Once again, a foot-fault call at US Open tennis was in the spotlight when ninth seed Andy Roddick blew a gasket at a line judge for (correctly) calling this error on him during his loss Wednesday night to his Serbian opponent, Janko Tipsarevic.
When the line judge explained her call to Roddick, she suffered an ill-timed brain-freeze and mistakenly said it was his right foot, when she meant to say it was his left. Therefore, he detonated, but his outburst was Sesame Street worthy when compared to the $82,500 fine-incurring profane meltdown that Serena Williams exhibited at last year’s Open. The New York Times recounted Serena’s outburst of hysteric proportion as follows:
“[Roddick’s] tempest was nothing compared with the most remembered match of the 2009 Open, between the powerful Serena Williams and a diminutive Japanese woman named Shino Tsurubuchi. After Tsurubuchi called Williams for a second-service foot fault, landing her a point from defeat in the women’s final against Kim Clijsters, Williams angrily confronted Tsurubuchi at her post outside the lines, threatening to asphyxiate her with the aid of the ball in her hand.”
Translation: Williams said, while clutching a tennis ball for emphasis, “I am going to shove this fucking ball down your fucking throat.”
Tsurubuchi was not the line judge that incurred Roddick’s wrath. Roddick’s loss sent him packing with his stunning Sports Illustrated swimsuit model wife, Brooklyn Decker, calling to mind the Fur Fish and Game assistant document shredder, Staten Island Plotnick, that I dated some years back, proving the new adage that we mate (or date) what we rate.
US Open Tennis and Wimbledon are my two favorite sporting events, but I do follow the other Grand Slam tennis tournaments as well, the Opens in Australia and France. Even though her personality is deficient, I admire Serena’s athleticism, but as a human being, I prefer her sister, Venus, approximately one million times more. I would love to see Venus, at age 30, win this year’s women’s singles final. The fact that Serena withdrew claiming a suspicious foot injury increases Venus’s chances of capturing this top prize once again.
Ironically, the highest paid female athlete today is not the top seed, Serena, but number fourteen, Maria Sharapova. In January she signed an eight-year contract with Nike worth $70 million. Milton and I find this mind-blowing since she last won a Grand Slam in 2008. Serena’s won five Grand Slam titles in the last two years. Unlike Serena, Sharapova has a winning personality, and coincidentally, she looks like a model. Sharapova easily won her match Thursday against Iveta Benesova. If Sharapova reaches the finals against Venus, that would be exciting. Neither of them has won a Grand Slam since 2008.
Without Serena playing, the women’s draw overall is much less exciting this year, but even without Roddick, the men’s draw remains very competitive. The final I would love to see is Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal. They have played each other 21 times, but never at the US Open, the only Grand Slam tournament Nadal has yet to win. If this match happens, my allegiance will be with Rafa, but if Federer wins, and it is not because of a foot-fault call, I will be okay with it since I like him very much, too.
About Federer … what to make of this video? Did he really knock the can off this guy’s head twice? He will not confirm or deny it. Hm.
Shoes are also news in the US Open. Federer is wearing ones decorated with the New York skyline, which I much prefer over the pompous Federer crest blazer he wore in 2006 at Wimbledon.
Last year, the teenage upstart from Marietta, Georgia, Melanie Oudin, got very lucky when she somehow managed to beat three far superior players, including Sharapova, while wearing shoes inscribed “Believe,” until Caroline Wozniacki, wearing shoes invisibly inscribed, “Reality bites,” knocked her out of the running. Yet, Oudin, a spunky blonde, was last year’s media darling.
While serving as play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports during weekend coverage of the Open last year, Dick Enberg gushed that Oudin “is the kind of kid you wish lived next door.”
Oh, you really think that, Dick? Clearly, you don’t know me.
This year Oudin wore tennis shoes inscribed “Courage.”
She got knocked out in the second round. I don’t think foot-faulting was a significant factor. I do think if she let go of the shoe inscribing, and focused more on her serve, that might take her game in a more winning direction. Of course, this is easy for me to say as I foot-fault my way through life.