Mon Sep 12 02:57pm EDT
For verbally abusing a chair umpire and making a mockery of tennis on its grandest stage, Serena Williams earned a paltry $2,000 fine from gutless U.S. Open officials afraid to rein in the despicable behavior of the game's biggest star.
She will receive no tournament ban and her probation, which had been in effect since her infamous 2009 outburst at the U.S. Open, has been lifted. To call this a slap on the wrist would be overstating it. The fine was more like an imperceptible shake of the head.
Consider: Serena took home $1.4 million from the U.S. Open, a total which includes the prize money she won for being a finalist and her bonus for winning the U.S. Open hard court series. The $2,000 fine represents 0.14 percent of her total haul.
In total at the Open, Serena spent 527 minutes on the court, earning $2,656 per minute. Essentially, she paid for that $2,000 fine in 45 seconds of court time. That's as long as it takes to play a single point.
As Courtney Nguyen of SI.com pointed out, two women's players were fined the same amount earlier in the tournament for illegal coaching. Yeah, that makes sense. Telling a chair umpire in a nationally televised match to watch out when she walks down a hallway and getting a hand signal from your coach is pretty much six of one, half dozen of the other.
Way to send a message that such behavior isn't to be tolerated, USTA. You wonder why Serena keeps humiliating lines officials who make $250 per day? Because your cowardly organization looks the other way every time she does it.
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