Apparently Serena Williams isn’t just content to make news on the WTA Tour alone. Now she’s making news on the ATP Tour.
Last week, Williams made a conspicuous appearance at the Farmers Classic event in Los Angeles when she was spotted in the stands during the James Blake/Benjamin Becker match. After Blake won, Williams walked across the stadium court to enter the players lounge where she took a photo with Blake that she later “tweeted” to her fans. Apparently that photo op was a planned promotion to support the event so when Williams later asked the tournament for a free ticket to attend the semifinals, she was denied and told she would have to pay the regular price of $100. Not at all happy, Williams “tweeted” her displeasure to her over 1.7 million followers, “Omg! The @farmersclassic tennis tournament in LA is charging me $100 a ticket… After I plugged them!!! Lol ill send a bill for my plug!” Williams then followed up by saying “@farmersclassic = use @serenajwilliams than over charge her to see tennis! Lol. Anywho don’t go if u r in LA”
Tournament Director Bob Kramer had no comment when asked by the L.A. Times about Williams’s outburst. Whether you believe the tournament should have given Williams a free ticket or not, what’s interesting to me is how Williams’s Twitter account is now becoming an asset and liability for her. It’s true that Williams can certainly use extensive fan base to not only promote herself and her various ventures but also worthy humanitarian campaigns as she recently did for Nike’s Red Laces which raised money for HIV prevention in Africa. But at the same time, it opens herself up to people misreading her messages on Twitter, which, like many of who use the service do, can be sent in a blink of an eye without really thinking of what we’re sending out there to be forever archived not only by Google’s algorithm but by the Library of Congress itself.
Should Williams have received a free ticket? Maybe. Would Williams’s second appearance at the event boosted ticket sales? Probably not. I doubt very few in the stands the first day Williams was there knew she was present until they saw her walk across the court after the match. If nothing else, it just proves that when the reigning queen of tennis has something to say, she will let you and her many followers know right away.