It’s been pointed out that this clip, taken from the 2009 Doha Championship in Qatar, would have been played under the International Tennis Federation (ITF) rules, and that last night’s ruling—made by the same chair umpire, Eva Asderakia—was in accordance with the Women’s Tennis Association’s (WTA) guidelines. We presume that the two organizations treat these situations differently. Still, it’s fascinating to see how the situation was treated then, as it might help us better understand Williams’s confusion and frustration with the call: Asderakia immediately called a hindrance, and then allowed for a replay of the same point, and everyone laughed good-naturedly like they were old buddies who would now share an inside joke.
Last night, Aserakia [sic] called the hindrance on what appeared to be a forehand winner for Williams, and which would have set the score at deuce in the first game of the second set—but there was no replay, and there were no LOLs. Sam Stosur was given the point, the game, and she’d go on to take the match. Williams, meanwhile, may face a fine or suspension for calling Aserakia a “hater.”
Again, I want to simply bring up the point here that Serena was legitimately confused about why she had been called the fault. This post on Deadspin helps to clarify why it was that she reacted so obstinately.
I don’t find her reaction to be appropriate, but I think the righteous indignation in the press and pop culture (I saw one commenter call her a “classless thug”) has certainly been related to her gender and, to a certain extent, her race.