Why Serena Williams Is Undeserving of AP's "Female Athlete of the Year" Award

Adithya RamaswamyContributor IDecember 24, 2009

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 12:  Serena Williams (L) argues with a line judge during her Women's Singles Semifinal match against Kim Clijsters of Belgium on day thirteen of the 2009 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 12, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  Clijsters defeated Williams 6-4, 7-5.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Earlier this week, Serena Williams was awarded the prestigious honor of best female athlete of 2009.

If we're honest with ourselves, she was probably the best choice, skill-wise.

She won the Australian Open to start off the year, got to the quarterfinals of Roland Garros, won Wimbledon, and got to the semifinals of the US Open.

Moreover, she didn't really have any competition, seeing as the female in second place was Zenyatta, a female horse.

While it is true that Serena probably had the most skill, she is undeserving of the AP's award because of her tirade at the end of her semifinal match against Kim Clijsters at the US Open in Flushing Meadows. In truth, her numerous successes are dubiously overshadowed by the tirade that eventually cost her 80,000 big ones and earned her a probation notice.

To summarize, Serena was down 15-30, 5-6 in the second set of her match with the resurgent Clijsters. Williams missed her first serve, and as she hit her second serve, a vicious kicker to Clijsters’ backhand, the lineswoman to Serena's left called a foot fault.

It seemed as though Serena was going to let it go and focus on the two match points that she now had to defend. But two seconds later, Williams shocked the tennis world by blatantly threatening the comparatively frail lineswoman, shouting that she would "shove [the tennis ball] down [her] throat."

The lineswoman, doing her job, told the umpire, who brought in the tournament director, who in turn had no choice but to give Serena a point penalty. The problem for Serena was that the point penalty was on match point, which gave Clijsters the match, and left Serena with nothing to do but walk out of the stadium to an overwhelming chorus of boos.

Even at this point, people were willing to let it all go if she would just go into the press room and apologize to the lineswoman for her transgressions. But Williams did not; instead, she absolved herself of any responsibility for her actions, saying that she was justified, as the call was incorrect.

That should have put people over the edge, and for most of the general public, it seemed to do so. But the AP obviously thought differently, as Serena won the award by a landslide.

When asked about her win despite her tirade, she said:

"People realize that I'm a great player, and one moment doesn't define a person's career. And I was right, for the most part: It wasn't right the way I reacted—I never said it was—but I was right about the call."

Can you believe that? She has no remorse whatsoever for her actions. She still thinks that she was right and has no responsibility for her actions for what she did.

Whatever her accomplishments of the past year may be, her unacceptable tirade at the US Open overshadows it all, and she is most undeserving of the AP's award for best female athlete of 2009.

Give it to the horse.