Sunday, September 11, 2011

U.S. Open--what they said

You want to play your best tennis, but we were just struggling today. I think they're a team that we've lost to before, and we've actually felt like we played--probably the time we played them before we played a better match than we did today. But today was kinda what we're talking about, just fighting and having each other's back and just kind of grinding it. Doesn't matter how ugly it got, the base part of it all was the tiebreak at the end. We actually played free. That was probably the part of the entire match that we felt like this is how we played the whole US Open.
Liezel Huber

Were you aware of the hindrance rule?
I thought it was the same as the hat rule; I guess I need to read the rule book.
Serena Williams

It's a little different because I've watched her like, play on TV. I watched her play Sharapova at the French. That just seemed like a long ways away. But I think us both being in the finals it like, leveled the playing field, and kind of, you know, brought her down from a little pedestal that I might have put her on like a few months ago.
Grace Min

After that first set, I kind of sat down, and I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest, and I thought, "Okay, I'm a set up now; I've got a chance to win one out of the next two, and I've got a chance."
Sam Stosur

She's an underdog from Down Under.
Mary Carillo

I didn't think I'd be standing here today. I didn't think I'd be standing, let alone standing here.
Serena Williams

You didn't have a big celebration. You didn't sort of fall to your knees or anything like that.    
Oh, my gosh. No. No.
Grace Min

Two years ago the umpire was from northern Europe, Danish or Swedish, Louise; today was a Greek called Eva. Blonde both. Did you confuse them?
I don't know. I mean, I don't know. Maybe. Probably for sure.
Serena Williams

Does it feel the way you thought it would?

I think it does. I think so.
Sam Stosur


Anonymous said...

Regarding the Serena quote. If Serena's team reads through the hindrance rule, they'll see what poor judgment was used in the call.

The USTA rules are at:

Hindrance is defined in section 26

If a player is hindered in playing the point by a deliberate act of the opponent(s), the player shall win the point.

However, the point shall be replayed if a player is hindered in playing the point by either an unintentional act of the opponent(s), or something outside the player’s own control (not including a permanent fixture)....”

So how do you determine if hindrance was intentional? Guidance is provided in the rule comments:

"USTA Comment 26.1: What is the difference between a deliberate and an unintentional act? Deliberate means a player did what the player intended to do, even if the result was unintended. An example is a player who hits a short lob in doubles and loudly shouts “back” just before an opponent hits the overhead...."

Here Serena DIDN’T do what she intended. She intended to yell “come-on” AFTER hitting the winner. The heat of the moment, similar to a “wasp sting” (another example used in the comments) caused her to yell “come-on” once she knew she hit a winner, but before Sam got to flail at the ball.

I’ve also read that this same umpire called a let against Serena in a similar situation in a previous match. Given that precedence, good judgment would have led to a let call.

Of course, the tennis community covers each other's back. So you'd expect Brian Earley to immediately approve the judgment call.

Amusingly, a mainstream writer tweeted that shrieking could be intended to hinder the opponent:

jon_wertheim: Unintended consequences/silver lining: surely the WTA MUST invoke the hindrance rule on the shriekers now. Right? Maybe?

But he reverted to political correctness in his 50 thoughts column (just to be safe, he said it was the correct call on BOTH pages of his web post).

Serena should apologize for her behavior after being hooked, but only after Eva Asderaki apologizes for her poor judgement.

Diane said...

My understanding--and this doesn't mean it's correct, okay?--is that the rules are somewhat different for majors.

The writer in question also reported that Serena threatened the umpire, so he must have seen and heard something that I didn't.

Anonymous said...

If the USTA rules don't apply to the US Open, Sports illustrated got it doubly wrong at:

They were wrong to quote only a small part of the rule, and you're implying that "USTA section 26" doesn't apply to the US Open.

What drives me crazy about situations like these is when officials (and writers like Wertheim) say a call is correct and don't provide the documentation.

Anonymous said...

Previous link got clipped. Shorten version here

Anonymous said...

If asked if she read USTA rule 26, and its supporting comments (like 26.1), the chair umpire, Eva Asderaki, would probably say "It's all Greek to me".

Tennis has an umpire problem.

Anonymous said...

L.Jon.Worthless goes back to what he knows best, people beating on each other.

Diane said...

He also wrote that Serena threatened the umpire, and I must have missed that. "Don't look at me" is not a threat.