Serena Williams is bringing seven dresses and her karaoke voice for the U.S. Open, but will she bring her calm and composure?
Twice in the last three years, her behavior toward an official stole the spotlight.
A year later, the 14-time Grand Slam singles winner comes into Flushing Meadows ranked No. 4 in the world and having won Wimbledon and the gold medal at the Olympics. And she’s been thrust even more prominently into the discussion of the greatest women’s players of all-time.
“You think about Serena Williams the last few years at the U.S. Open, she’s been pretty edgy,” ESPN analyst Pam Shriver said recently on air. “The situation against [Kim] Clijsters. She feels the pressure there more than anywhere.”
In the 2009 semifinals, Williams went ballistic on a lineswoman who called her for a foot fault. She lost to the unseeded Clijsters when she was given a point penalty on match point. Williams was fined $82,000 for the outburst.
“I was definitely stressed, and I was angry. I don’t foot-fault,” Williams told the New York Times Magazine recently. “Like, I have in the past, but this woman should never make a call in the semifinals of a Grand Slam on a person who doesn’t foot-fault.”
During last year’s final, Williams drew a code violation for saying something to the chair umpire after a dispute. Williams later told her, “If you ever see me walking down the hall, look the other way. You’re out of control. You’re a hater and you’re unattractive inside.”
Serena issued a pseudo-apology on Twitter.
She was on a 19-match winning-streak before losing to Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals in Mason, Ohio.
Again Williams flashed her temper. She threwher racket at the ground, picked it up and slammed it on the court when the second set slipped away.
“I probably need a break,” she said.
She got one and now here comes the Open, where she’s bringing seven dresses for seven matches — including the final — and her best karaoke voice.
“The first thing I do when I get to New York is I’m going to karaoke,” she said. “I’m a karaokier; normally I karaoke every day. I haven’t been able to karaoke since February.
“Now I’m just overwhelmed. I have so many songs I want to sing.”