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September 14th, 2009
10:39 AM ET

Serena Williams' tennis outburst under review

A profanity-laced outburst by tennis superstar Serena Williams could cost her a lot more than originally thought. Williams has already been hit with a $10,000 fine for swearing and waving her racquet at a line judge. She was also fined an additional $500 for racquet abuse when she threw her racquet and broke it earlier in the match.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated calls Serena Williams' outburst unprecedented."]

The incident with the line judge occurred after she was called on a foot fault in the semifinals of this weekend’s U.S. Open. If officials decide Williams committed a major offense under the Grand Slam rules, she could lose all of her prize money and maybe even suspended from a future Grand Slam event.

Jon Wertheim has been covering the U.S. Open for Sports Illustrated where he's the senior tennis writer. He joined John Roberts on CNN’s “American Morning” Monday. Below is an edited transcript of the interview.

John Roberts: Have you ever seen anything like this?

Jon Wertheim: Not like that. And certainly not from Serena. We've seen players lose it with officials but to get that close and threaten like that. Also, at that stage – a Grand Slam semifinal. That was unprecedented as far as I’ve seen.

Roberts: There is no clear angle that I have seen on the foot fault. Apparently that line judge, though, she's very good. She's very confident in the calls that she makes. Serena had been called for a foot fault a couple – three games earlier on the other side of the court by a different line judge. If it was an infraction, it was a minor one. She wasn’t a foot into the court or anything like that. Maybe she touched the line. Looking at it, John McEnroe said you don't call something like that at that point in the game. It was 15-30 with Serena serving, and she touched the line. Should that even have been called?

Wertheim: I mean, you know, in a perfect world it never happens, but I don't think you can waive off infractions. You get on slippery terrain pretty quickly when you make calls or don't make calls based on where you are in the match. I mean, you're either over the line or not. Unfortunately, you wish one way or the other there was conclusive video. It was a pretty shaky call, but that in no way excuses what followed.

Roberts: You see her when she's serving up the second serve there she lifts the toe of her left foot, does it wander over onto the line? It’s really unclear. In the press conference afterwards, which you were at, she didn't say whether or not she actually foot faulted. She said maybe I did. She didn't apologize but talked about the encounter between her and the line judge.

She said, “I think she said I would kill you and I was like what? I was like wait a minute. But then I had misheard, she had never said that. That was just something - I was like whoa. I was like wait a minute. Let's not, because I'm not that way.”

Maybe she didn't say “I'm going to kill you,” but what she did apparently say, because we've seen it on camera, “I swear I [expletive] want to take this ball and shove it down your [expletive] throat.” You were at that presser. What did you think of her appearance?

Wertheim: She had calmed down considerably, which is good. But you would have liked to see a little more contrition. This was a pretty big violation. … This was way over the line. Serena had calmed down and was even sort of joking about it but not a whole lot of apology. That was disappointing.

Roberts: John McEnroe, famous as one of the bad boys of tennis when he was playing, said you can't defend the indefensible. Look at what McEnroe has done over the years. I was reviewing an old match that he had with Lendl and the umpire called an ace and McEnroe comes over and there's so many expletives coming out of his mouth it’s really unsuitable for television. He was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. What's the difference between the way he behaved and how Serena behaved on Saturday night?

Wertheim: He faced consequences. I don’t think there’s a double standard here where people turned a blind eye. Also, I don't recall John McEnroe approaching the official and making a physical threat like that.

Roberts: So what do you think is going to happen? Sportscaster Mary Carillo was mocking the fine that was assessed to her. She says she could be suspended from the game, at least suspended from a Grand Slam event. What do you think?

Wertheim: I think maybe there's a creative solution. I mean, a fine is going to be silly no matter what. She'll make $500,000 this tournament alone. $10,000 is chopping money. By the same token, she's done an awful lot of good for the sport. We've seen players whack balls at fans in anger and not be suspended. I think a suspension is hard to justify. But there’s got to be another alternative there. Clearly, this needs to go punished but I think there are options other than a fine or suspension.

Roberts: She has new book coming out this week, "On the Line." She's supposed to be here on Wednesday to chat about that, so we'll see if she makes it. Hopefully we'll get her side of the story.

Filed under: Sports
soundoff (522 Responses)
  1. bridget

    You were right ! You knew the officiating was against you so hold your head up and keep on winning. You would have won the match and they know that (and so so you). That's why they cheated! This was just a childish strategy to disquality you. You won so don't be pissed!!!!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  2. Josy

    How quickly you Americans forget about McEnroe. Not to excuse her attitude but seriously she should not be banned for anything. Give her fines and leave her ALONE. I am hoping she has a comeback to shut all of you up!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  3. Tennis Fan

    The point violation leading to the lost of a chance to be in the finals was more than enough of a penalty. It would be absurd to suspend her from play when many male players have behaved badly but were not suspended. Serena overreacted to a very egregious call from the lineswoman, but we forget that she has endured more than any other tennis player-male or female. She was gracious after losing the French Open semifinals largely due to Justine Henin lying (despite the video replay) to the umpire and a rude French audience out to get simply because she was American and Bush had just invaded Iraq. Did Justine get suspended or docked a point for lying during the game and repeatedly afterwards during the press conference? Serena lost the US Open to Capriati because of an awful umpire, leading to the use of the instant replay. And she had to endure early in her career the hostility of crowds claiming without foundation that she and Venus were fixing matches. So she loses her temper badly once after all that. I'm sympathetic to her and applaud her for not throwing a fit earlier.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  4. Don

    Ms. Williams was way out of line should be held accountable for her actions. She should be required to apologize to the line judge before she can play again and fined or suspended according to the offense. If she chooses not to apologize then she doesn't play. In other sports when you do something unacceptable you are suspended and fined. Just because you are a star of the sport doesn't give you free reign to do what you want with little or no consequences. Remember when Roberto Alomar (Baseball) SPIT in the Umpire's face a few years back? He received a hefty fine and suspension .This should apply for all athletes reurardless of race or gender. Maybe Tennis should stop accepting racket throwing and arguing with officials. After a few people are “thrown" out of the match and fined for excessive displays or repeated or severe offenses this type of incident would be extremely rare.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  5. Gman

    From what I see, the Williams sisters have been treated differently by the sport. The only reason I can conclude is their color. One of them finally reacts and people want her head. That's what it's like for minorities. How shameful people are. I think many of of you need to take a sober look at yourselves.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  6. Zoltan

    Serena Williams issued a statement in which she said that she was just a human being.

