Infotainment Factory: 'We've all lost our rag, haven't we'

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Monday, 14 January 2019

'We've all lost our rag, haven't we'


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Nine tennis commentator Sam Smith expects the Australian public to embrace a "nervous" Serena Williams when she takes the court in a grand slam for the first time since her notorious US Open final tantrum.

Williams shook the tennis world with an on court tirade that called into question equality in the sport as her push to win a record 24th major slipped away during an extraordinary match against Japanese youngster Naomi Osaka.

It was a stance that has shaped debate over the months since and polarised a community that admires her incredible talent and ability to compete but is not always supportive of her manner on the court.

While Smith concedes the US Open controversy will form part of the Williams narrative over the next fortnight, she said the world number 16 and undisputed queen of the women's game would not be spending any time dwelling on it herself.

"We’ve all lost our rag haven’t we, we just don’t do it in public," Smith told Wide World of Sports in an exclusive interview.

"She hasn’t said anything about it and I don’t think she’s going to. It’s time to move on from that, start of a New Year, she’s one of the greatest sportspeople in the world right now and has been for a couple of decades.

"So at the big events you want to be on the showcourts and if I had a ticket today I would want to see Serena. I would actually buy a ticket, if I couldn’t get on the court I’d go and buy myself a ticket."

Williams will start her campaign against German veteran Tatjana Maria, another mother plying her trade on the WTA Tour, and Smith revealed the match up would likely ease Williams into the tournament due to their unique bond - they share a neighbourhood in Florida and swap parenting tips.

Maria, 31, is ranked 74 in the world so shouldn't cause too many headaches for a 23-times grand slam champion.

However Smith described her game style as "awkward", using tactics not common among the power dominated modern women's game.

"Tatjana Maria has a very awkward game, lots of spins and slices, which is not easy to get a rhythm," Smith said.

"But Serena’s got great memories, she’s won the title seven times. When she was here two years ago she was lifting the trophy.

"She’ll be nervous, I don’t expect a perfect performance at all, maybe a little scruffy, but the crowd I think she’ll get a big reaction from the crowd, it’s great to see her back, they love their champions here and we’ll see how she goes."

 

 

Nine tennis commentator Sam Smith expects the Australian public to embrace a "nervous" Serena Williams when she takes the court in a grand slam for the first time since her notorious US Open final tantrum.

Williams shook the tennis world with an on court tirade that called into question equality in the sport as her push to win a record 24th major slipped away during an extraordinary match against Japanese youngster Naomi Osaka.

It was a stance that has shaped debate over the months since and polarised a community that admires her incredible talent and ability to compete but is not always supportive of her manner on the court.

While Smith concedes the US Open controversy will form part of the Williams narrative over the next fortnight, she said the world number 16 and undisputed queen of the women's game would not be spending any time dwelling on it herself.

"We’ve all lost our rag haven’t we, we just don’t do it in public," Smith told Wide World of Sports in an exclusive interview.

"She hasn’t said anything about it and I don’t think she’s going to. It’s time to move on from that, start of a New Year, she’s one of the greatest sportspeople in the world right now and has been for a couple of decades.

"So at the big events you want to be on the showcourts and if I had a ticket today I would want to see Serena. I would actually buy a ticket, if I couldn’t get on the court I’d go and buy myself a ticket."

Williams will start her campaign against German veteran Tatjana Maria, another mother plying her trade on the WTA Tour, and Smith revealed the match up would likely ease Williams into the tournament due to their unique bond - they share a neighbourhood in Florida and swap parenting tips.

Maria, 31, is ranked 74 in the world so shouldn't cause too many headaches for a 23-times grand slam champion.

However Smith described her game style as "awkward", using tactics not common among the power dominated modern women's game.

"Tatjana Maria has a very awkward game, lots of spins and slices, which is not easy to get a rhythm," Smith said.

"But Serena’s got great memories, she’s won the title seven times. When she was here two years ago she was lifting the trophy.

"She’ll be nervous, I don’t expect a perfect performance at all, maybe a little scruffy, but the crowd I think she’ll get a big reaction from the crowd, it’s great to see her back, they love their champions here and we’ll see how she goes."

 

 

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