Serena Williams issued a statement on Sunday regarding her altercation with a linesperson during Saturday’s US Open semifinal against Kim Clijsters. (Click here for the play by play.)
What, you were expecting an apology?:
“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. 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.”(via USOpen.org)
Serena has already moved on – like to the MTV Video Music Awards, where she introduced performer Pink on Sunday night. The apologies were left to Kanye West:
REUTERS/Gary Hershorn (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT)
In terms of disciplinary action, Serena has been fined $10,000 by the tournament for unsportmanlike behavior (the maximum fine that can be levied on-site) and $500 for the “racquet abuse” in the first set. (Is it just me, or does that phrase always sound ridiculous?) To put the fine in perspective, Serena’s already won $455,000 at this year’s US Open in singles and doubles prize money. She and sister Venus will be allowed to add to that total on Monday afternoon, when they compete for the doubles title.
But all of that dough could be taken away if the Grand Slam Committee’s investigation, which will include video review and interviews with those involved, determines that a “major offense” was committed. It would also be within the Committee’s rights to ban Serena from the 2010 US Open, though this is a highly unlikely, if not unprecedented, possibility.
The New York Times reminds us of the Jeff Tarango Case of 1995, when Tarango was banned from playing the next year’s Wimbledon after walking off the court mid-match in protest of a line call.
Serena Williams is no Jeff Tarango.