Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PRESS

'Never again': Florida school students become new face of US gun reform

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Quel pied! France's Fourcade skis to gold medal victory by 'inch of his foot'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

South Africa's Ramaphosa hails 'new dawn' in state of the nation address

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

A controversial Chinese New Year

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

New Beginning? Ramaphosa Replaces Zuma in South Africa

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

On the green slopes: An eco-friendly revolution in French ski resorts?

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The Élysée palace, France's presidential powerhouse

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Is the aviation industry free-riding on climate change efforts?

Read more

FOCUS

The revival of the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line

Read more

Serena Williams fined for 'unsportsmanlike conduct'

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-14

American tennis star Serena Williams has been levied the maximum possible fine of 10,000 US dollars for unsportsmanlike conduct after her unsavoury outburst against a line judge during her semi-final against Kim Clijsters. A probe is also underway.

AFP - Serena Williams was fined 10,500 dollars on Sunday for her angry outburst at a line judge that ended a US Open semi-final and the incident is being investigated by the Grand Slam Committee.
  
US Open tournament referee Brian Earley said in a statement Sunday that Williams has been levied the maximum possible fine for unsportsmanlike conduct, 10,000 dollars, plus a 500-dollar fine for racquet abuse.
  
Williams, in a statement Sunday after the fine was announced, issued no apology or comment on the punishment but stated she "let my passion and emotion get the best of me" and "handled the situation poorly".
  
The fine is a mere pittance, even at maximum strength, since Williams received 375,000-dollar for her semi-final run at Flushing Meadows, her matches among the top drawing cards for ticket buyers and television viewers.
  
But the probe underway could bring more penalties.
  
"The Grand Slam Rule Book also allows for an investigation to be conducted by the Grand Slam Committee administrator to determine if the behavoir of Ms. Williams warrants consideration as a Major Offence, for which additional penalties can be imposed," Earley said.
  
"This investigation has now begun."
  
US Open officials were reviewing videotapes of the confrontation and the bizarre ending to her loss to Belgium's Kim Clijsters. Williams and match umpire Louise Engzell were interviewed by Earley on Saturday night.
  
US television commentators and former players Pam Shriver and Mary Joe Fernandez called for 11-time Grand Slam champion Williams to apologize for threatening the woman who called a foot fault upon her to give Clijsters two match points.
  
Williams walked toward the woman who made the call, waving her racquet before her, and launching into a profanity-tinged tirade of threats that led to the unsportsmanlike conduct violation.
  
Because Williams had already received a warning after smashing her racquet following the last point of the first set, the penalty point she was assessed handed Clijsters a berth in Sunday's final.
  
"Last night everyone could truly see the passion I have for my job," Williams said in a statement.
  
"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.
  
"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."
  
Fernandez found the statement inadequate.
  
"It was basically what we knew. But there was no remorse," Fernandez said. "There was no apology. For herself and for the fans, I think she really needs to come out with an apology."
  
World number one Roger Federer, going for a sixth consecutive US Open's men's crown Monday, called the controversy "unfortunate".
  
"She probably shouldn't have reacted the way she did, but I don't think it should take anything away from what Kim has achieved," Federer said. "That just leaves sort of a sour taste for everyone, unfortunately."
  
Williams will return to Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday afternoon to join her sister Venus in the US Open women's doubles final against top seeds Cara Black of Zimbabwe and American Liezel Huber.
  
Grand Slam events fall under the purview of the International Tennis Federation, not the ATP and WTA tours, with the four major tournaments collaborating to form the Slam committee.

Date created : 2009-09-14

COMMENT(S)