    Well, if you are an average human being, then get an average human being salary too! How about $40K a year? Does she realize that she is a professional athlete as well as possible role model for others? What does it teach again celebrity status? What would happen to average people if they talked like that at work? Would the level of stress really be an excuse?

    People who work at the U.S. Open, or any of the sport events, do that because they love the particular sport. Serane would not be able to "shine" without the staff servicing the games. Well paid celebrities with the attitude of Serena Williams have to learn that. I agree with other people asking for harsh punishment other than financial. What's $10K for Serena? The cost of her Sunday brunch???

    September 14, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  7. amy b.

    I have been playing tennis for more than 35 years. I have seen a lot of matches in which people really got hot and said a lot of bad things. But, never have I ever seen a match in which someone threatened to kill someone and really intimidated the line judge. It appeared that she was truly afraid for her safety. Serena should be banned from tennis for an unspecified period of time until further notcie, no ifs ands or buts about it.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  8. Greg

    Knowing that she has new book coming out this week ... can anyone say "publicity stunt"?

    September 14, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  9. ram allen

    Bad behaviour-yes, uncalled for-yes, unprecedented-oh please. Where has Wertheim been? McEnroe and Jimmy Connors made this behaviour the norm not an exception. Maybe it is a while since the bad boys were around, but don't go off the deep end as if it is Armegeddon.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  10. Ryan

    As a father of 2 young girls who are becoming very much interested and involved with tennis. This is regretable. In a world where it is hard to find people or sports that are in the spotlight that parents can feel comfortable bringing their children around. Tennis is one of those few venues where we feel comfortable bringing our kids to. I am so happy my girls did not see Serena's tirade. We all "lose it" at times. But, Serena went way overboard, she was losing, was frustrated, and couldn't control her emotions. Poor judgement has cost her more than the little money she will pay in fines. Serena needs to apologize to her fans, especially her young ones. Her comments just minutes after the match about "moving on" were rediculous and shows her inability to take responsibility for her grossly inappropriate actions. The whole world heard you Serena.. Come on, you're a big girl...

    September 14, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  11. Monty Miller

    Look folks, this isn't a race issue. Regardless of whether the line judge made a good or bad call on the foot fault, it's her job to make those calls. Tennis is a game still officiated by humans and so there is still, and I hope always will be, a certain ratio of errors to good calls that balances out between both players. It is up to the player however, as to how they react to any such calls, whether they come late in a match or at the beginning of a match. While it may be true that Johnny Mac served up plenty of tirades in his day, as did Jimmy Connors along with many other notables and not-so-notables, none that I can recall have approached a line judge with the racquet raised up while shouting threats that included the words "kill you". I think a bigger question is, "what is going on with Serena that she would be so out of control in front of thousands of fans?" I think officials should really be looking at steroid use as a possible reason for her irrational and obviously unacceptable behavior. If she is using steroids then she needs help because the dangers of steroid use are certainly well documented. Since Serena is not prone to making such outragious threats I think this incident should be a red flag to officials pointing to the possibility of steroid use. Please get off the racism soap box. It wasn't long ago that Martina Hingis tested positive for cocain and quickly retired from the game after a brief come-back attempt but I don't recall the Swiss claiming some conspiratorial prejudice aimed at Swiss players. Look, if every time a black athlete or celebrity goes afoul of the rules racism is used as an excuse, then the fight against true racially based bigotry is undermined. Let's call it what it is—an inappropriate response to a questionable call. She should be sanctioned but not crucified and I think testing for steroid use would not be out of line.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  12. Tania

    Time to retire. Too much money..... Serena & Venus are not playing this game anymore. They have an attitude, they are always in a bad mood and starting this tournament what was Serena doing in the first match dancing while they were trying to interview her?
    Its funny that when you still need your fans these atheletes are so hipocritis and once they are bored they do exactly what Serena did – reveal themselves.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  13. Mike in California

    This was indeed a bad outburst, but people are correct in that Serena has done alot for the sport of tennis. Personally, I think she should have to forfeit her winnings from this event only ($350,000), that should send her enough of a message without belaboring the outburst.. Since she is, by and large, a very professional athlete, on and off the court, her punishment should stop with this event.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  14. Liz

    What about John McEnroe????? All the outburst he had, and twice the foul language, why is Serena being attacked liked this?? People couldn't wait to find something on the Williams' sisters. I think she handled it inappropriately, but are we back to the 1950's when women and people of color have to watch their steps more carfully?? I think it's ridiculous how much attention this is getting

    September 14, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  15. Gennadi

    Let us forget the race card, even though today many black people behave as if they are entitled to everything because of the past historic injustices. Further, let us assume the line judge was in error and there exists video, which confirms that, so what? The judge is human. The notion of “this moment in the game” is ludicrous. Any point in the game of tennis can be pivotal, affecting momentum, psychic, muscles etc. Should break point be “this moment in the game”, a set point? Officials have a split second to make the call, they do it to the best of their ability. It is certainly not for J. McEnroe, to take nothing away from his achievements, to pontificate about “this moment in the game”. Now, what should be done with Serena? Imagine it was a white, obscure, tennis player from Russia, who by the stroke of luck playing in the semifinal, and who committed the offence. Imagine further, that the line judge is black and try to speculate what would have happen to her? Let the tennis authorities choose the form and method of discipline and live with their decision and conciseness. We, the public will respond according to our own emotions, while the sponsors and promoters – according to their interests.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  16. Viscom

    Oh please. Stop with the Free Speech cries. Freedom of Speech covers your right to openly criticize your government without fear of being dragged away in the middle of the night and locked up. It doesn't provide you the right to scream at someone doing their job.

