World number one Serena Williams has been fined $175,000 and put on probation for two years for her foul-mouthed tirade at the US Open, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said on Monday.
The ITF said a further major offence at a grand slam in the next two years would see her suspended from the U.S. Open in 2010, 2011 or 2012. The fine will be reduced to $82,500 if she commits no further major offence through 2011.
“On November 9, 2009, the grand slam committee administrator determined Serena Williams had committed the grand slam major offence of aggravated behaviour for her misconduct at the 2009 US Open,” an ITF statement said.
The outburst was prompted by an incident in her semi-final against eventual champion Kim Clijsters in September.
Trailing 4-6 5-6 15-30, Williams launched into a second serve but the baseline lineswoman called her for a foot-fault, meaning the American had served a double-fault to go match point down.
Astounded by the verdict, Williams launched into an expletive-laced rant at the official. She waved her racket in the lineswoman’s direction and then shook a ball in her clenched fist as she threatened to “shove it down” her throat.
Having received a warning earlier in the match for smashing a racket, Williams was handed an automatic point penalty for a second violation which abruptly ended the match, giving Clijsters a 6-4 7-5 win.
Organisers fined her $10,500, the biggest given to a female player since records began in 1990, at the end of the tournament for her unsportsmanlike behaviour.