Double Fault & No Love

By Michael-Louis Ingram
Updated: September 21, 2009

“Intellectual constipation…will be the death of this here great nation.”

(Lyrics to “Me No Pop I” written by Andy Hernandez, aka “Coati Mundi”- and performed by Kid Creole & the Cocoanuts…)

Serena and Venus Williams PHILADELPHIA (BASN) — Last Monday, Venus and Serena Williams (aka The Goddess & The Huntress) crushed Carla Black and Liezel Huber in the Doubles final of the U.S. Open, 6-2, 6-2.

The team of Black and Huber, ranked No. #1 in the world, were no match for the power, grace and skill of the Williams women, who in spite of winning three Grand Slam titles this year (including the Australian and Wimbledon) and tenth doubles title overall, were ranked significantly lower than Black and Huber.

It was a chilling aftermath to an event where the infrastructure of tennis didn’t shoot until we saw the Whites of their lies…

Serena Williams, as defending champion, was afforded as much respect as a red-headed stepchild; her sister Venus, fresh but slightly gimpy after recent activity, also cast off as a mere afterthought when compared to the likes of Maria Sharapova, No. #1 ranked Women’s player Dinara Safina (who has never won a Grand Slam Singles title), Elena Dementieva, Ana Ivanovic and a host of Nick Bolliteri Academy clones…

A Blond Moment

With the women’s draw being the headliner opposite Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal, the dominance of Serena’s storming through her opponents was offset by the rise of American teenager Melanie Oudin, who would defeat Sharapova and other ranked opponents on the way to the quarterfinals.

Oudin’s 15 minutes of Open fame were compromised after information came out her mother was serving up that “Meow Mix” – to Melanie’s tennis coach; she subsequently lost her quarterfinal match.

But the real drama began in a match between Venus and eventual Singles winner Kim Clijsters. Venus, severely hampered in mobility and sporting a taped knee and thigh, lost to Clijsters in a televised three – set match.

In the analysis, tennis commentator Bud Collins refused to acknowledge the grit and tenacity of The Goddess’ playing on one leg, contending Venus was healthy in spite of her inability to cover baseline-to-baseline, long a strong component of her overall game; a glaring and deliberate oversight when you consider adjectives like grit and tenacity aren’t reserved for Black athletes.

Foot-in-Mouth Fault

It has become an understanding on the women’s tour whether on the quiet or said aloud: if you do get past one of the Williams sisters, you will likely have to face the other down the road; and Clijsters would be in such a position in the semifinals.

Having fallen behind 6-5 in the second set after losing the first 6-4 (in which she slammed her racket and was penalized for abuse), Williams, who has come back from match point in at least two major tournaments, served to Clijsters and was called for a foot fault.

Losing her temper, Serena stepped to the linesman and swore at her; the linesman, however, said that Serena had threatened to kill her.

As the catcalls cascaded at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Center, Williams would be penalized a point – match point – and lose to Clijsters.

The furor over the incident would be swift and sinister. Commentators and talking heads demanding Williams apologize, then complain about the lack of contrition in her actions. John McEnroe, who has literally made a career on and off the court in being an obnoxious, disrespectful punk along with other white males like Jimmy Connors, Ilie “Nasty” Nastase, and Jeff Tarango, had the nerve to scream on Williams’ actions, with his brother, Patrick chirping along. Hello, Pot? Kettle speaking…

“You’re a heathen – you got no culture; uglier than an ulcer

You ain’t got no class; with brains like a McDonald’s glass

You’re full of fertilizer – Number Two is your appetizer…”

In the mad rush to attempt to stop The Goddess and Huntress from playing in the Doubles final, a fine of $10,000 was levied on Serena, plus a $500 penalty for abuse of racket; as well as lobbying to suspend and stop Serena from participating in next year’s Australian Open, a Grand Slam event the younger Williams has dominated over the past two years.

What is interesting is that all these supposed “journalists” never asked the lines person to confirm what was said. After all, if I’m trying to get to the heart of the story, I would go to the source – that’s Journalism 101.

The identity of said lines person was also not disclosed, as if she were a rape victim or something. “Did Serena Williams threaten to kill you?” – A simple yes or no answer.

As of this writing, said question to said person has yet to be asked; and when something like that is said, the person accused of saying it has the right to face their accuser.

But here’s what’s the defining element – the rise of this animosity and resentment for the unbridled excellence of The Goddess and Huntress is in tune with the timbre of a racially poisoned society and the intent to dehumanize whenever possible, any Black or Latino person, athlete or no.

For all their accomplishments, the Williams women are never acknowledged as the gold standard in women’s tennis over the past decade, at least, not in this country.

Venus has an 80% win percentage in singles matches, 85% in doubles, and 80% in mixed doubles; Serena, an 83% match win percentage, 87% in doubles (did not always play together), and 90% in mixed doubles.

The 2009 scorecard for each reads – three Grand Slam titles for the Goddess (shared w/Serena); five titles (two individual, three shared) for The Huntress Serena.

They play knowing the crowds root against them, for no other reason than they are Black, beautiful, formidable and they are winners.

Their looks and pleasing pulchritude are always ignored in comparison to the blond, European standard mainstream media seeks to exalt; and their dark skin prompts their press protagonists to portray them as perpetrators instead of purveyors of passion parlayed into peerless performance.

Rather than have Richard Williams proclaimed as a master motivator and hire him for his skills as a tennis coach given his results with his daughters, American media and the sports establishment would much rather castigate than validate his obvious talent.

What is most disturbing, however, is as I put these final words to this column together, the television blasts out a National Rental Car commercial with John McEnroe again in the role of asshole frat boy, screeching his infamous tag line, “You cannot be serious!” at the counterperson…

“Intellectual constipation…will be the death of this here great nation;

You’d better hear me out…you’d better hear me out!!!!”