    And this is not a racial issue. People will try to paint it as such but it isn't. It doesn't matter who you are, if you behave like that you will get criticized and face the consequences. Period.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  17. Paul

    Why do the liberal knotheads always have to bring politics into sports forums? If its not Bush its a flavor of the month like Joe Wilson. Stick to the subject. What Serena did was wrong, as with Wilson. Wilson, at least, was correct..

    September 14, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  18. patrik

    A "foot fault" during Championship point....What's that all about?

    Serena is no different than most players playing at the top of their games who are playing with total intensity. I
    t wasn't long ago when her critics were saying she wasn't putting her heart in her play.
    Also, Wertheimer should go back and see the tapes of Connors and McEnroe behaviour and a hosts of other players in the 80's.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  19. GiveMeABreak

    Serana said that "she thought the lineswoman said 'that she would kill' me", but then realized that she heard wrong... listen to her post game interview. At least Serena came clear on that... the fact that she hasn't appologized is almost as bad on her on-court behaviour.

    I can't stand these people arguing about the call.... I guess all the other sports should have flexibility in their rulings based on the situation in a game (the strike box changes based on if the winning team is at bat... etc). Give Me A Break !!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  20. Susan Hensley

    What surprises me is that people are surprised. Serena has NEVER been a good sport, never given credit to, or been VOLUNTARILY generous about, her opponents who beat her. More recently obviously her PR people have advised her to be more sportsmanlike, and she pastes on an insincere smile and says something scripted. Immediate suspension would not have been fair to Huber/Black, who deserve the chance to win fairly, and I hope they do. THEN Serena should be suspended for a decent amount of time. She's so wealthy no fine is going to bother her.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  21. John McEnroe

    Unprecedented?!?! You CANNOT be SERIOUS!!! Serena's outburst was tame. There's NO WAY that outburst was worse than any of mine.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  22. Erasure25

    @ Neal
    McEnroe did use profanity and often. He also threw rackets around and argued with judges. Please stop advocating a double standard here. There is a tinge of racism going on in this country and it's quite disgusting. Serena should be given the same punishments McEnroe received.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  23. Paul

    Yeah, Frank, play the race card. This is one of the most heavily compensated athletes on the planet we're talking about. Spare me.

    Sure, a lot of players break racquets. They get a fine. She broke a racquet, she got a pittance of a fine too. If that's all she had done, that would have been the end of it. It wouldn't have made the news.

    She verbally threatened a judge. Find me some other player who did that, and maybe you'll change my mind.

    Claiming that her saying "I'd like to" somehow makes it not a threat is ridiculous.

    In my opinion, fining $500 for smashing a racquet is a ridiculous penalty when some players barely manage to cover travel expenses, and others make millions a year. Fine them a percentage of winnings, and make it a larger percentage each time they do it. That sort of behavior has no place in sport.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  24. Bridgette-PA

    "S. Thomas" wrote "She should be suspended from the sport permanently". Are you serious?? Get a life and get over it. Serena hit NO-ONE, repeat, Serena HIT NO-ONE. Get over yourself idiot. Suspend her PERMANENTLY....that is FOR LIFE. I agree with the sane people that she definitely deserves a short suspension, fine and should even publicly apologize for the judge. But you have gone way too far with the PERMANENTLY comment. BTW, you should be suspended for life for being born!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  25. Usman

    It's simple, really. Athletes are looked at as role models. Serena deserves a stern punishment for her outburst (and demeanor throughout the game). The fine is laughable. At minimum, a disqualification from the next Grand Slam event is called for.

    I completely disagree with the comments that the line judge should NOT have called it at that stage. As Mt. Wertheim said, you are either over the line or not. There is no such thing as making judgement calls solely depending on the stage of the game.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  26. Steve

    Uh ... does anyone remember Jennifer Capriati?? She had the worst mouth on the court and ROUTINELY cussed out lines people. So where were the calls for her head? She was tennis's little white princess and yet her behavior was always excused. Serena does something once and she should be banned. Give me a break!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  27. Jill

    This has nothing to do with race. It has nothing to do with being a woman. It has nothing to do with John McEnroe or any other player and needs no comparison. This has to do with the fact that, for the first time in tennis history, a player physically threatened a line judge. She was walking towards her, shaking her hand with a ball in it and telling the line judge, in a profanity laced tyrade, what she wanted to do with that ball. She then, a second time, walked back towards the line judge repeatedly pointing her raquet at her and continuing to yell. Lots of player have meltdowns, lots of them swear and break racquets – but none of them have ever threatened physical violence. To go into a press conference afterwards and act unremorseful and almost joke about the situation it pathetic. I expect more from ANY athelete – not just Serena. I have lost all respect for her. She owes the line judge, the U.S. Open Committee, the fans who were at the match and more than anyone, she owes Kim Clijsters an apology. What should have been a huge win and celebration for Kim will forever be associated with this vulgar and childish display of emotions from Serena. What a shame....

    September 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  28. Lee

    To all of you who think the lines person made a call that should have not been made at that particular point in the match - if Serena steped on the line - make the call. If you want to let a foot-fault slide by because it is at a crucial point in the match - then why not let the players just run to the net and serve? Rules are made to make play fair for both players - the people who do not like the rules are the one's who usually try to get aroung them. If she comitted a foot-fault it should have been called as a violation.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  29. tony

    how quickly do all of you on this blog forget john mcenroe, seem like only white players can get away with any thing, if you are black bann you for life i am not playing the race card because i am white

    September 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  30. Michael

    Monique, please you can not compare John Wilson's comment to a threat on another person. This was a total embarrassment to Tennis and a representation of the United States.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  31. deborah

    serena should be suspended. she has yet to show any remorse for an absolute clear violation. she was way over the top in her verbal abuse. the raquet smashing was fine but to threaten and verbally abuse the linesperson is way out of line. whether the call was right or wrong should not even be discussed here-its not the issue. serena has become so self centered she thinks this tirade doesn't even warrant an apology. she has become a sham of an athlete. i don't care if she ever gets to play again.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  32. Will E. Wanker

