The Eraser Strikes Again


On January 16, I posted an article entitled, “The Eraser.” The gist of the piece was that Serena Williams hates to lose in a slam when she feels she should have emerged victorious.

Furthermore, she can’t wait for the opportunity to erase that bad memory by trouncing the player who upended her.

Today she did just that in the semifinals of the Family Circle Cup contested on clay in Charleston, S. C. Williams dominated second seed, Samantha Stosur, 6-1, 6-1.

Stosur defeated Williams in a somewhat controversial final of the 2011 U.S. Open.

In that match, Williams had dropped the first set, 2-6 while not playing her best tennis. Stosur however, was playing well.

At a critical juncture in the second set, with Williams down 30-40, but appearing to be tapping into her champion reserves, she was assessed a code violation and point penalty by the chair umpire for shouting, “Come On” after hitting a monster forehand but before the ball had landed.

According to ITF (International Tennis Federation) rules, the chair umpire called Williams for a hindrance.

The umpire had the latitude to simply have the point replayed if she felt the hindrance was unintentional. But she chose to levy the more severe option which gave Stosur the game.

The penalty seemed harsh particularly considering the fact that Serena is a fierce competitor but hardly the type player who would intentionally do something to hinder an opponent. I felt that she was just caught up in the moment and trying desperately to pump herself up.

But the umpire made her call and did not relent. Needless to say, Serena became enraged and, as is said, “The rest is history.”

Though months had elapsed, I felt that Serena would come into the 2012 Australian Open with one thing on her mind, erasing the grating memory of her loss to Stosur by soundly thrashing her, that is of course, if the opportunity presented itself. It didn’t. Stosur lost in the first round, Williams in the fourth.

So Serena had to wait until today to exact a measure of satisfaction and erase the bad memory of her loss to Stosur.

I have a feeling Serena will sleep serenely tonight after today’s erasure and be primed for the final match against Lucie Safarova tomorrow.

For tomorrow’s match, my money is on “The Eraser.”

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