The five-time defending champion took exception to the decision of chair umpire Jake Garner to allow Juan Martin del Potro to challenge a line call a full 11 seconds after the shot was ruled wide. By the time del Potro casually raised his finger, Federer was about to sit down for the changeover.
Normally, players are allowed only a few seconds to challenge a call.
CBS cameras picked up Federer's comments before going to commercial:
"No, no, no! Too late. We stopped! Come on. I wasn't allowed to challenge after, like, two seconds and the guy takes like 10. Every time. How can you allow that stuff? Do you have any rules in there or what? (Inaudible) Don't tell me to be quiet. When I want to talk, I'll talk, alright? I don't give a [expletive] what he said. I'm just telling you he waited too long."
What's the difference between Federer's profanity and Serena's? Serena used hers in a direct threat to a line judge. Federer casually threw his in as a noun while muttering to a line judge about an equally bad decision. Plus, Federer wasn't screaming, pointing his racquet threatingly or being very confrontational at all. His was more of a passive-agressive outburst.
The comments of the two champions aren't in the same universe, let alone the same ballpark. Getting mad at officials happens in every sport every day. Threatening to shove sports equipment down the esophaguses of said officials does not. Big difference.