Serena Williams unleashed her wrath again on another U.S. Open official when she was called out for on court hindrance during Sunday’s women’s final. Williams, who may have now tarnished her charmed comeback after injuries and medical problems kept her off court for almost a full year, ultimately lost the match and tournament title to Australia’s Samantha Stosur, 6-2, 6-3.
Williams, 29, and Stosur, 27, were in the first game of the match’s second set when the Australian went after Williams’ forehand shot. But just before the ball hit Stosur’s racket, Williams belted out “Come on!” Stosur barely tapped the ball, and the score went from 30-40 to deuce.
Eva Asderaki, the chair umpire at Arthur Ashe Stadium, gave Williams a code violation and a point penalty — giving the game to Stosur.
Reacting to the decision, Williams did not quite have a repeat of her 2009 on court calamity, when she physically threatened a lineswoman who called her for a foot foul in an obscenity-ridden rant. But she was heard to say the following to the umpire:
“Don’t even look at me. I promise you, don’t look at me … Don’t look my way,” “What a loser,” “You’re a hater,” “A code violation because I expressed who I am? Really?” But the kicker – which could potentially be seen as a threat was: “If you ever see me walking down the hall … walk the other way.”
Williams was called for hindrance, which is an interpretation of her yell of “Come on!” as deliberate interference. Once the point and game were awarded to Stosur, the crowd at Arthur Ashe booed for over a full minute. But that didn’t slow the ninth-seeded Australian, who rallied against Williams, pushing the 13-time Grand Slam champ around the court with strong forehands and powerful serves.
It looks like Williams narrowly avoided another on court meltdown — along with the $82,500 fine and two-year probation by the Grand Slam committee that she was handed after her notorious 2009 tirade. After her loss on Sunday, Williams explained herself.
“I just yelled, ‘Come on!’ ” Williams said. “It was a great shot. It was beautiful. I hit it like right in the sweet spot. I don’t know. It was a good shot, and it was the only good shot I think I hit. I was like, ‘Woo Hoo!”