The U.S. Open has fined Serena Williams $10,000 for her tirade directed at a line judge at the end of a semifinal loss to Kim Clijsters. It's the maximum on-site fine a Grand Slam tennis tournament can issue for unsportsmanlike conduct.
With Williams serving, two points from defeat, a line judge called a foot fault on a second serve. That gave Clijsters a match point. Williams screamed, cursed and shook a ball in the official's direction. Williams was docked a point for unsportsmanlike conduct, ending the match, The Associated Press reports.
The administrator for the Grand Slam Committee, Bill Babcock, has opened an investigation into the incident. If that investigation determines that Williams committed a major offense, she could be fined all the money she earned at the tournament and suspended.
The Grand Slam administrator has jurisdiction to suspend a player from a Grand Slam event; it would most likely be the same event where the player committed the offense.
According to Article V of the Grand Slam Rule Book, which deals with major offenses, no person shall engage in "aggravated behavior," which is defined as "one incident of behavior that is flagrant and particularly injurious to the success of a Grand Slam, or is singularly egregious."
Williams is expected back on the court at 1 p.m. Eastern on Monday with her sister Venus for the women’s doubles final against top-seeded Cara Black and Liezel Huber.
Serena was not seen Sunday, although Venus practiced Sunday with their father, Richard Williams, who declined to comment. Although she barely acknowledged any transgression Saturday, Serena released a statement Sunday. She did not apologize, New York Times informs.
Williams did release a statement afterwards and while she admitted to handling the situation poorly, did not offer an apology to the line judge.
"Last night everyone could truly see the passion I have my job," the Williams statement read.
"Now that I have had time to regain my composure, I can see that while I don't agree with the unfair line call, in the heat of battle I let my passion and emotion get the better of me and as a result handled the situation poorly.
"I would like to thank my fans and supporters for understanding that I am human and I look forward to continuing the journey, both professionally and personally, with you all as I move forward and grow from this experience," according to Sky Sports.
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