insider, and have been a columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times. In 2010, I was the only American sports writer to cover the full two weeks of all four majors, and also to cover each of the U.S. Masters series events. I’ve seen a lot of tennis, talked with a lot of players, coaches, agents. I watched from a few rows behind the line judge as Serena rolled her foot onto the baseline for the footfault, a good call, at the 2009 U.S. Open. I sat forever watching a John Isner marathon, leaving for Wimbledon village to watch an England World Cup soccer game at a pub and then returning for hours of Isner, sitting a few feet from his wrecked coach. I got to see Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling joke around on a practice court on the middle Sunday at Wimbledon, placing a small wager on a tiebreaker. Djokovic won, and Soderling pulled a bill out of his wallet, crumpled it into his fist and threw it at Djokovic, who unwadded it, kissed it, and told me, “My work is done here.’’ And when Rafael Nadal won the French Open in 2010, I finished my column, walked back out onto the court, and filled an empty tic tac container with the red clay. I’m looking at it right now. Well, I don’t always see the game the same way others do. I can be hard on tennis, particularly on the characters in suits running it. Tennis has no less scandal and dirt than any other game. Yet somehow, it seems to be covered up, usually from an incredible web of conflicts of interest. I promise to always tell the truth as I see it. Of course, I would appreciate it if you’d let me know when I’m wrong. I love sports arguments and hope to be in a few of them with you here. Personal info: One-handed backhand, serve-and-volleyer. View all posts by gregcouch

47 responses to “Serena Williams Quits Cincy Event, Heads to Roller Coaster, Then Kardashian Wedding

  • Paula V.

    I agree that Serena probably has been playing too much, and it is wise for her to pace herself. But, I have a feeling that it won’t take long for Serena to become bored with tennis once again. She will likely do what she needs to do to get back into the top 10 or even the top 5, then just “maintain”. Too bad. She is such a gifted athlete.

  • rspatafora

    Oh, man. You’re in trouble. I agree with you, but you are in big big trouble. :-)

  • roGER

    I will be so happy to see Uranus and Venus (perpetually injured also) gone.

    They have zero respect for the fans and for tennis and indeed anyone outside their weird family. For professed Christians, they seem to do an awful lot of lying…

  • ABC

    So. much. rubbish.

    Firstly, your point about the rollercoaster is completely irrelevant. Last time I checked, sitting on a rollercoaster and looking like you’re about to cry isn’t exactly a physically demanding exercise. However, playing a professional tennis match against a top 10 player IS.

    Secondly;
    “Williams made a commitment to come here, and then showed up for one match – enough to avoid being fined for breaking her commitment.”

    More lying. There are NO fines for withdrawing. What happens is that if you withdraw from x tournament you lose your place on the bonus list at the end of the year. But Serena won’t be on that list anyway because of the injury and illness (which, by the way, you also tried to call BS on last year. How did that work out?) which meant she started the year at Eastbourne and has already withdrawn from countless events. If she really didn’t want to go to Cincinnati, she would have simply withdrawn in Toronto as Radwanska did.

    Third
    “As a result, for the past few years, Williams has shown up at non-majors and lost on purpose, or just invented injuries to avoid fines for not playing.”

    Where’s the proof? Show some proof before coming up with statements like that. Once again, you aren’t fined for withdrawing from events, so once again the idea that she invents injuries to avoid fines is simply made up in your head.

    At the end of the day, she’s just about to turn 30, has been back for five tournaments after a year layoff with serious lung problems and you seriously expect her to be even capable of playing three tournaments in four events? Her schedule was simply too ambitious, and anyone who watched her first round match saw Serena at ease until 6-3 5-1 where she inexplicably fell apart. The look of anguish on her face wasn’t that of someone who “lacked motivation” or wasn’t trying. At the end of the match Serena could barely speak into the microphone – something was clearly wrong and it was obvious she would end up retiring so close to the US Open.

