Break Records Not Racquets!

A Letter To Serena Williams From A Tennis Mom

Dear Serena:

When your baby was born, just like all moms, I knew the world and your life was forever changed – for the better.

You are blessing to the world and to all you meet. You are kind, intelligent, compassionate, caring, curious, and simply one of strongest women the world has ever witnessed.

We are all proud of you, and that you chose not just to serve big, but to serve your daughter and all children and to help them transform – so that they can believe they can accomplish anything if they put their mind, body and soul into a dream.

This past week, we witnessed what appeared to be a referee treating you differently than others. The ref rebuked you and warned you against being “coached” during the US Open Finals Match. Do other coaches coach? I think there is a consensus that many do; however, players are rarely, if ever, penalized for it.

You had every right to feel angry that you, and not male counterparts, were penalized for this. Your anger, like a fire, grew and festered. It did not serve you. It’s hard to get over unfair treatment. This is not the first time that referees interfered and inserted themselves into matches while you played on the court. You have every right to feel angry about unequal treatment, and many other Moms and women and others, especially in these times, feel angry and upset when we witness prejudice and inequality.

Did this anger serve you? It appears that it may have triggered the rage we witnessed when you later violently broke your racquet. As a tennis mom, unfortunately I have witnessed many 14 year olds break racquets and/or throw them over fences. It hurts me to see this, and it is simply not acceptable behavior. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should break things in fits of rage. I hope you can make a vow to yes continue to break records, but never another racquet no matter how angry you feel (this includes during practice). This action alone would give us Mom’s another argument when trying to convince our own children that breaking rackets is bad.

I am sorry that the ref treated your badly. I am also sorry that he denied Naomi, you and the tennis world of the joy of watching just one more game at the 2018 US Open Women’s Final.  I hope you find comfort in realizing that the ref, like so many others who get in the way of justice, will not be remembered.

I will remember the way you stood up for Osaka during the awards presentation. I also hope that because of that day, you will take an oath to never let your anger get the best of you or another racquet.

May you continue to break records, not racquets, and may your savor every second of being a mom – explore nature, help others, soak in the sun shine and remember the world is full of goodness and grace. Lastly, I hope that you will always remember you are loved and are truly magnificent and that you have the power to inspire others to simply be their best. You are a fine young mom and you can be and do anything your heart desires. You will bring so much light to those you help in your life.

Love and gratitude, A Tennis Mom

“From what we get, we can make a living. What we give; however, makes a life.” 
― Arthur Ashe

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