Venus to Umpire: 'I Can't Control God'

Tennis star is penalized after waiting for wind gusts to die down before serving
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2021 6:18 AM CDT
Venus to Umpire: Talk to God
In this April 30 photo, Venus Williams competes against Jennifer Brady at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid, Spain.   (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Venus Williams lost Monday in the first round of an Italian tennis tournament, but her encounter with the match's umpire is making more headlines than the defeat. At one point, the 40-year-old waited for strong wind gusts to die down before serving and was penalized with a time violation, reports Tennis365. "If the wind blows, then I can't hit the ball," she told the umpire, per CNN. "I can't control God, I can't control the wind. I'm just saying that if the wind blows, there is nothing I can do about that. I can't control God, talk to him." She also helpfully pointed to the sky. (You can watch the exchange here.) Williams won the first set but lost the next two and the match to Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in the Emilia-Romagna Open. The tournament is a tune-up for the French Open, which begins next week. (More Venus Williams stories.)

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