    Azarenka did so too, and has withdrawn/retired from about 6/7 tournaments this year. However, while it’s pretty unanimous from fans and pundits that she is simply injury prone and unlucky, when it comes to Serena, it’s always that she’s lying. The double standards are astounding.

    And really, the whole issue of Kim Kardashian’s wedding is cute and funny funny but also irrelevant. Kardashian is her friend and she has known about it for ages. She was under ZERO obligation to even initially enter Cincinnati, though if she had decided not to enter it so close to Kardashian’s wedding, you would have criticized her anyway. Moreover, if she had tried hard, picked up a more serious niggle in injury and hurt her US Open chances, you would have criticized her for that also.

  • Karen Williams

    You really need to read the WTA Rules before you start spouting your regular nonsense. Toronto and Cincinatti are mandatory events. All players are required to play them.

    On another note, if she plays tournaments and wins. She gets dogged. If she withdraws from tournaments, she also gets dogged. Its a good thing she never pays attention to the likes of this pretender as she would surely not leave the house.

    I guess Clijsters’ toe, wrist, foot, ankle, stomach or whatever injury it was that forced her out of Toronto and Cincy are legitimate. I guess Pova’s shoulder that allowed her to be beaten by a qualifier is a legit injury? At some point in time, people need to call Greg Couch on his BS.

    Backra massa days are over and the slaves have been emancipated

  • Leo

    I skipped the tl;dr comment/essays above. Good job, uncivil bloviators.

    At this point and really for upwards of a decade now, expecting Serena to be anything but a preening narcissist whose word means nothing would be foolish.

    Stop expecting her to be anything but a brat. It won’t happen. Not until the day she dies.

  • paul warren (@pwarn25)

    Greg Couch is an internal hater of Serena so anything he writes is biased and rubbish, So, bitch shut the fuck up. She just won 2 tournaments and she needs to skip this lame tournament.

  • nyc

    To all the vitriolic Serena supporters above:

    Serena is the greatest player of her era, by a wide margin, and great for the sport.

    But she also has a looong history of last minute withdrawals from tournaments, which is hell on the organizers, sponsors and fans. Yes, she is not the only one to do this, but does it more often and later than other top players. And while I agree that riding a roller coaster and playing tennis aren’t the same, the “optics” of pulling out then riding the coaster are terrible.

    Now please feel free to play the race card.

  • Plus Ça Change . . . | Tennis News, Videos and Tennis Lessons

    […] On Tuesday I described the Cincy Masters, that “highway and a Marriott” somewhere in the vicinity of Mason, Ohio, as a new and unlikely tennis Mecca. It seems that the women of the WTA were a little skeptical of that assessment, because they’ve been hightailing it out of there as fast as they can. So far Kim Clijsters, Venus and Serena Williams, and Victoria Azarenka have dropped out of the tournament, for reasons that appear less than severe—Venus because of a virus she picked up more than a week earlier, Serena because she hurt her toe, Azarenka because she strained her hand. I suppose this is what you have to expect when you schedule a tournament two weeks before the U.S. Open—or the same weekend as Kim Kardashian’s wedding. Or, maybe that’s what you get when you hold an event near what looks like a really awesome roller-coaster. See Serena, and presumably her toe, on it here. […]

  • Juliet

    Serena has been treated, poorly by her own Americans……whenever she plays opponents from other countries they cheer for the opponents and not her, infact they boo her……so why should she respect y’all……….

  • mphillip

    it is noted that too many events are scheduled before the US Open.

    It is clearly a marketing/financial decision to attach 4 to 5 events to each Slam tournament.

    Should players protect themselves by making reasonable decisions about how they participate in an unreasonable system?

    You betcha…

    Another cottage industry for tenni bloggers and sites: dissecting serena’s motives. I thought there would be a short break considering what has happened to her, but I get it:

    Jelena J and A Roddick said it in a fit of honesty: without serena, the broad, casual audience drops and no longer cares about tennis. Bad for tennis; bad for tennis writers and blogs…

    Btw: one writer on one blog can speak for all fans? We all hate serena?

