As one who played tennis for many years and watched championships for decades, I must say I have never seen one like yesterday’s Women’s final at the US Tennis Open.
In any sport there are rules and regulations. There are contentious moments and days of grandeur but in the end the cliché that “it’s not about winning, but how you play the game,” still holds true.
In the past, players would rant and rave, scream at umpires and throw rackets. Some more than others depending on their temperaments. They displayed themselves in questionable performances or meltdowns of anger and hurt. Often they were cited for violations and sometimes fined as they should be. These outbursts of emotions from top seeded tennis pros would draw crowds filling stadiums to witness such shows of passionate athleticism but it doesn’t excuse their behavior.
Sadly, it has become the victimization of players who get offended by umpire calls and cited for their blistering tirades on the court that screams at the validity of the game. Calling into question are also the umpires who have personal issues with certain players along with whether or not they nitpick rules in different matches. The job is one that comes with recognition but should be scrutinized carefully. Umpires should be fair to all.
Bias of sportscasters of one athlete over all the other players has become as bad as the media in politics. It only adds to the fury of hate and the loss of the Champion in waiting; and that was definitely the case these last 2 weeks.
Of course there are discriminating facts between the sexes. It isn’t right, but shouldn’t be given into the debate of one player over another simply because of their accomplishments, fame and fortune. No one is above the rules especially as technology today can reveal exact spots the tennis ball lands and film crews can video tape unauthorized activities of those involved with the players during a match.
Everyone is responsible for how they act on and off the court. In this day and time the authors of entitlement have declared war on others because they believe they deserve to be treated differently and receive that which doesn’t belong to them, no matter what. That goes for players, coaches and umpires alike.
Forget competition as an incentive; the master of greed and offense has taken over.
What started out as an exciting, and anticipated great Championship match ended up being all about victimization that literally stole the greatest moment in a 20 year old girl’s life.
As she stood on the sidelines waiting and watching, her years of hard work and labor were swept under the rug of a diminished culture set on an “it’s all about me” syndrome. Tears streaming down her face should have been tears of joy for becoming the first Japanese woman to ever win a Grand Slam tournament. Instead they were tears overshadowed by shameful disputes that should have been determined peacefully and quickly to the point of being settled off the court in private even if the match needed to be paused.
As an American citizen and one who loves the game of tennis Naomi, I apologize that you were exposed to such reprehensible inefficiency. The USTA needs some strong lessons in court management so that this kind of disorganization never happens again.
I commend and congratulate you, Naomi Osaka for your mature, quiet and graceful conduct in the midst of a tumultuous scene. You truly are the real Champion.