    I was commenting to a friend that tennis could use some trash talking. I would have preferred it to be between the players though.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  33. midwest mom

    I sat watching this with my avid 14 year old female tennis fanatic daughter. I was shocked but knew that a heart-felt apology would follow. When we got a boastful explanation and no apology we crossed Serena off our 'favorite' tennis player list. Yea, we have seen bad calls that have costs players from local tourney to Grand Slams robbed of their win..but that is the game. That is why we call it "a game' and not "a war". Games have rules and when you sign up for playing the game you agree to play within the rules. From every tennis mom, dad, coach I would like to say, "You let my kid down Serena. You set the WORST of all possible examples. Not getting angry, but NOT apologizing," To the Open officials and to Serena's sponsors I say..."Time for you to step up and set the correct example for our young athletes". As a mom I could CARE LESS if McEnroe did it or anyone else. SHE IS RESPONSILBE for her OWN BEHAVIOR and it was inexcusable. Her years of building a reputation was ruined, not by her anger, but by her lack of apology and remorse. I hope all young players get a good talk from their coach tonight about this incident.!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  34. floyd

    I sat watching Serena's outburst and listened to the commentators talk about how terrible it was while at the same time there was John McEroe sitting right next to them,to his credit at the time he was almost silent,could it be he was thinking back to his days when he was ranting and raving at officials.
    Why is it that when some people misbehave they are easily forgiven or sometimes applauded,while others are thought of as the worst thing there is.We see John proffiting from his past outburst in his car rental ads,I GUESS IT WILL BE ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE SERENA PROFITS FROM HERS.(fat chance).
    Could it be that it boils down to the color of ones skin, I would hate to think that is what it is. Some of these very commentators used to talk negatavely about the way these girls were taught the game of tennis by their dad, I always thought that if a dad that was white had followed the same regimen he would have received nothing but praises.

    Yes what she said was wrong and yes some sort of punishment should be given,but for some commentators to go as far as suggest that she should not be allowed to play doubles now that is realy taking it too far. What about her playing partner,how would you justify punishing her, she did nothing wrong, oh I forgot she is also a "WILLIAMS".

    September 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  35. Dave in Virginia

    Fined.Yes. Possible some kind of probation for a year (any more bad behavior would result in suspension from a major tournament). Require an appropriate apology to the appropriate people and move on. It is unacceptable in any sport to be abusive to those officiating and all proffessional athletes know that and should act accordingly.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  36. watched a few matches

    I have my questions regarding the officiating at the matches. Did you see the Federer Mach yesterday? How many overturned calls were there? i would not be suprised at all if Serena didn't step on the line.horrible line judges in this contest!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  37. Curtis_PA

    Hey JGP, who prepared that press release for her? Her father or her PR person?

    It's ironic that this expression of remorse comes not only after the disgusting actions by her, but also after her press conference where she also failed to express any remorse in a setting where she had already had a little time to contemplate what actually happened and her pathetic, and criminal actions.

    Considering that her actions happened in NYC, and were a violation of New York laws, I would LOVE it if she were actually arrested and charged with terroristic threats. She deserves it for her arrogance with commiting such actions.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  38. J Robinson

    Oh, I see. She has a book coming out. That clarifies everything.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  39. Jane Tierney

    She's not a white man. McEnroe got by with worse. Let's back charge him some fines. She should have used her racket on the line judge and been done with it.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  40. Blasie

    Once again a professional sporting body is gutless and weak. What Williams did was disgusting and should not be tolerated in any way. Professional tennis needs to suspend her for the next three grand slams and next year's US Open – anything less is in insult to tennis fans. Somoeone at some point needs to strap on a pair and man up and do the right thing.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  41. A. Powell

    Suspending Serena from a major would be a horrible decision. Lets face it, besides the Williams sisters and Ouden's cinderlla story in the US Open, women's tennis is lacking appeal. The sport needs Serena.

    Yes, her reaction was over the top and tasteless, but it was a bad call at a critical point of the match- you simply don't make that call. If you were in Serena's shoes and someone called you on a BS foot fault, I'm sure you'd have a few words for the judge as well.

    All of you calling for Serena's ban from the sport or a year suspension probably don't even watch tennis as you don't have a grip on what's good or bad for a sport.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  42. Barbara

    Actually, I've NEVER forgotten McEnroe's tantrums. For that reason, I rooted mightily against him, not being able to stand his infantile temperment. What strikes me about Serena is she went off in a way that begs question. Why? Was it the pressure of the tournament, family pride, the loss to a non-seeded player who had her outwitted? Or was it something else? Dare anyone speak the word? I've loved Serena and Venus both, and was unending in my admiration of them. Serena crossed a line. She was not remorseful (an apology that doesn't show contrition), and I'm puzzled.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm |

    Absolutely she should face a suspension in matches–possibly best for tennis to face a 1 year suspension.

    Regardless of the place in a match, a "call is a call "and the Judges call them as they see them, and do not need outsiders questioning the call ,and trying to say it was an untimely place in the match to make the call.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  44. wentworth

    How amazing. Serena got cheated by a call & reacted in a way all the hyprocrites commenting would react & they want to band her from the sports. Ever since the williams sisters start playing & winning the linesmens/women, the umpires, the commentators (Mary carillo), the players, & lets not forget the white spectators are all against them. Serena is a surviver & have many oppertunities she can rely on if she is suspended from the game as you all want happen. can you all do the same. As for Mary Carillo she needs to go home & cook & clean with her BORING commentating. Even the other commentators ignore her boring remarks/comment when she is calling a game.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  45. Tony

    It's simple…players play sports…sports have rules…when a rule is broke a penalty is levied. With that being said…she is a player…her sport has rules…she broke a rule and a penalty is levied. Written rules are NOT open to interpretation or circumstance point blank and period. . .now let’s move on!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  46. Millie Bea

    It's poor sportsmanship. That's all that needs to be said. It doesn't matter if the official was "over-officiating" or not, as someone put it- that happens in all sports. But this player chose to operate with bad sportsmanship. Color doesn't matter, class does.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  47. MR

    She showed no remorse. She should apologize to the line judge, the crowd and the organization. Indefensible.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  48. dochollywould

    How quick we are to pass judgement on someone caught up in the heat of battle. How many of us have been fueled by emotions and display a part of ourselves others seldom see? Serena does not need to apologize nor does she need to be banned. The incident took place and we should all move on with our lives. People are allowing this incident to overshadow the fact the Kim Clister, who 18 months removed just won the US Open. Regardless of the turmoil which positioned her into the finals, the bottom line is she won the tournament. Too many people focus on the negative aspects of things. We all make mistakes...which one of us who has not can cast the first tennis ball...