    Absurd…

    Love the roller coaster photo.

  • nyc

    “Serena has been treated, poorly by her own Americans……whenever she plays opponents from other countries they cheer for the opponents and not her, infact they boo her……so why should she respect y’all……….”

    Sorry, Juliet, but I’ve attended several of her matches at the US Open, and this is simply not true–the crowd was clearly behind her. Much easier to make up facts than address the real ones.

  • bourque801

    Mr Couch

    I tried to make a comment on your excellent blog yesterday, but I didn’t see It published, so I’ll try to shorten what i was trying to say In my earlier post about Serena Williams.

    Serena Williams, Is the only Women’s tennis player I would pay to see, because when she’s at her best, She can reach a transcendent, even heavenly, or magical level of tennis.

    The best example is the 2007 Australian Open between Serena & Maria Sharapova….Just Spectacular tennis by Serena.

    I will try to comment more on this great blog when I have a chance

    Thank You

  • Maxshade7

    Couch has a point. Serena being photographed on a Cincy rollercoaster after withdrawing from an event in Cincy looks really really bad. She looks like shes having a fun time though.

  • TennisFan1978

    Serena just won Toronto. She showed up in Cincinnati to be placed in the middle of the day, while Sharapova and Azarenka who’ve won nothing lately get the prime time evening slot. I couldn’t believe it and was hoping she quits.

    Serena is the only American player who wins tennis nowadays. When is the last time an american player other than Serena won a tennis WTA tournament?
    Serena is dissed in America for the Eastern european mafia. Unblievable !! Serena was right to leave.

    If Cincinnati can’t respect her and her winning ways, she should not care about their tournament.
    Thanks Serena for sticking it to them.
    Love you.

  • nyc

    TennisFan

    So according to you a player should quit if she doesn’t like the schedule of their matches, and she should quit if she doesn’t think the fans are giving her enough support. And according to you American fans support Russian players over Serena (though I know this is false from attending several of Serena’s matches at the US Open.)

    I’m glad Serena is not as unprofessional as you would like her to be. And perhaps you should actually learn something about the sport (and about spelling and grammar) before you call yourself “TennisFan”

  • TennisFan1978

    I saw the spelling but there is no way to edit messages here. So it’s ok to call me uneducated. I can live with that, since I am probably more educated and probably in a higher income bracket than you.

    Suffice it to say, I fully agree with Serena leaving Cincinnati. Why is Sharapova in the evening slot on Tuesday when Serena is stuck at noon?
    Then on Wednesday, it’s Azarenka is in the evening slot, when people are off work and can sit back to enjoy tennis?
    What has Azarenka won lately?

    I don’t know your experience but I have seen enough of the US crowd rooting for the European girls over Serena.
    Melanie Oudin and Capriati have more support here than Serena. You can close your eyes and not see any of that. That’s ok too, Mr Educated.

  • nyc

    Capriati hasn’t played on tour since 2004. Yes, you certainly know a lot about the sport.

  • TennisFan1978

    of course I do.. The fact is Capriati facing Serena had all the crowd behind her. That recent history. Maby you were born yesterday.

    And that’s true for any european woman playing Serena in the US.
    When I saw the Order of play on Wedenesday, I wished Serena would simple withdraw. And she did. I didn’t believe one second the reason she gave, but I couldn’t care less.

    Let them stuck Serena in the middle of the day, and let Azarenka play in the evening when it’s 2, 3 am in Europe… and we in the US are home from work, looking forward to watch the only American player that wins WTA tournaments.
    Nice Job folks.

  • TennisFan1978

    I didn’t believe one second the reason she gave, but I could care less.

