Serena Williams, who I just saw play last Sunday, received a foot fault (when your foot goes over the baseline during a serve) on her second serve, setting up Kim Clijsters with a match point. Serena then walked over to the line judge and cussed her out. CBS played audio of what Serena was saying. Here’s the quote:
“I swear to God, I will take this fucking ball and shove it down your fucking throat.”
That is just some of what was about a 45 second tirade from Serena Williams. The chair umpire called the lines person over to the chair and asked what she said. After the report, the tournament director came out and issued a code violation to Serena Williams for unsportsmanlike conduct. However, earlier in the match Serena smashed her racket after losing the first set, which also ended in a code violation for racket abuse.
What’s the catch? On your second code violation, it’s a point penalty. The second code violation happened on match point, giving Kim Clijsters the 6-4, 7-5 win to advance to the U.S. Open finals, where she will play No.9 seed Caroline Wozniacki, who I saw play doubles against Serena and Venus last weekend.
I am a huge Serena Williams fan, but have to say that this is very sad and disappointing. Serena and Venus have always been extremely classy, gracious, and courteous in both of their careers. To see Serena lash out like this, and end in a point penalty, essentially losing the match is yet another blemish for Serena in her US Open legacy.
In 2004, Serena Williams hit a shot that was half a foot inside the line against Jennifer Capriati. The chair umpire awarded the point to Capriati, to which Serena had a very vocal altercation at the chair. Many people believe it was this match that forced the introduction of electronic lines-calling and the implementation of instant replay in professional tennis.
Here are a few pictures courtesy of Yahoo! Tennis of Serena talking to the lines-person, as well as the tournament directors.