This years US Open was very entertaining… I will start this post by saying that there was no excuse for Serena William's outburst that ended her semifinal match with Kim Clijsters at the US Open this weekend. Although she has since publicly apologized for her actions, there is very little discussion about the call itself.
WIth the score 15-30 at a critical moment in the set, how could the unnamed lines-woman make a foot fault call unless it was blatant? Video review has shown that it was a blown call, there was no foot fault!
According to Geoff MacDonald in his blog, Straight sets:
A foot fault occurs when the server touches the baseline or the court with either foot.
Sometimes a player’s foot slides forward and touches the line
inadvertently, and, because a player can’t see the rule violation, the
foot-fault call provokes a lot of anger. Often the players’ frustration
with themselves is then directed at the line official. For Serena
Williams, who has been called for foot faults throughout her career,
the call came at a critical moment in the match. Down by a set and
serving at 5-6 and 15-30, the call on her second serve gave Kim
Clijsters two match points.
Carol Cox, a veteran tennis official who evaluates line officials
and referees for the United States Tennis Association, said there were
two schools of thought on making a foot-fault call at a critical
juncture in the match.
“One philosophy is that it is a rule, and you call it when you see
it,” Cox said. “The second way of thinking is more in line with a good
N.B.A. official: You don’t make a call that can decide a match unless
John McEnroe had a similar view to the N.B.A. comparison when he was
commenting on the CBS broadcast on Saturday night. “You can’t call that
there,” he said.
The Lines-woman, who remains nameless, blew the call. Maybe her glasses fogged up before the call, distorting her vision, maybe she needs a new refraction and pair of glasses. Regardless of the reason, this cannot happen again, Linesman should not be involved in the outcome of a semifinal match at a Grand Slam Event! I hereby extend our LASIK the Refs offer: I invite the Linesman to contact me at OCLI and come in for free LASIK surgery, so that she can make a proper call ot non-call in the future.