Serena Williams Fined After On Court Tirade

Williams fined $10,000 for profanity laced rant directed at U.S. Open judge.

ByABC News via logo
September 13, 2009, 10:43 PM

Sept. 13, 2009 — -- Serena Williams was fined $10,000 Sunday for a profanity-laced tirade directed at a U.S. Open line judge, and an investigation is under way to determine whether there should be additional punishment.

The $10,000 penalty — not quite 3 percent of the $350,000 in prize money Williams earned by reaching the semifinals at Flushing Meadows — is the maximum on-site fine that can be issued for unsportsmanlike conduct at a Grand Slam tournament.

The U.S. Open said in a statement that the Grand Slam Committee Administrator will "determine if the behavior of Ms. Williams warrants consideration as a major offense for which additional penalties can be imposed."

Williams, who was the defending champion, also was docked $500 for smashing her racket after the first set of what became a 6-4, 7-5 loss to Kim Clijsters on Saturday night.

Two points from losing in the second set, Williams faulted at 5-6, 15-30. On her second serve there, the line judge called a foot fault, making it 15-40 and giving Clijsters a match point. Williams began berating the line judge and a penalty point was awarded to Clijsters; because it happened to come on match point, it ended the semifinal.

"Last night, everyone could truly see the passion I have for my job. Now that I have had time to gain 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," Williams said in a statement released Sunday by a public relations firm.

"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."

The chairman and CEO of the women's tennis tour, Stacey Allaster, issued a statement calling Williams' conduct Saturday "inappropriate and unprofessional."

"No matter what the circumstances, no player should be allowed to engage in such behavior without suffering consequences. I have spoken with the USTA about this matter and I agree with the action they have taken," Allaster said.