Saving Serena — and tennis
The Serena Williams-Naomi Osaka U.S. Open final is more polarizing and Twitter-feeding than Anonymous, the infamous New York Times op-ed writer/senior Trump official/hero/coward.
Right now, Carlos Ramos, the notorious “liar” and “thief” chair umpire who penalized Serena out of making history likely wishes he were anonymous.
For a delicious moment, the U.S. Open women’s final controversy threw Trump’s mishigas off top trending. Everyone — pro- or anti-Serena — had an opinion and a solution addressing This New Divisive National Crisis.
Clarify the vague rule about coaches coaching from the sidelines because everyone does it! Warn before penalizing a point or a whole game, especially in a Grand Slam final ending the tennis season when a beloved player with a powerful iconography could be making global human history! End sexism and racism against women in tennis!
Some even suggest tennis rackets should be made from Wham-o SuperBall’s Amazing Zectron (synthetic polymer polybutadiene, hydrated silica, zinc oxide, stearic acid, atomized Mars samples, bitter tears of Elon Musk and gluten nobody wants). That way, rackets would bounce in a happy, hilarious, fun way when you abuse them.
I have a better solution:
If you need to insult the chair umpire, do it in your native language using foul colloquialisms the umpire may not understand.
Since my tennis game, after decades of near-daily play, still looks like I’m being attacked by resentful bees, I could never even begin to dream of coaching tennis to the tennis greats. Either in person from the stands, or channeling Ignatius Reilly, tweeting real-time advice to my favorites while viewing matches on my 1990s 75-pound Sony Trinitron from my broken-down Barcalounger in thrice-yearly laundered comfortable active wear covered in crumbs from statin-fighting snacks. Or using a $10 grounds pass to stalk players on their practice courts at obscure pro tournaments such as the Silicon Valley Classic sponsored by the Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
But thanks to swear.com, I can coach the tennis greats about how they might give the chair umpire a piece of their minds and never get a single warning, let alone a penalty point, a game, or opportunity to claim unfairness.
While many pro tennis chair umpires are multilingual, perhaps others are not so much. In which case, let me advise the top players how to express their feelings without repercussions:
· Roger Federer, politely, in Swiss: Futzgsicht! Nuttesohn! Sohn vonere huere! Souhund! Draecks votzeu! Vogleto! (“May I offer my humble respects in questioning your decision?”)
· Rafael Nadal, in Spanish: Me cago en tu leche, hijo de la grandisima puta! (“I defecate in your milk, you son of the greatest dog mother!”)
· Petra Kitova, in Czech: Naseru ti do mlika! Sraèka! (“I’m going to defecate in your milk! Soft wet defecation!”)
· Novak Djokavic, in Bosnian Serb: Da Bog dobio gljivice na jajima! (“I hope you get fungus on your two oval organs that produce sperm in men and other male mammals, enclosed in the scrotum behind the male organ!”)
· Simona Halep, in Romanian: Futu-ti ceapa matii! (“Intercourse your mother’s onion!”)
· Juan Martín del Potro, in Argentinian: Chupame un huevo, culo roto, hijo de mil putas! (“Suck one of my eggs, you broken anal sphincter, son of a thousand sex workers, with all due respects to them!”)
· Angelique Kerber, Alexander Zverev, Andrea Petkovic and other German greats, in German: Deine Mutter schwitzt beim Kacken! (“Your mother perspires when she defecates!”)
· Naomi Osaka, Kei Nishikori and other Japanese greats, in Japanese: Damare konoyarou! Buchi korosuzo konoyaro! ありがとう. どうもありがとう. ありがとうございます. どうもありがとうございます. (“Shut up you child of uncertain parentage! I’m going to intercourse effectuate your death, you rectum organ! Thank you. Thanks a lot. Thank you most politely. Thank you very much.”)
· Maria Sharapova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Ekaterina Makarova, Svetlana Kuznetsova and other -ova Russian greats who mostly are women, in Russian: Morgaly vikalyu, padla! Perhot’ podzalypnaya! (“I’ll poke your eyes out, intercourser! Pee hole dandruff!”) [Meaning of the latter lost in translation.]
· John McEnroe, in New York-ese: Go [intercourse] your mother! Don’t give me that [excrement]! Get the hell off the court, lady! You don’t deserve to be on the same court as me! You are the worst. The worst! You cannot be serious! You’re the pits of the world! (“I have severe personality disorder.”)
Warning to tennis pros I’m coaching: Check the nationality of the chair umpire first before bringing out your most passionate and direct advice to him or her in your native tongue.
The infamous Williams-Osaka umpire, Carlos Ramos, for example, is Portuguese. If he’s your chair umpire, you might wish to avoid such language as a puta de mae! A puta da tua tia! Bardajona! Bebe merda! Filho de trinta putas. Filho de mil putas!
Umpire Mr. Ramos might pause and ponder whether to accept your informed opinion that he, his mother and her sister earn a living having sexual intimacy with strangers, or your recommendation that he indulge in some merda. Maybe he’ll even let it go if you suggest he’s the son of 30 professional escorts.
But the son of a thousand professional escorts? Point penalty.
You were warned.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.