Posted: Tuesday December 1, 2009 6:45 AM – SI.COM
Serena Williams was fined a record $82,500 for her tirade at a U.S. Open line judge and could be suspended from that tournament if she has another “major offense” at any Grand Slam in the next two years.
Grand Slam administrator Bill Babcock‘s ruling was released, and he said Williams faces a “probationary period” at tennis’ four major championships in 2010 and 2011. If she has another “major offense” at a Grand Slam tournament in that time, the fine would increase to $175,000 and she would be barred from the following U.S. Open.
He said Williams is handing over $82,500 right now to the Grand Slam committee, already far more than the previous highest fine for a Grand Slam offense. In 1995, Jeff Tarango stormed off the court at Wimbledon and accused the chair umpire of showing favoritism to certain players in exchange for their friendship. Tarango was fined a total of $43,756, which was reduced to $28,256 on appeal, and barred from Wimbledon the next year.
Williams lashed out at a lineswoman after a foot-fault call at the end of her semifinal loss to eventual champion Kim Clijsters at the U.S. Open in September. It was a profanity-laced, finger-pointing, racket-brandishing display in which Williams approached the official with what U.S. Open tournament director Jim Curley called at the time “a threatening manner.’