Serena Williams fined $17K for rules violations at U.S. Open
Serena Williams was fined a total of $17,000 for three code violations during her loss to Naomi Osaka in the U.S. Open final.
On Sunday, a day after the match, the tournament referee's office docked Williams $10,000 for "verbal abuse" of chair umpire Carlos Ramos, $4,000 for being warned for coaching, and $3,000 for breaking her racket.
The money comes out of her prize money of $1.85 million as the runner-up to Osaka, whose 6-2, 6-4 victory on Saturday made her the first tennis player from Japan to win a Grand Slam singles title
In the second set's second game, Ramos warned Williams for getting coaching, which is against the rules in Grand Slam matches. She briefly disputed that ruling, saying cheating "is the one thing I've never done, ever" — although afterward, her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, acknowledged he was trying to send Williams a signal.
A few games later, Williams received another warning, this time for smashing her racket, and that second violation automatically cost her a point, leading to more arguing. Eventually, Williams called Ramos "a thief," drawing the third violation for "verbal abuse" — and costing her a game, putting Osaka ahead 5-3.
"I have never cheated in my life!" Williams told Ramos. "You owe me an apology."
Under Article III, Section P of the Grand Slam Rule Book, "verbal abuse" is defined as "a statement about an official, opponent, sponsor, spectator or other person that implies dishonesty or is derogatory, insulting or otherwise abusive." The section says a player is subject to a fine up to $20,000 for each violation.
The women's pro tour sided with Williams.
"The WTA believes that there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men vs. women and is committed to working with the sport to ensure that all players are treated the same. We do not believe that this was done last night," CEO Steve Simon said in a statement.
The first violation given to Williams was for coaching, which isn't allowed during any men's matches but is permitted on the women's tour except in Grand Slam tournaments.
Though Williams said she follows the rules and never receives it during a match, Patrick Mouratoglou acknowledged that he does it and says it's well known throughout the sport that all coaches do.
"We also think the issue of coaching needs to be addressed and should be allowed across the sport," Simon said. "The WTA supports coaching through its on-court coaching rule, but further review is needed."
— Associated Press
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