  • Dee

    Stupid, Stoopid, Stewpid people. How many other players withdrew from Cincy? Did you follow them around and question their reason? Did you intrude on their life and take pictures of what they were doing? Riding a rollercoaster…omg…is soooooooooooooo strenuous. It demands vigorous exertion and is very labor intensive. Oh, these rollercoasters can really kill you. NOT!!! Then, attending a wedding–how dare she? Couch needs to go someone and sit down. I am so glad that the divine one withdrew. And, if you think it looks bad for her being on a rollercoaster afterwards, go suck a lemon. Your life is already sour!!!

  • TennisFan1978

    And if you look into the lives of those people who spew they hatred here, you’ll find out they are all liars too.

    Maybe that’s what irks them. Serena is outdoing them in their domain of expertise.
    Is there a tennis player who’s never given a questionable excuse to bail out of a tournament?

  • nyc

    Yes, poor Serena, everyone is out to get her. And how dare some fans at the 2004 US Open in NY root for Capriati, another top American player who happens to be from next door in New Jersey.

    (I won’t bother to correct grammatical mistakes, like using “that” when you mean “who”.)

  • TennisFan1978

    Serena left. Find something else to write about. How about a piece on Azarenka, Zvonareka, Sharapova, Wozniacki, Kirilenko?
    You are sick she is beating all those girls when you’ve already written her off.
    You are hurting so bad.
    Sorry, you can’t invite your friends in a park and have a picnic to hang Serena like in the old days. All you got is some lame attacks on a obscure blog.

    • Dee

      Thank you! Couch and others hate the fact that Serena has risen again–like a Phoenix rising out of the ashes. My girl is so very popular; she has turned the tennis world upside down. How dare she? Eat your heart out. Don’t hate, appreciate. You all are so very fortunate to see history in the making–Serena Supergirl Williams!!!

  • nyc

    So criticism of Serena Williams (and note that I also said above she is the best player of her era and great for the sport) is comparable to lynching.

    Yes, you certainly have things in proper perspective. I suspected someone would play the race card. Thanks for proving me right. Must be tiring to walk around all day with such a big chip on your shoulder.

    Have a nice life.

  • TennisFan1978

    Azarenka withdrew.
    Peng withdrew.
    How about an entire article on them?
    Yes, your criticism of Serena is equivalent to lynching. It’s obvious. But I don’t expect you to see it. It’s part of you and it’s ugly.

  • MS PROSPER

    LET’S GET IT RIGHT SERENA HAD A SECOND SURGERY ON HER FOOT BECAUSE HER TOE WAS HANGING AND NEEDED TO FIXED SO SHE WOULD BE ABLE TO PLAY TENNIS AGAIN. ALSO, IF SHE SAYS SHE IS INJURED WHO ARE WE TO DEBATE THAT OR THE ASSHOLE WRITING THIS BLOG. WHICH ANYONE CAN SEE IS A HATER. BUT LET ME PUT IT LIKE THIS FOR ALL THE HATERS OUT THERE. SERENA IS A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE AND DO YOU THINK SHES CARES WHAT YOU HATERS THINK ABOUT HER WHILE SHE’S CARRYING THOSE MILLION DOLLAR CHECKS TO THE BANK. THE JOKES ALL ON YOU HATERS. OH YEAH FOR THE HATER WRITING THIS BLOG WHAT YOUR ACCOUNT AND PAYCHECK LOOK LIKE. I THOUGHT SO $00. THANKS FOR THE LAUGH HATERS.

  • TennisFan1978

    Berdych retired after losing the first set 7-5.

    We are waiting for a vitriolic attack on this guy. A picture of him would be nice too.

  • Lita

    GOODNESS Mr. Couch, you hating on Ms. Williams again?

    I’m like the poster who wants to know what’s the matter with Kim. She’s to be believed and Williams isn’t?

    Shame on you. Good Luck to Miss Williams by he way at the US Open. Hope she wins!

