NEW YORK • After Serena Williams' hopes for a Grand Slam were dashed by Roberta Vinci, an unseeded Italian player, at the United States Open last Friday, her fans decided to take out their frustration on Drake.
The 28-year-old rapper is rumoured to be the 33-year-old tennis ace's love interest. He is a surrogate family member, if you ask her, or nothing at all to her, if you ask his father.
Drake was in the front row when Williams unveiled her latest fashion collection in New York on Tuesday. The rumour mill went into overdrive after he kissed her hand backstage and she used some of his music to accompany the models as they took the runway.
Her fans and TMZ's photographers really seemed to want the two to be an item, searching for any clues over the last few weeks, but the moment Vinci upset Williams in their Open semi-final, fans and TMZ decided that Drake must be punished.
TMZ called him a bad luck charm and a possible distraction.
"Drake may need to stay out of the public eye for the next month or so, lest he gets got," Slate Magazine's Jamelle Bouie tweeted.
Because this is not the first time Drake has been spotted in the vicinity of a loss at a sporting event, some fans saw a pattern. CBS Sports tweeted: "The Curse of Drake strikes again."
After he was spotted lurking around the Seattle Seahawks' locker room, a sports columnist jokingly blamed him for an ensuing loss in 2013. In February, Paul Pierce of the Washington Wizards shoved Drake after he was clowning around a bit too close to the basketball court (the rapper's team, the Toronto Raptors, won that one).
And in April, after Kentucky lost to Wisconsin in the men's college basketball Final Four, Drake was said to have lost thousands of dollars and the respect of many fans, who relied on the artistry of memes in their attempts to shame him.
NEW YORK TIMES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE