• Serena ‘slam’

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    ROMY P. MARIÑAS

    ROMY P. MARIÑAS

    Lindsey Vonn, Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky, even Paige McPherson.

    But no, an international wire agency recently chose Serena Williams as its “Female Athlete of the Year” for 2015, the fourth consecutive time from 2012 that she was honored by the American media outfit.

    Williams’s selection seemed to indicate that there were only a few female Americans worthy of the tribute, that tennis is the No. 1 sport in the whole US of A (no, Virginia, it’s baseball, it’s not even basketball), that it was OK to fall big-time and yet still be considered for the coveted award of being the best in the land of the free and the brave, that it was also alright to be a sore loser for all the world’s tennis fans to see and on live television at that.

    We would have conceded that the WTA’s No. 1 ranked player deserved the latest accolade for her no mean achievements during the year—three Grand Slams, namely, the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon— but we won’t.

    Williams was probably on course toward the wire agency’s recognition had she completed a calendar Grand Slam, that is winning Melbourne, the French Open, the All-England Lawn Tennis Championships and the US Open in the same year (in this case, 2015), but she blew it in an ugly semifinal loss to an obscure Italian in Flushing Meadows in New York.

    The defeat to Roberta Vinci seemed to have cemented Serena’s reputation as a crybaby, gracious only when she is winning but mean when she is losing.

    In the fourth game of the deciding third set, with the first going to the American and the second to the Italian, Williams looked like she was cursing, even using the F word against, the unflappable Vinci, although she had already won the game.

    The American actually began being theatrical in the second set when she felt that the crown was slipping away from her, with Vinci seeming-ly unintimidated and just coasting along because, she must have been thinking, she has nothing to lose against the supposedly unbea- table Williams.

    The calendar Grand Slam that she had coveted went out the window when she surrendered the match and the US Open championship to Vinci (Serena’s conqueror bowed to fellow Italian Flavia Pennetta in the finals).

    At a post-match news conference, Williams was fishing for sympathy while being curt to and dismissive of reporters, refusing to answer questions on why she lost (at such meet-the-press to-do, you should not be expecting to be asked about your favorite lipstick).

    Vonn is an Olympic champion skier, Biles recently became the most decorated athlete in gymnastics history and Katie Ledecky holds the world records in swimming’s 400, 800 and 1,500 meter freestyle.

    And McPherson?

    She is a 24-year-old jin who is half-Filipino and half African-American.

    From Sturgis, South Dakota, she is fondly called “McFierce” and represented the Uni- ted States in the 2012 Lon- don Olympics’ tae kwon do competition.

    “McFierce” is also one of five adopted children.

    There were others who could have been grudging- ly considered to be that wire agency’s “Female Athlete of the Year” for 2015.

    But, apparently, the judges—reportedly editors—opted to vote with their feet.

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