When possible, I root for fellow Americans but I don’t think I’ll ever root for either of the Williams sisters again. Not after their crass behavior following losses at the U.S. Open . The following article in the Hartford Courant perfectly expresses what I feel.
The complete article can be viewed at:
Back in 1972, Arthur Ashe was playing Ilie Nastase in the U.S. Open final at Forest Hills. Ashe was leading2-1 in sets and looked as if he was on his way to a comfortable victory. Then Nastase deliberately started acting up. He argued line calls, dawdled while he was on serve, and used every trick that he could to upset Ashe’s concentration and throw him off his rhythm. It worked and Ashe wound up losing in five sets. The lowpoint occurred during the award ceremony: Nastase received the oversize winner’s check and waved it in front of Ashe’s face. At all times Ashe was his usual gracious self. He never complained about Nastase’s tactics ; nor did he offer any excuses for his defeat. Then, as always, he was the epitome of class.
We have come a long way since then. We have since had our own bad boys of tennis, the bratty Jimmy Connors and the whiny John McEnroe. Both of them had their moments and they won a lot. Jimmy was a pugnacious battler and Mac was a tennis genius with a deft touch. Their on court behavior , however, was disgraceful. Disputing line calls, abusing umpires, delaying matches… they did it all and were poor ambassadors for the sport and for their country. Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi were a welcome change. But now we have the Williams sisters.
In recent years , both have been prone to injury and their outside interests have eroded their dedication to the sport. It’s still possible that they may rebound and win several more Grand Slams but , in my book, no matter no matter how much they win, they will always be sore losers.