    September 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  49. J.C.

    Everyone gets bad calls. She represents the USA in tennis. Those actions require a suspension for at least one Grand Slam Tournament. That will let the others know what's in store for that type of behavior. It doesn't matter what your race is. Those people that use race as an excuse are the reason why we have these problems in America. Stay focused on the behavior,

    September 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  50. Nick

    It will be interested to see the standards that are applied to this matter. It is obvious that something more than a $10k fine needs to take place. But will the sanctions be greater because this was an African American acting out? There is a huge potential for a double standard to be exercised. Race should neither be a reason for or a reason against there being an appropriate sanction placed on Ms. Williams. I'd hate to be the person making this decision. It will be a no-win situation. Too harsh = racism... too light = reverse racism. Suspension of her next appearance at the US Open seems appropriate. The Australian, French and Wimbledon tournaments shouldn't be punished for a decision that will radiate from the US Open. Like it or not, she is an attendance draw in the women's bracket .

    September 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  51. JustSayin

    Serena should have apologized. Isn't that what people in this country do when they mess up? But to be fined for all her winnings – that's too much. And she should definetily not be BANNED as some have indicated. McEnroe threw his racket down, cursed the judges, and did all sorts of unrespectful things and no one EVER mentioned that he should be banned from the sport. That is going too far. Get real folks. Stop be such racists in this country!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  52. Mr French

    And another thing - NO MORE QUESTIONING THE CALL - either trust the line judges and umpire or change the game and get rid of therm in favour of technology. With nobody to yell at, maybe we'd see players duking it out because they didn't agree that the picture was in focus. That would boost the ratings!!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  53. AghastObserver

    I was taught that two wrongs dont make a right. Has that changed? That McEnroe was foul mouthed somehow excuses everybody else who comes after? Foot ball players are intense... let us also not call any personal fouls when the trailing team is in the red zone?? Sorry that does not wash. Also, please dont pull out the race card. If a brown skinned or an african american makes a hash of things, (I am one), let us stand up and take our licks when it is deserved. Dont hide behind the racist cloud. I was completely aghast watching the episode. I am a baseball umpire and I felt for that line judge. She thought she made the right call. I also hated ex-PLAYERS, sitting on a high horse and trashing the line judge.... it is a bit like a criminal sitting in judgement over a thief.. They did not like it when they played so they are always going to start by saying the line-judge over-officiated. Rules dont get suspended towards the end of a match... So let the USTA deal with it. They do have rules for this ... let the rules and the applicable laes in the USTA take their course..

    September 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  54. Vickie

    Connors and McEnroe, never made profanity-laced threats to officials, what matches have you watched of theirs? You must have only seen highlights from their careers. You could not have been avidly watched their games and make such an inaccurate statement.

    Yet their antics were just considered part of the match. Double standard here, I would say so.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  55. DeeBee

    I think the "unprecedented" part is the threatening content of the outburst. I have never seen a McEnroe outburst in which he threatens an official with bodily harm. If he hasn't done so, or if there are no other recorded incidents of threats made by players to officials during a match in the ATP, then this would be unprecedented. The racket-smashing and general outbursts happen all the time, and are fined all the time. But threats of violence against officials is definitely rarer, and that does deserve a punishment that is qualitatively different from punishments for general outbursts.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  56. Marcus

    In the era of John McEnroe tennis rules were not as strict. That is the reason why after seeing his and other player’s outbursts the popularity of tennis in the US has waned.

    A Foot Fault is called when a serving player steps on/over or just touches the line before he/she hits the ball. If the player steps on/over or touches the line following hitting the ball during a serve then there is no Foot Fault.

    The Line Judge sees nothing but the one line he/she is watching. Therefore I would believe the call was made correctly. Instead of bursting out at the Line Judge Serena should have approached the Chair Umpire, just as McEnroe used to, and direct her outburst there. The Chair Umpire could have over-ruled the call made by the Line Judge.

    She should be punished not just for being ‘total ass’ on the court during a Grand Slam, but for being such sore loser example to the up and coming young players at large.

    Players yelling profanities at anyone during a match are supposed to get penalized. Under USTA rules this applies to every tennis player at all levels of play, no exceptions. So does Foot Faulting.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  57. lob!

    How soon we forget the magnificence of John McEnroe.. even a television viewer was afraid of getting a racket in the head :>). This is hardly unprecedented – athletes are human and getting beaten (again) by an unranked Kim Clijsters was something that must be particularly frustrating given the number of hours they put into training. She should apologize to the line judge and let bygones be bygones.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  58. carlos

    Sam said: September 14th, 2009 11:20 am ET
    Civility, or lack thereof in American society in recent weeks, has been on display. First it was Joe Wilson and now Serena and then Kanye on MTV Awards…What’s happening around us? Have we reached so low that we can’t even tolerate our fellow Americans? How are we going to tolerate the rest of the world, that doesn’t agree with us?

    Sam, it's called Iraq and Iran and Venezuela and Cuba and North Korea and so on. We have become a nation that wants to believe we tolerate but in reality we denigrate and expect the rest of the world to do the tolerating.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  59. Todd

    Hey guys, not to put too fine a point on it, but the foot fault, and the line judge drama, and the penalty to force the end of the match did NOT cost her the win.

