11-time grand slam champion and current would No. 1 Serena Williams has been fined $175,000 for her profane outburst that led to her point-penalty loss in the 2009 U.S. Open semifinals to Kim Clijsters and could be banned from that tournament if she commits any equivalent violations in the next two years.
The committee 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 9 November 2009, the Grand Slam Committee administrator determined Serena Williams had committed the grand slam major offence of aggravated behavior for her misconduct at the 2009 U.S. Open," the committee said in a statement.
I'm glad that the Grand Slam Committee did not go with the rumored one million dollar fine, although I would have been fine if they had required her to put up a one million dollar bond that could be forfeited if she committed a similar major offence through 2011.
I also still think that there needs to be video review on foot fault calls. There should be no call that is not reviewable by an impartial technological device. Currently there are numerous situations where calls are made which are not reviewable by anyone: let calls (ball touches the net during the serve), foot faults (player's foot touches the line during the service motion), player contact with the ball (only the racquet is allowed to touch the tennis ball) and "not up" (ball bounces twice on their side before player hits the ball).
Electronic line calling is a fabulous advance (and should NOT be limited to 3 per set; they should be unlimited unless the umpire thinks the player is abusing the system) but it is not enough. Instant video review should be made available immediately.
30 November 2009
The Decision and Penalties were as follows:
1. Ms. Williams is guilty of the Major Offense of Aggravated Behaviour (Article V.A);
2. Ms. Williams is hereby fined $175,000 (including the $10,000 penalty alreadypaid) which will be reduced to $82,500 if no further Grand Slam Major Offence conviction occurs through and including 2011;
3. Ms. Williams is hereby suspended from participation in either the 2010, 2011 or 2012 US Open, as the case may be, except that any such suspension will not be imposed if no further Grand Slam Major Offence conviction occurs through and including 2011;
4. If a further Grand Slam Major Offence is committed during the period, the full penalties will be re-instated in addition to any other penalties imposed for the subsequent Grand Slam Major Offence;
5. As always, all financial penalties arising from misconduct at Grand Slam tournaments are donated by the Grand Slam tournaments to the Grand Slam Development Fund.
On 28 November 2009, the Grand Slam Committee affirmed the Decision and Penalties of the Administrator and Ms. Williams was so advised.
The Grand Slam Committee is the independent governing body responsible for, among other duties and functions, the establishment and enforcement of the Grand Slam Rules, Regulations and Code of Conduct.