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Serena Williams fined record 175,000 dollars for insulting judge

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-01

World number one Serena Williams was hit with a record fine and two years probation Monday for her outburst over a foot fault call in a US Open semi-final against Belgian Kim Clijsters.

AFP - World number one Serena Williams was hit with a record fine and two years of probation on Monday for her outburst over a foot fault call in a US Open semi-final.
   
The punishments handed down by the International Tennis Federation's Grand Slam committee could result in a US Open suspension of up to three years if Williams commits another major violation in any Grand Slam event in 2010 or 2011.
   
Williams was fined a record 175,000 dollars with the amount to be reduced to 82,500 dollars if she stays on good behaviour over the next two seasons.
   
The fine amount included 10,000 dollars Williams paid the US Tennis Association in September after the incident, the maximum fine the group had the power to impose. Williams won 350,000 dollars for her US Open semi-final run.
   
Williams committed the violation in a semi-final loss to Kim Clijsters, the eventual US Open winner. Williams was called for a foot fault to give the Belgian mum match point and her profanity-laced tirade resulted in a penalty point that ended the match.
   
The biggest prior fine imposed by the committee came when American Jeff Tarango was fined just under 50,000 dollars.
   
Williams initially declined to issue an apology to the line-judge but subsequently issued a contrite statement in which she said: "I need to make it clear to all young people that I handled myself inappropriately.
   
"It's not the way to act - win or lose, good call or bad call in any sport, in any manner."
   
Williams was trailing Clijsters 4-6, 5-6 and serving at 15-30 when the baseline judge called a foot-fault on a second serve.
   
She walked over to the official and waved her racquet angrily as she unleashed her tirade at the official, who immediately reported what had been said to the umpire.
   
Having earlier warned Williams for racquet abuse, the official called for tournament referee Brian Earley and a penalty point was imposed which enabled Clijsters to claim the match.
   
Replays indicated that the line judge may have got the foot fault call wrong.

Date created : 2009-11-30

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