    She was losing pretty badly to Kim. She was going to lose it all by herself.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  60. Lyttle

    Please let me say the following: I don't condone what Serena did but let me remind you of a BIG incident: Agassi or another tennis player once spitted in the refree's (judge) face. Now, how do you compare spitting on a fellow human being's face and Serena's behaviour? Please be honest in your comparison! Be honest!!!!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  61. Fran

    I wish her the best.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  62. nathan golden

    You people are a bunch of crackheads. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Athletes curse and say things that are inappropriate in the heat of battle all the time. What Serena said is no different than what John McEnroe said all the time. The arrogance of you people, to think you have the right to hold your noses up and judge. None of you losers has ever strapped on a pair of athletic shoes or knows what its like to put your heart into something only to have some moron like this judge make a call that determines the outcome of the game. Referees and umpires should NEVER determine the outcome of a sporting event. This lady should be fined and prevented from officiating in late tournament matches. Clearly you dont make a call like that at this point. And mentioning Kenye West? You people and lumping Black people together kill me. Oh yeah, those darkies are all the same. Anybody who doesnt think the uproar over this has racial undertones is delusional!! Tennis needs Serena more than she needs tennis. Suspend her, I bet she walks away from the game. You think this 17 year old can carry American tennis by herself? The Williams sisters are all American tennis has so appreciate them and quit trying to bring them down.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  63. StLouisMAN

    Jeeves, I simply said that not all episodes involving a black are racist–I can understand how the sisters may have people against them or that a call may be made against them–but that does not excuse or explain this stuation where she approached the judge twice.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  64. Curtis_PA

    Why is everyone bringing race into this discussion? Serena is a disgrace because of Serena and her actions. This has nothing to do with her race. She threatened an official in the sport she plays as a professional. Regardless if she were an amateur or professional, she committed what is technically a crime. She threatened physical violence against an official. In addition, she has no remorse for what she did. Had she at least expressed some honest remorse, I would actually think that perhaps she did get caught up in the moment, but her absolute arrogance after the fact proves that she believes she's above the sport, it's rules, it's officials, etc. THAT is why I feel that she should be suspended for a lengthy period of time. To commit a crime, and have no remorse is pathetic, and should be punished. Perhaps a year or more.

    And for all those who think this idea is based on racism, go back to the whole you crawled out of. Heck, Tiger Woods, Shaquille Oneal, Michael Jordan, and many others are all in the top of their sports, and some of the most respected people in America, by both Whites and Blacks. I have the utmost respect for these athletes. Serena can go rot.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  65. Paula

    I love some of these holier-than-thou comments:
    She should be PERMANENTLY SUSPENDED! Fine is too small, etc, etc.. I am intrigued how short memories are. McEnroe, Connors, and countless others have done similarly bad things on the court. BANNED FOR LIFE was not the rallying cry.

    SHE IS HUMAN and MADE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE yesterday! She should apologize to the line judge, and the fans/spectators and officials of the US Open. Fine if necessary.



    September 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  66. Rob

    This is professional sport with 100"s of thousands of dollars on the line, and some dumpy fat judge who coldnt hardly lift her butt out of her chair to run away calls an infraction at that stage of the match.............I think 2 fines are in order here....sure 91) bid one for Williams as..yes she was out of line...but another for that moron judge who thought is was appropriate to interefere with world champions doing battle on the court just to hear her own voice call out a frivilous infraction

    September 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  67. Peg

    I've been following tennis since the early 70's. I didn't like it when John McEnroe or Jimmy Connors pulled their outbursts, they should have been suspended more than once, and I don't like it today. However, I have never heard anyone actually threaten a line judge like spoiled brat Serena did.

    And for those of you, including John McEnroe, who say the line judge shouldn't have made the call because of the stage of the match? That's the silliest thing I've ever heard. Rules are rules. Serena already had one fault against her, she knew if she did anything else wrong she'd get excused. She just didn't believe it was going to happen: "They wouldn't DARE do that to me!" It should not make any difference at what point in the game it is, if the judge thought it was a foot fault then (s)he should call it. You don't like the rules, don't play the game.

    Serena needs to come back down to earth. She seems to have forgotten where she came from. I'd say a forfeit of one year's winnings, anger management courses and free tennis lessons for underprivileged kids would bring the girl down a couple of notches.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  68. jessica

    I think she acted very unprofessional and deserves what she got and I hope that they will impose a greater finding – suspension – She and everyone like her needs to be taught a lesson. She thinks she can act out – make horrible remarks and never be punished. She should not be allowed to play doubles!!!!. That little fine was a laugh!!. She goes to the interview all innocent like and lies – look at the "slut" type of behavior – mouth – dress and showing more of her fat body than I care to see. She always throws out the good ole Christian faith – but her dress and behavior tell us exactly what she is. Distasteful and totally uncalled for. Grow up and learn to keep your CA-raised mouth civil. Just shut up. I am tired of seeing the QUEEN BEE attitude. TAKE all the $$$ endorsements away and what do kids have to look up to? Just don't buy tickets to watch her matches and certainly don't buy any of her recommended products. I know I won't do so in the future.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  69. Andy

    OK, whoever said not the right call at that point in the game is a foolish. Officials get paid to make the calls. Players get paid to play the games. If it is an infraction then call it. That is just like in college basketball when a team is way out front and fouls from the other team are not called because they are losing so bad. It is all about INTEGRITY

    September 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  70. T$

    Anger Management Classes and additions to the fine, should help...cant say I havent blew my cool on a official or judge before, I totally regret my actions, but learned valuable lessons, not to mention how unprofessionla and stupid i looked...

    Now they she has spoken (words obviously written by her image consultant), let her deal with this, and dig her way out....

    IMO – she was getting beat, and flipped a gasket, I dont agree w/ the outburst,'s over, we know it should nto be tollerated, let's move on...

    September 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  71. Sam

    I don't like Serena or Venus. I think they are both lousy sports, who never give their opponents any credit.

