SERENA WILLIAMS was fined $17,000 for three code violations during Saturday’s U.S. Open final that caused the tennis player to be penalized a game when she criticized the chair umpire for a controversial call and labeled him a “thief.”
The tournament referee’s office announced Sunday it 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. Williams suffered a 6-2, 6-4 loss to Naomi Osaka, who became the tournament’s first female Japanese champion. Williams was going for her 24th Grand Slam title.
Saturday’s match was shrouded by controversy after tense arguments between the 36-year-old tennis player and chair umpire Ramos during the second set.
The first violation came when Ramos ruled that Williams was receiving illegal coaching from her coach Patrick Mouratoglou. Williams shot back at the umpire and insisted she was not receiving coaching and that she would “rather lose” than cheat.
Williams received a second violation when she smashed her racket in frustration. She lost a point due to the violation, causing the player to argue with the umpire again about the initial penalty.
The third violation — verbal abuse — came when she called the umpire a “thief,” leading to an automatic game loss.
Williams, who was visibly emotional after the heated exchange, pleaded her case on the court and accused the umpire of sexism. At a news conference after the match, Williams said she would keep fighting to remove the double standard in the sport.
The controversial final drew in mixed reactions from viewers. Some said the umpire had been unfair to Williams since the illegal coaching call, while others criticized the player for her outburst on the court.