Serena Williams of the U.S. holds her trophy after defeating Venus Williams of the U.S. in their Ladies' Singles finals match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, July 4, 2009.
It's been a mighty long time, but I'm feeling the need to rant this Tuesday. MadProsseah brought us the news and I posted the ITF press release about Serena's penalty in his entry.
The release itself is a fraud, the perfect representation of the fraudulent organization that released it.
As an astute commenter on another forum asked, "If she's not suspended....what does this one mean?"
3. Ms. Williams is hereby suspended from participation in either the 2010, 2011 or 2012 US Open, as the case may be, except that any such suspension will not be imposed if no further Grand Slam Major Offence conviction occurs through and including 2011.
It means that the ITF is trying to control her.
Who is the ITF trying to appease? Mary Carillo? Andre Agassi? Lindsay Davenport? The rest of the field? Make a clear-cut decision. Suspend her or don't suspend her. Fine her $175,000 or fine her $82,500. But whatever you decide, don't try to split the difference with some Draconian bullshit.
Serena Williams is not an animal who belongs on a leash, short or long. She's a human being who lost her mind and had a reprehensible and inexcusable outburst. Given her history of high-profile, on-court injustices, a lesser person would have lost her mind years ago.
Serena has been fined the maximum. She apologized. She's never done anything like it before; it's highly unlikely she'll ever do anything like it again. She's proven throughout her career that she learns from her mistakes, big and small.
Adults would move along.
But the adults are asleep at the wheel over at the International Tennis Federation and the infants are running wild.
Fine Serena excessively, but if she behaves she'll get half of it back? Suspend Serena from the US Open for three years, but if she behaves her suspension won't be enforced? And since that clearly isn't enough, let's put her on probation and treat her like a common criminal. Oh, yes. And let's not define our terms (what the fuck constitutes a major offense anyway?) so we can muddy the water with ambiguity.
What kind of mind games are these idiots playing? I'm not one for shaming, but the whole thing is beyond ridiculous and the ITF and its representatives ought to be ashamed of themselves.
The ITF's action here is even more reprehensible and inexcusable than Serena's because the ITF, despite its cowardice, actually has power over her and they're abusing it to try to control her.
If this is how the ITF governs, then it should be put out of its misery post haste.
And I hope Serena, her spirit willing, her body strong, is inspired to win every Slam she enters throughout her entire probation.