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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

when Serena Williams threatened to sue ! ~ negligence law-suit

What happens when one has a fall in a public place – presumably, one will slyly notice whether anybody is watching (people may sympathise !), try to shake and get up and move out of that place as immediately as possible to avoid embarrassing Qs  - may not be in USA, as one legal site recommends carrying a camera, photograph the scene, and have oneself photographed to be used as a evidence, in a liability suit ! Back home, often we see  a peculiar ‘please adjust’ mentality.. it is common when you travel in a reserved compartment, more people would trudge unauthorisedly, ask for some space -  – it is after all adjustment !

Wimbledon is on ~ the sisters are in news.  Venus bears the brunt of "old girl on tour" questions allowing her 34-year-old sister – less than two years her junior – to slip under the age radar. Serena Williams  kept alive hopes of a ninth all-Williams Grand Slam final on Tuesday with a 6-4, 6-4 Wimbledon quarter-final triumph over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Venus Williams  had beaten in straights Yaroslava Shvedova. Where Serena will hold five years on her semi-final opponent, Elena Vesnina, Venus will have eight years on hers, Angelique Kerber. Still, there was a 17-year age gap when Venus narrowly held off her third-round opponent Daria Kasatkina.  After claiming last year’s Wimbledon triumph, it is Serena who became the oldest player in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title and it is Serena who has held the mantel as oldest women’s world No.1 since 2013.

Venus has not enjoyed anywhere near the level of success in the twilight of her career, hence the retirement queries are only amplified. Her first Grand Slam semi-final in seven years will go some way to silencing those.  The powerful, defending champion Serena advanced to her 10th semi-final at the All England Club closing to within two match wins of a seventh Wimbledon crown, a title run which would draw her level with Steffi Graf’s Open Era record of 22 Grand Slams.

In the earlier match Serena hit the news for different reasons - If I get hurt I’m gonna sue’: Serena Williams is quoted as issuing  threat as she demanded play be stopped for light rain on centre court .  In the QF, at one stage in the first set the 34-year-old slipped at break point, before microphones picked her up a game later telling the umpire: 'If I get hurt I'm going to sue'. She had just broken back against her opponent Svetlana Kuznetsova to level at 5-5 but was unhappy about continuing to play without the centre court roof on.  Tournament referee Andrew Jarrett came out to try and broker a solution as light rain began to fall, before it was decided to suspend play so the roof could be closed. When play resumed Williams closed out the first set 7-5 before racing to victory against world number 14 Kuznetsova by winning the second 6-0.

Though some tweets criticised her,  one supporter tweeted: 'Why is Serena Williams having to point out the obvious to the officials? 'Wet grass is dangerous'.

A negligence lawsuit is a civil lawsuit  filed against a person or a legal party that failed to use reasonable caution and caused damage to a victim while providing care or services. It is essential to the outcome of a negligence lawsuit for the victim to prove that harm was caused by the standard of service she or he received.

Recently, in Oct 2015,  Eugenie "Genie" Bouchard,  a Canadian professional tennis player  then ranked world no. 38 made news with similar cry. At the 2014 Wimbledon Championships, Bouchard became the first Canadian to reach the finals of a Grand Slam in singles, finishing runner-up to Petra Kvitová.  She also reached the semifinals of the 2014 Australian Open and 2014 French Open and won the 2012 Wimbledon girls' title.

At the US Open, she defeated Alison Riske and Polona Hercog, respectively, in the first and second rounds,  was scheduled to play Roberta Vinci in the fourth round, but had to withdraw due to a concussion, an injury she suffered after falling in the locker-room following her first-round match in mixed doubles. That injury ended Nick Kyrgios' US Open adventure as she was the mixed doubles partner and had to withdraw.

US media reported that Eugenie Bouchard was planning to sue United States Tennis Association over US Open locker room fall. In the lawsuit filed on in US District Court in Brooklyn, she reportedly claimed that her fall was caused by a "slippery, foreign and dangerous substance" on the floor; she suffered a severe head injury, which caused her to withdraw from the tournament. She also dropped out of a tournament in China. Her suit claimed the USTA, tennis' national governing body, was negligent and sought unspecified damages.

Bouchard had said her world ranking  dropped at least 13 spots since the incident ! USTA however argued that the plaintiff  [Bouchard] was experienced and well-versed in the procedures and protocols of the women’s tour, both in the United States and internationally, and knew or should have known the procedures and protocols as they related to the operation of the physiotherapy room adjacent to the women’s locker room at the National Tennis Center and the attended rooms.  USTA claimed that  physiotherapy room  "is never dark; even when the lights are turned off 'twilight' lighting remains and partially illuminates the room" and that the conditions alleged by Bouchard were "open and obvious."

In case, you are still wondering the photo at the start – it is : Elena Vesnina  who thrashed   19th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova  6-2, 6-2 reaching her first Grand Slam semifinals.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

6th July 2016.

photos & news source : USA today; MailOnline and others..

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