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September 09, 2018

Serena Williams Loses To Better Player And her Own Temper, But Mostly To A Better Player


I don't have much interest in tennis, aside from the sartorial excesses and pulchritude of some of the women players. But this egregious example of our current worship of celebrity is galling. Williams broke the rules and got her ass kicked by a better and more dignified player. She should have respected the outcome, which wasn't in doubt, and shown some grace in defeat. And the fans should have recognized the better player instead of braying in support of their tribal favorite.

Athletics is the great equalizer. Skill, talent, perseverance, toughness, resilience. Nothing else matters between the lines, least of all the number of brain-dead front-running fans who cheer you in spite of your unsportsmanlike behavior.

I happened to see Williams' semifinal match at a bar on Thursday (because the Yankees weren't playing) while enjoying a cocktail, and I was struck by how flatfooted and out of shape she seemed. I was surprised that she won the match, although it seemed to a knowledgeable friend next to me that she didn't win it as much as her opponent lost it. Regardless, she behaved correctly, and the interview after the match was a reasonably good example of grace in victory.

Too bad she can't handle defeat. It will tarnish her legacy, and that is appropriate.


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posted by CBD at 12:15 PM

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