    But, I think calling a nearly invisible foot fault at that juncture in the match was a case of an over-zealous linesperson exerting what little power she has in her life.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  72. Nina

    There is no doubt that Serena overreacted and her bahvior was not acceptable....but in just the hours and days preceding, Djokovic bounced his racket as did Gonzalez. While everyone is citing McEnroe, we only have to go back a few months to see Roger Federer smash his racket......instead of blistering reprisals, Federer was met with he was having a bad day/hard court season. You can't help but wonder why there is so much outrage about this it unprecedented because it was the Semifinals, it was a woman, it was a black women? Serena is a champion, a fierce competitior and most of the time it manifests in her holding up a trophy, this weekend it was a shouting spree. Look Serena screwed up, she should be fined,suspended possibly, but you "cannot be serious" about all the self-righteous indignation.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  73. Steve

    maybe serena has been reading from the Joe Wilson play book..

    September 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  74. Paul

    I don't care how much she makes, or how much she has done for the sport. What she said to an official was threatening and inexcusable.

    McEnroe played with intensity. He, in his day, took tennis temper tantrums to a new level. Sometimes it was annoying, sometimes it was entertaining. I don't recall hearing of him, or any other player, for that matter, taking it where Serena Williams took it. There's a big difference between questioning officials and abusing them, and this was clearly abuse.

    She should not be awarded her prize money for this event, should not be invited to the US Open next year, and the tennis association should also ban her from the next major. $10k is chump change for her. She needs to be punished appropriately for what she did.

    I used to be a Serena fan. Now I'm not so sure.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  75. Tim

    While I don't condone her behavior, the rules are the rules. She was warned for the racquet abuse, and then committed the "unsportmanlike" behavior. The penalties that they inforced were as dictated by the governing body. She lost the deuce point for the foot fault and was penalized a point for her conduct. That cost her the match, not to mention her standing in public opinion.

    As everybody knows, that type of language is not that unusual towards an official, and historically, the offenders have been penalized.

    While I disagree with her behavior, and think they may want to develop rules for what could be interpreted as overly aggressive behavior (that's what it was), you cannot generate a new rule for past behavior...except maybe in Chicago.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  76. Robin D.

    WOW nobody complained this much when McEnroe and Connors used to do this.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  77. Kevin

    To the Line Judge – "YOU LIE"!!!!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  78. Bob

    I like Serena, but wow; out of control. She's big and the line judge is tiny. A threat by words, racket, demeanor and proximity. Not sure what else was going on in her life, but her reaction seemed way out of character for her. Please, however, let's not ask or include John McEnroe for comment. Zero credibility. I was very glad to see the issue dealt with swiftly and unemotionally by the decision makers on site. I wish this would serve as an example to other highly paid athletes that they can get made and cuss, but when you include those in a personal threat, you're going to get hammered. I'm glad that this wasn't brushed aside where the athlete is given a pass because "she's competitive."

    September 14, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  79. Pat Lurie

    I have no doubt that it is the color of her skin that accounts for some of these hateful comments. She might have behaved badly but she has done more for tennis (and inspired so many black tennis players) than anyone else on the ladies circuit. I guarantee that those who want her severely punished also would like to see Obama fail.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  80. steve

    Serna and Joe Wilson should be a pair. Oh, no I forgot that Wilson is a good ole boy, son of confererates, etc. you know that that means.
    Where has respect and decorum gone. This is not all white on black. TIme to react to Kanye also!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  81. Melora, Longwood, Florida

    Serena's behavior is indefensible; no matter how frustrated she was with the fact that she was about to lose a match, she had absolutely no right to treat a court official the way she treated this lines woman; good for the lines woman to complaint.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  82. maddox

    She is black, any punishment to her will be seen as racism, so nothing will be done.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  83. Scott

    By comparison, go to your boss's assistant and threaten to shove a stapler down their throat (making sure to drop the F bomb a few times) for administering a policy that you agreed to and see how long you keep your job. Her profession is Tennis player. Her boss in this case was the ump; the assistant was the line judge; and Serena plays the sport knowing full well what the rules are. Not only will you be fired, but you'll probably be sued for harassment. I don't think she should be "fired" but a suspension and a course in "Sanely Dealing With People At Work" surely wouldn't hurt her.

    Oh, and McEnroe's nutso behavior never included threatening someone's life with a tennis ball. Yes, he called many a line judge "idiot", shouted "are you blind?", and threw rackets on many occasions but that's not a physical threat. And, he was fined – many times.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  84. mgm

    Frankly, I'm disgusted by Ms. Williams lack of remorse. Her behavior is totally unacceptable. She's a professional and should behave that way. This wasn't a slip of the tongue – she lambasted that judge. She should be suspended from a future event. Jon Wertheim – you state she's done a lot of good for the sport. Was her actions on Saturday good for the sport – I think not. She needs to make amends to the line judge she threatended, she needs to apologize for her unsportsmanlike behavior to the U.S. Open, the tennis community, the fans etc.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  85. Ugh

    Do you people not even watch tennis? I love how people who have no idea what foot fault even is are commenting here. Serena is a competitor, I don't really like her as a player, I love Venus actually, but Serena is intense on the court. She deserved the penalty she got, but she IS being unfairly punished and scrutinized by people and I think it's ridiculous that men can go on similar tirades and have almost no fine, maybe not even a penalty point. So before people start throwing your own uninformed two cents into the debate, at least know what tennis is.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  86. Mr French

    Rules are written to make the game fair for all players. A foot fault is a violation as stated in the rules. Did she touch the line or not" The rule doesn't say with "more than a toe" or ... there's no gray area. And there's no "wrong time to call it" - that's for cry-babies. For instance, if an NFL player touches the back-line while completing a catch he's deemed play please. That rule doesn't say it's ok to let it go when there's no time left on the clock so the Super Bowl can end. And a suspension would "serve" her right along with anybody else that berates or threatens an umpire or line judge...oh like in baseball.
    Wake up people and discuss the issue!!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  87. detada

    Note to Haters: Get a life!! Serena made a mistake. As a result, it cost her the match. She has been fined and she has apologized for her behavior. Move on. No one wants the sport to go back to like it was during the John McEnroe era. The haters out there want some sort of long term penalty that is simply not warranted. But look at the long term penalty suffered by McEnroe....they put him in commercials and made him a high paid commentator. Lesson Learned.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  88. Steve in Gig Harbor

    Maybe it was good for tennis; I now have someone that I can passionately root against. On the other hand, let's not be too hard on her....yesterday I saw a 5 year old girl behaving the same way at the grocery store when she didn't get her way.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  89. Spencer

    Frank, that's the lamest excuse for her behavior I've read today – not a threat? Gimmie a break. Serena is big and strong enough to kill that lineswoman, particularly when she's holding a racket (which she shook rather threateningly like a club towards her). Serena is clearly enraged and out of her normal mental state. To go from "like to shove it down your throat" to actually doing it isn't a big stretch. Plenty of abusers and killers mouth off about what they'd "like" to do, and then actually do it. I don't believe Serena actually would, but I also don't think she should be given special consideration because she's a big American star. Do you think anybody would be jumping to her defense if she was an unknown Russian player?

