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Serena's moment of rage was a double fault

Howie Evans | 4/12/2011, 4:39 p.m.

The moment of rage has gone. But it should have never been there. Not in this age. And not when the bigots of this country, including a sizeable number of print and electronic media types, are constantly on the prowl for Serena-like moments.

We all, at some point, have had our last nerve exposed. Myself included. It certainly isn't planned. And when the cap is put back on that nerve, you wonder to yourself...what happened? How and should I explain to others and myself why I blew my cap?

Serena Williams had her nerve exposed twice during her semi-final U.S. Open match against Kim Clijsters, one of the friendliest and nicest people on the women's tour and at the Open. Serena's nerves seemed to be brewing when she missed a shot and took it out on her racket, resulting in a penalty for "racket abuse." Then again, at match point in the second set when she was called for a foot fault, when virtually all said in unison it was an incorrect call. Replays proved she didn't foot fault. But by then, Serena's last nerve had been exposed. First by the canny, brilliant and consistent play of Clijsters. And then by the linesperson's incorrect call.

What happened after that is something that Serena is still dealing with. She received some comfort after pairing up with Venus to win the Doubles Championship and, after, again apologizing for her on-court behavior and choice of language directed towards the linesperson.

What is disturbing is the number of tennis people, including Patrick McEnroe, thinking aloud that Serena may be suspended from one or a number of Grand Slam tournaments. Has anyone said perhaps he should be fired as Davis Cup Captain when his USA Davis Cup team doesn't win?

It's this kind of piling on we personally find disturbing. Serena gets no free pass here. She was wrong and she was fined ($10,000).That should serve as her wake-up call. Any additional piling on should be challenged by her team of advisors, including her mom and dad. She and Venus are the faces of tennis in America and around the world. It's not like she committed murder. Forgive her this time for showing an ugly side of her personality--a side she will hopefully keep in the closet.