  • rba

    I count myself a fan of Serena, but it is amazing how defensive/paranoid some of her fans here are. A legitimate opinion by Greg Couch is called hating (or lynching, according to one poster). Posters assume he has never criticized any other player, yet his earlier post about Andy Roddick’s tantrum was much harsher.

    News flash to some of you–you can critique something a player does without hating him or her (in fact you can still like and admire them) and you can critique a black player without being a racist.

    • Dee

      Yeah, critique a player; but critique the rest of the players who did the same thing. Why single her out, ONLY, on this particular issue? Check out the Cincy event; and you will see the list of players that withdrew/retired.

  • krissym

    Rafa nearly burned his fingers off and still played. Why did Serena even bother coming to the tournament if she wasn’t here to win it. As a fan, it was very disappointing to show up to the stadium to see the Stosur/Williams match and then find out she withdrew. Didn’t know she went to Kings Island but the word around the stadium was that she wanted to go to wedding. I am a Serena fan but she fell several notches in my book……………..

  • rba

    Krissym

    I believe you are entitled to your opinion, and I think your comment is entirely fair.

    But according to some of the people on this site, you are a hater and a racist for even suggesting Serena did anything wrong. Your comment may even be compared to lynching.

    These posters haven’t forgotten how that lineswoman at the US Open threatened Serena with violence after the foot fault call. Oh, wait, it was Serena who threatened the lineswoman. Either way, it couldn’t have been Serena’s fault.

    • bourque801

      rba

      I think that Serena “snapped” at that lineswoman, because:

      1. She was really angry that Kim was going to defeat her at that US Open semifinal, I think that Serena(who would never admit this publicly.) still thought that Kim would give away the match….and when, in playing Kim on that day, and realizing that She was going to lose the match, Just….snapped.

      The anger that Serena showed, in my opinion, why she has won the grand Slams that she has…..and why she will win more grand Slams if She plays her best.

      One has to have the desire, or fire in the belly, to win grand Slams….one cannot play soft, and win.

      In closing, here Is a link to a clip from the Tudors, TV series in which the actor Peter O’Toole as the pope talks about forgiving Michelangelo because of his genius….I say the same thing, I forgive Serena Williams, because of her heavenly genius on the tennis courts….We, as intelligent world tennis fans….will miss Serena when she retires.

      Thank You

  • RS

    ABC,

    You broke down Crouch’s column like a master. You’re my hero right after Serena.

  • Lita

    I saw one of the WORST finals matches I’ve ever seen yesterday. The Maria Sharapova vs Jelena Jankovic match in Cincy. Between the two women, there were over 100 plus unforced errors, over a dozen faults and numerous breaks of serve one after the other especially in the final set. All in all, it was a lousy match. It was so bad, I was almost going to turn off my telly, but I was drawn in by how HORRIBLE the match was. it was like a train wreck. It’s like you really don’t want to watch, but have to. Am I to believe Maria Sharapova is in the top 5 of WTA players and that Jelena is in the top 12 or so? My God, what in the world is woman’s tennis coming to? The officiating was bad also. One of the female announcers kept praising Maria because she said she “gutted” out the win like a true champion. I beg to differ. Maria “gutted” out a win because she cannot serve consistently and because Jelena is a shell of what she used to be which was a good player. I pray there isn’t more tennis like this to come at the US Open.

    Did someone else see this clunker of a finals match in Cincy?

    • bourque801

      Lita

      As a Serena fan, when I watch Sharapova or Jankovic play….I know that Serena is better than both of them when she’s playing her best….Serena in my opinion, must take advantage of this moment, and go for the Grand Slam next year.

      I think that as of right now, Clijsters Is the only women’s tennis player who could compete with Serena at her best, that’s why I hope both champions can stay healthy….I have said that Serena can reach a transcendent, heavenly level of tennis, but I have to admit, Clijsters can reach that level too when she’s playing at her best, and I would pay to see her play tennis also.

      In closing, when Serena & Clijsters retire….It is really going to be depressing watching Women’s tennis….

