Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thoughts on the press conference

I saw the match between Justine Henin and Serena Williams and I was a little surprised at the second set score. Obviously Henin had momentum after controlling the first set tiebreaker but if anyone can break an opponent's momentum it's Serena Williams.
And I am sure people wanted to know what happened. But Serena's post-match press conference was not that enlightening in terms of insight into the match. As many know by now, Williams was not exactly a happy camper at the press conference; not many match losers are, but Williams's comment that she played poorly and Henin made lucky shots has everyone talking about lack of class and grace, etc.
I, too, was disappointed to hear about the comment (I have not seen the press conference yet). I heard both Serena and Venus mention in on-court post-match interviews the strength of their opponents and how they made them win the matches. I suppose it is easier to be gracious in victory, but remember that Serena did credit Henin's good play after their Wimbledon match. And it should be noted that Williams did start the comment by saying "She played better." The media uproar and the general feeling that Serena is without class or grace is a little bit much. I think the post-match conference is a sign that talk about the hatchet being buried between Henin and Williams was a little premature.
I don't think the comment and her behavior at the conference was professional but in the big picture of athletes behaving badly this is nothing. And second, we have to think about why it is we expect women, and especially women of color, to be more gracious in defeat than others.

1 comment:

Diane said...

Yes to everything you said.