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Serena Williams fined and given suspended ban

Serena Williams
Williams was furious with the line judge after being called for a foot-fault

Serena Williams has been fined and given a suspended two-year ban from the US Open for her tirade at a line judge at Flushing Meadows.

The world number one verbally abused an official after a foot-fault call which gave Kim Clijsters a match point in their semi-final this year.

"I am thankful that we now have closure on the incident," said Williams.

The 28-year-old will incur the ban if she commits any further "major offence" before the end of 2011.

If she is found to have breached the ruling by the International Tennis Federation's Grand Slam committee, her fine will also double to £106,000.

After the match in September, Williams was fined £6,000, which has been included in the latest penalty of £53,000.

The fine, a quarter of the £212,000 Williams received for reaching the semi-finals, still tops the previous highest Grand Slam fine of £38,000 given to Jeff Tarango in 1995.

After the incident, Williams released an initial statement which did not include a straight apology, but later said she wanted to "sincerely apologise" for her behaviour.


"I need to make it clear to all young people that I handled myself inappropriately," she said.

"It's not the way to act - win or lose, good call or bad call in any sport, in any manner."

The International Tennis Federation's Grand Slam Committee met last week to agree on a punishment.

It found her guilty of "the Grand Slam major offence of aggravated behaviour".

Williams was trailing 6-4 6-5 and serving at 15-30 when the baseline judge called a foot-fault on a second serve.

That prompted the American to walk over to the official, using her racquet to gesture angrily as she verbally abused her.

The official reported what she had heard to the umpire, and Williams, who had earlier been warned for racquet abuse, was eventually given a point penalty - handing Clijsters the match.

The United States Tennis Association agreed with the punishment levied by the ITF.

"As a voting member of the Grand Slam Committee, the USTA agrees with the additional penalties levied against Serena Williams," it said in a statement.

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see also
Serena ends Venus reign in Doha
01 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Williams apologises after tirade
14 Sep 09 |  Tennis
Clijsters wins as Serena erupts
13 Sep 09 |  Tennis
US Open photos - day 13
12 Sep 09 |  Tennis
US Open day 13 as it happened
12 Sep 09 |  Tennis

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