Serena Williams advanced in the Australian Open this weekend against her opponent Aryna Sabalenka, who got very emotional after losing. After their match, Sabalenka slammed her tennis racket on the ground, a scene too familiar to Williams, who did the same in the 2018 US Open.
During the 2018 US Open match, Serena Williams was hit with three code violations, one of them due to her slamming her racket on the ground. Calling the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, a “thief,” was the final violation which cost her the match. The media reaction to Williams was harsh: Herald Sun cartoonist Mark Knight infamously created a distasteful, racist caricature of Williams as a big, angry black woman throwing a tantrum.
But fans noted that the way Sabalenka’s behavior has been framed in the press is very different than how Williams’ was in 2018.
Yet when Serena reacted this way, they called her an angry and aggressive BW, fined her, and made racist caricatures of her. The announcers were far more understanding of this white woman being upset and even praised her for losing this match more than Serena who actually won it. https://t.co/t8ikYz11AU— 𝐵𝑒𝒸𝒸𝒶 (@MJFINESSELOVERR) February 15, 2021
I wonder if they’ll do this with Sabalenka. https://t.co/jQn8wkQzl3 pic.twitter.com/ztm6aqnZvW— Phil (@zidonphl) February 15, 2021
When serena did this they were calling her aggressive and making caricatures of her, I better see the same energy https://t.co/V30Sz010RO— ... (@emmanuelb_s) February 14, 2021
Serena Williams will face off against Naomi Osaka in the semifinals of the Australian Open February 17.