Did a Racist Fan Distract Serena From Another Grand Slam Win?

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 04:  Serena Williams of the United States returns a shot to Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States during their Women's Singles Third Round Match on Day Five of the 2015 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 4, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for the USTA)

Did a Racist Fan Distract Serena From Another Grand Slam Win?

The tennis icon lost to Angelique Kerber in Australia.

Published January 30, 2016

Serena Williams lost the Australian Open Final to 7th seed player Angelique Kerber yesterday, but the end of her Grand Slam prospects for the year was nothing compared to another troubling incident Williams had to deal with Down Under.

We wouldn't blame Williams for being distracted after a fan in the crowd who decided to come to the match in blackface. The woman, who was clearly white, was wearing what looked like black paint on her face, and was holding a sign that read “Keep Calm and Be Serena.” An odd way to show support towards the six-time Australian Open champ.

Of course, Williams didn't blame the inappropriate fan for her ultimate loss, and instead took it in the classiest, most sportsmanlike way possible. After winning the semi-final match. she sadly fell to Kerber in the Final. Williams was gracious in her defeat, telling Kerber, “Angie, congratulations. You deserve this and I’m so happy for you. I really hope you enjoy this moment." 


This loss ends William's chances of picking up where she left off last year in her attempt at winning the coveted Grand Slam. Last year, the tennis juggernaut missed out on the Slam by losing in the US Open finals. Despite the loss, Williams was named the 2015 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year.

Watch a recap of her win, and the racist controversy surrounding it, below: 

(Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Written by Evelyn Diaz


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