Serena Williams appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live yesterday as part of her post Australian Open title press tour. Kimmel asked about Williams’s outburst at last year’s U.S. Open and expressed actual admiration and surprise that Williams would even be fined for it.
Serena again spoke about her 92K project as a means to match the $92,000 fine she incurred from the International Tennis Federation by seeking matching funds for her charities. Based on the audience’s response to her good will gesture, it definitely appears Serena is winning the publicity war with the general public while some in the mainstream tennis press still linger over whether Serena should still receive some sort of ban from a major event in 2010.
The use of the word “courteous” by Kimmel and Williams to describe tennis is interesting as it again highlights the ongoing issue the game has with trying to encourage more viewership and participation while trying to keep its elitist veneer intact. I’ll talk about that more in an upcoming post.