    September 14, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  90. jeeves

    st. louis man, no, but it could be. for all those saying that suggesting race was involved are part of the problem, really? you can't even fathom that the williams sisters may be treated differently by some judges and fans b/c they are black? really? the problem is when people are even for a moment unwilling to examine their biases. we all have 'em. we can only manage them if were willing first willing to consider they are there. there's a huge, consistent literature showing how race-based biases enter into everyday interactions and decisions (including medical decisions made by doctors). first read some of this literature before so easily dismissing what for most of us is obvious–race bias is real, persistent, and challenging to change. black prez or not!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  91. OO

    Those who are either requesting for more punishment or no more punishmnet are basing it on race and sex.
    I think the Tennis association needs to review their rules, if there is a player challenge for balls called out/in, there should be one for foot fault or other all calls.
    In addition, what is the set standard for fines and punishment for such unsportship conduct- not for the tennis committee to be guessing or pondering on what is adequate action. This will make it to be racial and you can tell from others comments on such act.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  92. JGP

    Monday, September 14, 2009

    Press Statement Amendment from Serena Williams
    Hey guys!!!

    I want to amend my press statement of yesterday, and want to make it clear as possible – I want to sincerely apologize FIRST to the lines woman, Kim Clijsters, the USTA, and tennis fans everywhere for my inappropriate outburst. I'm a woman of great pride, faith and integrity, and I admit when I'm wrong.

    I need to make it clear to all young people that I handled myself inappropriately and it's not the way to act - win or lose, good call or bad call in any sport, in any manner.

    I like to lead by example. We all learn from experiences both good and bad. I will learn and grow from this, and be a better person as a result.



    September 14, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  93. LetsBeFair

    "she’s done an awful lot of good for the sport". Yes, but does this mean if you are a top seed, you get a free pass for making threats against officials? It is like trying to get out of a speeding ticket by saying you donate to charities. What she did was totally unacceptable and a suspension seems appropriate to me.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  94. StLouisMAN

    Ielana Brown, I'm glad you found this episode to be able to unleash you racial anger–but I'm really tired of having everry episode involving a black being called racist–they simply are not.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  95. blc

    please, this has been blown totally out of propotion. she was in a high intesity game, with a shaky call from the line judge and her intensity from the game spilled over onto the judge. anyone who's ever played sports has experienced this emotion. i think that people who are coming down on her are sexist and/or have never played a sport in their life. men throw tantrums all the time (baseball/basketball/tennis) and have even gotten into fights. they get a slap on the wrist, maybe even a little airtime and all is forgotten. so why when a woman has an outburst she should be stripped of ever playing the sport again. give me a break. she lost the game, which she otherwise wouldve won, thats punishment enough.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  96. LeRoy Long Sr

    I took filtered the noise and distortions from the vidoe and never heard Serena say "I will kill you" the judge lied. Serena was wrong, but the linejudge was wrong too. There are athletes who commit worse offenses than Serena did LEAVE HER ALONE. They always talk about the Williams sisters how they are spoiled brats. But you come where they are from gun fights, murders, and all that stuff and see how you will turn out. If they PUNISH HER MORE THAN THEY DID, I WILL Make Sure to BOYCOTT ALL TENNIS EVENTS and I have alot of suppoters who will back me

    September 14, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  97. Michael

    If Serena is allowed to play in the doubles today, shame on the USTA. She should be given a significant suspension and forfeit any winnings from this tournament. Anything less is turning a blind eye on the whole incident.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  98. babaloo10

    Some of you are way over the top in your harsh sense of prosecution of Serena. Sure she was unapologetic and should have taken the blame on this one. She should have gone and talked to the main judge in the high chair. What she did say was inaudible. Could you hear it? The foot fault wasn't clearly seen. Did you actually see it? So we take the line judge's word. That is what they are there for. To keep the rules in check. And whether she helps the world of tennis advance or not doesn't matter. Serena was wrong to berate the judge so vehemently like she did. I do understand and you should to, that this also is an physically emotional/stressful time for any player who has the competitive heart of Serena. (We see it so much in Pro ballers but they get away with it most of the time). Serena's outburst was center stage for all the world to see. And suddenly everyone's jumping on her case and shunning her? Funny how humans have a way of punishing their own beyond what the conference does. And no way should she be suspended for life. (how could you even suggest that!) Let the tennis association handle the punishment. Some of you are way harsh beyond what punishment she should get.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  99. Greg

    When you look at the tape there really is no foot fault. Even if she stepped on the line by a centimeter that call should not be made at that point (or any point) in the match. Its rediculous. Anybody who competes in sports knows that when the refs have bad judgement they shoudo either retract their call or at least admit they made a mistake. Otherwise you will infuriate the players and fans. Serena used harsh words with that idiot line judge but in the heat of battle, at that point in the match, any true competitor would blow up at this level of incompetence. That line judge is lucky she didn't get hit in the face with a racket. She should be fired from her job. Serena went slightly over the line but it was only verbal and nt physical so I do not see any justification for a fine or additional penalty.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  100. The Far Side

    Rules are rules and are not dependent on any specific time in a match. Serena is a professional and certainly not a new to a major tournament – especially Grand Slam semis or finals. She knew perfectly well the price she would have to pay.. So I have to wonder how much of this brouhaha is related to her new book that's coming out this week?????

    September 14, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
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