The Corner

Sports

Serena Behaved Abysmally

I am not much of a tennis fan and don’t have a strong view on whether it was wrong for the umpire to have penalized Serena Williams with a lost game in yesterday’s final match at the U.S. Open. But there can be no doubt that she behaved shamefully, and the ultimate responsibility for the controversy is on her and her appalling lack of grace.

It all began when the umpire warned her — just warned her — about her coach signaling her from the stands, which the coach afterward confirmed he’d been doing (although he says Serena was unaware of it). Then the umpire penalized her a point for breaking her racket, which she did under her own power and in plain view of everyone after she lost a game. Then she freaked out and launched a tirade of unhinged verbal abuse at the umpire. Maybe he should have turned the other cheek, but this was a remarkably childish display — she called the umpire a thief for penalizing her for the clear violation of breaking her racket, and she demanded an apology for citing her for the coaching that, as far as the umpire could tell, was definitely happening.

Afterward, she didn’t express regret over losing her cool but blamed sexism for her predicament. The match will be forever remembered now as taking place under a cloud because of the game penalty, but Serena was getting soundly beaten and almost certainly would have lost anyway. There was only one woman on the court who played and conducted herself like a champion, and it was the 20-year-old kid. Congrats to Naomi Osaka.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

Most Popular

U.S.

How to Bend the News

This, from ABC, is a nice example of a news organization deliberately bending the truth in order to advance a narrative that it wishes were true but is not: Venerable gun manufacturer Colt says it will stop producing the AR-15, among other rifles, for the consumer market in the wake of many recent mass ... Read More
U.S.

Trump’s Total Culture War

 Donald Trump is waging a nonstop, all-encompassing war against progressive culture, in magnitude analogous to what 19th-century Germans once called a Kulturkampf. As a result, not even former president George W. Bush has incurred the degree of hatred from the left that is now directed at Trump. For most of ... Read More
Education

George Packer Gets Mugged by Reality

Few journalists are as respected by, and respectable to, liberals as The Atlantic’s George Packer. The author of The Assassin's Gate (2005), The Unwinding (2013), and a recently published biography of Richard Holbrooke, Our Man, Packer has written for bastions of liberal thought from the New York Times Magazine ... Read More
World

Iran’s Act of War

Last weekend’s drone raid on the Saudi oil fields, along with the Israeli elections, opens a new chapter in Middle Eastern relations. Whether the attack on Saudi oil production, which has temporarily stopped more than half of it, was launched by Iranian-sponsored Yemeni Houthis or by the Iranians themselves is ... Read More