TENNIS : Serena Williams was on Monday handed a three-year suspended ban from the US Open after her verbal tirade at a lineswoman at this year’s event.
Serena Williams was on Monday handed a three-year suspended ban from the US Open after her verbal tirade at a lineswoman at this year’s event.
The incident occurred during her semi-final defeat to Kim Clijsters when Williams was called for a foot fault, handing her opponent a match point.
Williams was also fined �53,000.
Replays indicated the foot fault call had been a harsh one and it certainly incensed the American second seed, who quickly moved towards the linesperson, waving her racquet angrily at the woman, who was then beckoned by the chair umpire to explain what had been said.
Williams earlier picked up a first code violation for smashing her racquet at the end of the first set and this time tournament referee Brian Earley was called to the chair.
After discussing the situation with the player, linesperson and chair umpire, Williams was handed a second code violation, the resultant point penalty handing victory to a bemused Clijsters, 6-4 7-5.
The International Tennis Federation’s Grand Slam Committee met last week to agree on a punishment and found her guilty of “the Grand Slam major offence of aggravated behaviour”.
She will face a ban from her home slam if she commits another “major offence” before the end of 2011.