Girl Sh-t at Wimbledon
Wimbledon started today. On the women’s side, world #1 Serena Williams is heavily favoured, riding a 31 match win streak into the tournament. Serena was profiled recently in Rolling Stone – a controversial interview for several reasons, one of which we’ll get into later – and the writer argued that no one is as dominant in his or her sport as Serena Williams. NO ONE. Serena Williams owns tennis. This is not debatable. And still, Serena Williams is not an endorsement superstar. She does not make as much money as many of her male counterparts who barely make it to the semi-finals most of the time. So…there’s a gender issue. And she doesn’t even make as much money as a few of her female peers who aren’t half as consistent. What is that issue called, do you think?
While Serena’s Rolling Stone profile continues to make headlines and create gossip, the best profile of Serena was published last year. Not surprisingly, it was written by the always excellent John Jeremiah Sullivan, for The New York Times. Sullivan’s thorough, insightful piece analysed the Williams sisters’ history – from their improbable beginnings, to their eventual takeover of a sport that, frankly, wasn’t all that welcoming to begin with, and may not be all that welcoming still, despite their successes. The Williams sisters, particularly Serena, are polarising. Reading that article may not change your mind about them. But it does attempt to give more understanding as to why they, Serena especially, can often be so confrontational, and why she is constantly fighting, and feels she has to keep fighting for every point. Click here for John Jeremiah’s essay. It’s worth your time.
This of course does not excuse her comments on Steubenville. That was pure ignorance. However, it does help in analysing the drama that’s happening between her and Sharapova…which is also really, really great gossip. Girl Sh-t always is. Especially when it’s about two people at their level.
So here’s how it went down:
Sharapova is now dating Grigor Dimitrov who used to deal with Serena. Venus happened to call Serena during her interview with the Rolling Stone reporter. And you know how that is sometimes. When you want to show off in front of someone, get mouthy for the sake of spectacle, just to prove that you’re a badass? After countless titles, and perhaps the title of the Greatest, she is still that person. She is still the girl who thinks she has to prove herself the way she did in South Central. So she was loud on the phone. And this is what she said:
"There are people who live, breathe and dress tennis. I mean, seriously, give it a rest. She begins every interview with 'I'm so happy. I'm so lucky' – it's so boring. She's still not going to be invited to the cool parties. And, hey, if she wants to be with the guy with a black heart, go for it.”
The writer speculated, in the article, that Serena was talking about Sharapova. And it went from there. Sharapova was then asked about it at a pre-Wimbledon press conference. She starts off strong – talks about the respect they have for each other on the court, and not taking things personally. Great. Keep it classy. But then…this:
"If (Serena) wants to talk about something personal, maybe she should talk about her relationship and her boyfriend that was married and is getting a divorce and has kids. Talk about other things, but not draw attention to other things. She has so much in her life, many positives, and I think that's what it should be about."
Jackpot for us, right? MAJOR gossip jackpot.
Sharapova is referring to Serena’s relationship with Patrick Mouratoglou, her coach who …is no longer married to his wife. Needless to say, though they’ve not confirmed they’re a couple, Serena is rumoured to have been the other woman. Serena claims she apologised to Sharapova. In a backhanded way:
"I made it a point to reach out to Maria. ... I said, 'Look, I want to personally apologize to you if you are offended by being brought into my situation. I want to take this moment to ... be open, say I'm very sorry."'
When pressed to address Sharapova’s comments about her being a homewrecker, Serena decided not to go there:
"I definitely was told of her comments. I definitely like to keep my personal life personal. I think it would be inappropriate for me to comment on it."
Too late, but whatever. She’s decided she won’t engage…anymore. For now. If she wins Wimbledon, that might change. If she wins Wimbledon, she can talk about the “cool parties” and how she gets to go to them. Which, I mean, is super c-nty but also really immature, not to mention artless. It’s the kind of put-down you’d expect from a Twi-Hard, or a Belieber.
But she’s not the only one. Because if we’re admiring c-nts here, it’s not like Sharapova gets a pass. It’s hard, you know? Do Not Engage is hard. Sandra Bullock said it best:
“Whoever established the high road and how high it should be should be fired.”
The thing about the high road, however, is that you CAN’T LOSE when you take it. The other option, well, at best it’s 50/50. At best. And yet fewer and fewer people seem to understand that. Restraint is being phased out. The benefit to this? GREAT Gossip. Even better?
It’s very possible that Sharapova and Serena will meet at the Wimbledon final.