Serena Williams is undoubtedly one of the world’s strongest female athletes. Just recently she clinched the 2013 WTA Championship with convincing matches against her opponents. Li Na and Jelena Jankovic were the final two women to be felled by Serena’s unrelenting serves, volleys, aces and down-the-line winners. Indeed, it seemed as though Williams was becoming stronger and more ferocious with each newly won point.
However, it now appears that the spirit and sportsmanship of Williams’ play is being brought into question. Some of her opponents feel that the world’s No.1 women’s tennis player is adding to her sizable arsenal of winning tactics by changing the pace of play during crucial points. According to Li Na and Jankovic the pace change begins whenever Williams falls behind.
This is when they accuse Serena of slowing the game with sluggish volleys and slow serves. Apparently they feel that this throws their own games “off” and places them at a disadvantage. The two women state that Serena Williams is always playing at a full-out rush whenever she is holding the lead. They further state that they believe true sportsmanship means playing at your utmost level regardless of the score.
Serena has no reason to change the way she plays to suit her opponents. As long as she plays by the rules she is certainly free to determine the pace of each game. Serena has proven that she can win and it is up to her opponents to come up with a counter-strategy to beat her-if they can. Williams has definitely shown some unsportsmanlike conduct in past tournaments that includes berating line umpires and breaking racquets but slowing her serve could hardly qualify as “poor sportsmanship.”