Well, IMHO they have to publicly levy the maximum fines, penalties, suspensions, scorn, shame, and derision on Serena (tirade! outburst!). Because it allows the officials to not have to admit that they substituted procedural rationality for substantive rationality in a) allowing a linesperson to call an at-best 1/16 inch footfault at 15-30 at 5-6 in the second set. Which should have been immediately over-ruled by the chair umpire. And b) calling the match based on an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Which should have been set aside, regardless that Serena told the linesperson that she wanted to shove a ball up her ass (or whatever she said).

Instead, they ended the match, preserving the rules but not the game. So now we have to have discussion about how important the rules are and how inappropriate Serena was for violating them.

As an org sociologist, I would say that every time an organization puts its procedures ahead of its aims, an angel cries a little.

Meanwhile, despite his obviously glorious play and possible (likely?) best-ever status, 2009 marks the year I find myself rooting consistently against Federer.

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