Friday, Serena Williams lost an Italian Open semifinal match to Jelena Jankovic despite what appeared to be a subtle attempt at gamesmanship by Serena.
During the match-ending, third set tiebreaker, Serena served an ace to go up 3-0. After the ace, Jankovic complained to the chair umpire that she hadn’t been ready for the point. The official disallowed the protest because Jankovic did not have her hand up to ask for a stoppage of play.
Minutes later, a Jankovic serve during the same tiebreaker was disallowed because Serena asked for a similar stoppage. Unlike Jankovic, Serena raised a hand before Jankovic’s serve. Jankovic disputed the umpire’s call but was rebuffed.
Though Jankovic did go on to win the next four points and the match. That’s when the real fun started.