In as much as Jaws is not really about a killer shark, a tennis match involving Serena Williams is hardly ever just about tennis. Yesterday we got to see more of the thematic underpinnings than usual.
Serena’s game is all about asserting her own power against the power of others, not just her opponents, but the whole rule-making and imposing system. I cannot be the only person to have noted that she often seems psychologically a bit more fragile when playing another woman of colour (...that isn’t her sister).
Yesterday it was as if she wanted to play the race card in her head, found that she couldn’t, played the gender card instead - with motherhood bonus - realised how absurd that made her look and then duly descended into a more generic spoiled American celeb strop, questioning the umpire’s integrity and threatening his career with the power she wields without a racket.
'Tennis was the loser', says Sue Barker. Only if you must have your sport without subtext. For me, this was a better than average spectacle for a women’s final at Flushing Meadow.
The toys don't have to come out of the pram every time, but just knowing that they might establishes an extra level of entertainment.