Serena Williams has been fined $2,000 for verbal outburst against chair umpire Eva Asderaki during Sunday’s U.S. Open women’s final.
In a statement of U.S. Open organizers, Brian Earley said the fine was for the code violation of verbal abuse.
“This fine is consistent with similar offenses at Grand Slam events,” the statement said.
“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 incident happened in the first game of the second set, when Serena Williams appeared to have hit a winning forehand against eventual champion Australian Samantha Stosur.
Serena Williams yelled “come on” in celebration before the ball landed. Samantha Stosur barely was able to touch the ball, but the winner was taken away because of the hindrance rule that allows for a point penalty if the “hindrance” is considered to be on purpose.
After the point penalty, which ended up giving the game to Samantha Stosur, Serena Williams launched into a verbal attack against Greek chair umpire, Eva Asderaki.
During the next changeover and the break, Serena Williams was heard to say:
“What a loser,” “You’re a hater,” “A code violation because I expressed who I am? Really. Don’t even look at me. I promise you, don’t look at me. … Don’t look my way.” And, in a comment that could be interpreted as threatening, she said, “If you ever see me walking down the hall, walk the other way.”
The $2,000 fine Serena Williams received wasn’t even the largest issued so far at the Open. Men’s doubles players Mike Bryan was fined $10,000 for an “off court” incident after he and brother Bob Bryan lost in the first round. Because Mike Bryan can still appeal the fine, a U.S. Open official said, the nature of the offense would not be disclosed.
Serena Williams was technically still under two-year probation in major tournaments as a result of her obscene outburst during her 2009 U.S. Open semifinal loss to Kim Clijsters.
If Sunday’s incident had been deemed “major,” Serena Williams could have been suspended from the 2012 U.S. Open.