Serena Williams has been fined $2,000 for a code violation for verbal abuse stemming from a tirade during her U.S. Open final Sunday.
“After independently reviewing the incident which served as the basis for the code violation, and taking into account the level of fine imposed by the U.S. Open referee, the Grand Slam Committee Director has determined that Ms. Williams' conduct, while verbally abusive, does not rise to the level of a major offense under the Grand Slam Code of Conduct,” the USTA said in a statement.
Williams will hardly miss the money. She won $900,000 for finishing second in the Open and earned a $500,000 bonus for finishing first in the U.S. Open Series standings.
She was fined by tournament referee Brian Earley a day after confronting chair umpire Eva Asderaki, who had assessed a point (and consequently a game) penalty after Williams shouted “come on!” while the ball was in play in the second set.
Williams had had her problems with U.S. Open officials before. In 2009, she was placed on probation after threatening a line judge over a foot fault call in the semifinals. She missed last year’s tournament with a foot injury.
Among Williams’ verbal transgressions this time: She told Asderaki that she was “totally out of control” and is “a loser;” “Aren’t you the one that screwed me over last time? That’s totally not cool;” “If you ever see me walking down the hall look the other way. You're a hater and unattractive inside. Really, don't even look at me, I promise you, don't look at me. Don't look my way.”
Samantha Stosur, who beat Williams 6-2, 6-3 for first Grand Slam title, was too excited to care much about Williams’ outburst.
“To be honest, I haven’t even thought about it.”