The Other Side of Serena’s Loss
It must be deflating for Ajla Tomljanovic to see her victory not celebrated after defeating Serena Williams this weekend.
The 29-year-old who considers herself a fan of Serena “since I was a kid” would have considered it an accomplishment.
Ranked №46, defeating the people’s favourite shows gut. At a point during the match, Tomljanovic broke to go up 6–5. It was a brilliant run for tennis lovers, but only one person in her guest box rose to applaud, He looked around to see that he was on his own.
She was definitely playing against the crowd too.
When Serena flubbed a shot, the crowd offered sympathetic sounds of “Awwwwww”. When she did something routine for a Grand Slam champion, they leapt out of their seats. Even a rather routine service break was cause for a standing ovation.
Tomljanovic even had to drape a blue-and-white U.S. Open towel over her head to shield herself from the noise and distractions of the crowd.
“You’re everywhere!” yelled Williams’ husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, from a courtside guest box.
Still, Tomljanovic triumphed on the night — 7–5, 6–7 (4), 6–1. For the first time in her career, she went past the quarterfinals at any major.
But victory, the journalists would not allow her to savour. Over and over again, the post-match questions were not about the courage and self-awareness which saw her overcome a hostile crowd. The questions were about Serena. At a point she had to say,
“I’m feeling really sorry, just because I love Serena just as much as you guys do.”
A winner is sorry for winning. Yeah!