“Serena Was Often A Sore Sport And A Very Ungracious Loser” Radio Jock Comes For Tennis’ Retiring GOAT But Fails To Mention The Real Sore Losers

(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Although Serena Williams lost the 2022 US Open after a 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1 loss to Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday night, negative opinions about her storied career still linger.

She has been a polarizing tennis player for her entire career, and even through all the success, she still rattles media members. As she competed in her swan song tournament at the U.S. Open, people who have an axe to grind with the tennis GOAT are expressing their opinions more than ever.

One of the hosts of The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C., had a lot to tweet about Williams, and the people were not feeling him for it.

“Serena was often a sore sport and a very ungracious loser. When she wins, she’s awesome. She just always rubbed me the wrong way.

“She’s the greatest of all time though. No doubt. I just never cared for her.”

Immediately the internet took offense and began to decipher the meaning behind the words: are you just a Serena hater, or is your bias showing? Tennis has some epic tantrum-throwing players and real sore losers, however, they were not mentioned in the tweet.

Eric “E.B.” Bickel hosts the 25-year-old Washington Metropolitan area staple program. His opinions are polarizing, and he also tweeted, “I think I was the only person in the country rooting against Serena.”

Russian former world No. 1 tennis player Marat Safin was a notoriously sore loser who displayed dissatisfaction by breaking tennis rackets his entire career.

“All my life I played with Head, they never told me (the number of rackets I damaged), I broke many rackets since I was young since ’98 I’m with them, the boys were very tolerant of me,” Safin said to ESPN.

I broke more or less 80 rackets a year, or more, many a week. I got along so well with them (HEAD company) that they told me they wanted to give me a gift and they gave me a snowboard, they put 1055, and for me, it was a surprise because I didn’t know how many rackets I had broken.”

Remember John McEnroe? During his third-round match at the 1981 Wimbledon championships, John McEnroe produced a well-known angry outburst in the sport’s history. This moment transcended tennis, but McEnroe was utterly missing this week as the biggest sore loser despite his well-documented reputation for volatile behavior on the court.

 

Still, amid her accomplishments, the audacity to remain a Black woman with Black culture, like beaded braids to a country club sport like tennis, was a revolt all on its own. Add in her father, “King” Richard Williams, the most vocal father-coach in tennis history and the one who brought Compton into the international tennis world, and you have the making of epic disruptors.

After her loss last night, Williams is calling it a career. However, the revolving misconceptions about her cadence and temperament still feed into pre-established stereotypes about Black femininity. Sore loser? Show me a high-level competitor who likes to lose, and I’ll show you a career that is probably not as memorable as Serena Williams’. The problem is how that passion is labeled, especially in race, sports, and culture.


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Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.