SERENA Williams missed making it to the Australian Open semifinals because of a crazy law outmoded by time.
The foot fault is as old as when tennis was invented by Maj. Walter Wingfield 146 years ago.
It is a rule that does not allow any part of your foot to touch the baseline’s white line while serving.
You lose a point doing that.
Thank your stars if the linesperson turns a blind eye on that infraction.
That was not the case on Wednesday’s Australian Open at the Rod Laver Arena.
On that day, Serena Williams wasn’t only playing Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals.
Williams was on the verge of beating Pliskova.
How else would you describe a 5-1 lead held by someone like Williams in the third and final set?
Even if, perhaps, a wild card were the one ahead, you could concede the match with a margin as huge as that.
But, hey, this was Serena Williams, whose place in history puts her 23 majors as one short of the record 24 Grand Slams held by Margaret Court.
But then, the impossible, the incredible, the improbable, and the unbelievable happened.
Williams lost it, horrifically dropping the next six games that made Pliskova the winner, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.
All because of the foot fault slapped Williams when the American wasn’t only enjoying an imposing 5-1 advantage but also a breath away from wrapping up the match.
To call it a shocker of monumental proportions would be an understatement.
It was a colossal collapse like no other in tennis.
It totally dissolved Serena’s win-it-all form.
The male sportscaster described it as an “injustice” that will haunt Williams forever, almost similar to that one Serena similarly suffered when she lost it on a foot fault in the U.S. Open a while back.
That Melbourne linesperson will always insist it’s the law. And there’s no issue with that, technically, legally.
Maybe, it’s about time the rule is changed, eliminate the foot fault law?
If balls hitting the lines is legal, why not our feet, too, while serving?
In this sport, what can be weirder than love meaning nothing at all?