Serena Williams Fined $82,500 For Threatening to Choke a Lineswoman With a Tennis Ball
Serena Williams was fined a record $82,500 for her U.S. Open tirade and could be suspended from that tournament if she has another "major offense" at any Grand Slam in the next two years, it was reported today.
Serena has been placed on "probationary period" at the four major championships in 2010 and 2011 and 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.
Last September, Serena's profanity-laced, finger-pointing outburst drew a $10,000 fine from the U.S. Tennis Association - the maximum onsite penalty a tennis player can face. But because it happened at a Grand Slam tournament, Babcock was charged with investigating whether further punishment was merited.
Grand Slam administrator Bill Babcock said if she does not have another offense in the next two years, the suspension is lifted.
The highest possible fine Serana could face - $175,000, if she violates her Grand Slam probation - was chosen because it is the difference in winnings between reaching the quarterfinals and semifinals at the U.S. Open. The $10,000 she already was docked by the USTA will be counted toward that total; that's why she is paying half of $165,000 now.
Bacbock acknowledges that there is no specific definition of what sort of actions constitute a "major offense, so Serena better be careful and get her check ready, just in case.