      Thank You

  • Gonk Of Gunnedah

    The thing about Serena’s regular withdrawals that pisses me off is that by trotting out various excuses for withdrawing from tournaments no pressure is put on the tour to reduce the commitments they force upon the top players.
    If Serena with all her power does not have the strength to say words to the effect of ” ive played last week, won the tournament, and in order to be at my top for the US Open i cannot compete here because doing so would increase the chances of injury and lessen my ability to win the tournament that everyone trains their lives to win” then who does?
    Clisters, Venus and Henin were the same. The most you get out of them is a whinge about the crowded schedules.
    Two major tournaments in a row is stupid for anyone who is likely to win them. If your aim is to win every tournament you enter (as it is by law given that tanking is an offence) then the hardcourt strecth expects a player to play 12 matches in about 2 14 days, have one week off and then play a grand slam. This does not make sense to anyone buyt the lower ranked players who are advantaged by having the events in as short a time as possible so they can go to a city, win a match or two, have the rest of the week off and then go to the next tournament and do it all again. The negative effects of this are injuries to top players, major events being won by random players from week to week because it is too hard for a player to be fit for weeks and weeks in a row, it must cause mental burnout for some, and it also results in the stupid fiasco the womens tour has had for the last 7 years of underserved players having the year end number one simply because they travelled the most and stayed on their feet the longest.

    To end with two conspiracy theories
    1- The WTA need the underserving number ones who play all the time because the Wozniaki’s, Jankovic’s and Safina’s of the tour ensure that each major event can claim a technical number 1. The tour used to guarantee that certain numbers of the top 10 or top 3 had to be at each event or the tour had to play the event a fine (‘Venus Envy’ by Jon Wertheim talks about this). And the tour wants a player who plays their events all the time, the Slams themselves only advantage the tour in the sense of the brand of a player winning the slams helps the concept of tennis recognition. But they would hate a Serena type who only played, and won, the Slams whilst ignoiring the tour. They in fact legislate against it, with the mandatory events spread out over a year. I recall Martina Navratilova discussing her defection and one of the reasons she claimed contributed to her defection was that the Czech authorities were trying to tell her when to play and where. This would enrage me if i was a player.

    2- Clijsters has pulled out of events and had a stop/start tour because she does not want to be ranked in the top ten at years end and therefore forced to play the mandatory events. 2012 is widely believed to be her last year, if she is not in top ten this year she can choose whatever schedule she like (eg she would not have to play both Ind Wells and Key Biscayne, or Rome and Madrid). Clijsters injuries have often occured in lock step with what appears to be her desire to play. She has missed the clay season both years since her come back. Is just a gut feeling and iam a cynic, but its interesting to think about.
    Being in the top ten at a years end results in you having less independance in your scheduling the next. Doesnt seem so far to me.

    • bourque801

      Gonk

      Thank you for your Informative comment….I didn’t know that if one was in the top 10 at years end, one would have to play In the “mandatory” tennis events the year after…I think that you are on target with your “conspiracy theories”.

  • Netwittee

    After reading all the comments about Serena from her fans and haters,
    my conclusion is that no one really knows the truth. The public is kept
    in the dark. Maybe its PC or the player wants to appear to be an angel.
    The tennis coverage has changed 100 per cent, we are kept in the
    dark for a reason. The players when interviewed after a match usually
    say the same thing every time. They compliment their opponent and
    say ” wow I had a lucky day!” or something to that effect.
    New commentator Chrissey, give me a break.

  • Ms Mary Alexander

    I think Serena is a great tennis player, her record speak fo its self. The umpire should be fined for making a bad call. She is an American and has earned every bit of her record. This is back to old rolling 20″s. True colors will come out of dark, stop hating on the Williams sisters. This is not the first time you have these remarks, or is it because a black player is saying. Can you not support black Americans? Give me a break. I am tired of thes negative comments. Get a life.

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