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Serena Out After US Open Threat: 'I Didn't Say I Would Kill You'


An unfortunate end to the Williams-Clijsters match last night.

Following a foot fault at match point in the semifinal she was losing to Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams approached the linesperson who had called the fault aggressively, unleashing a tirade of f-words. The linesperson told the umpire she felt threatened by what Williams had said, and a point penalty was issued. Williams thus lost the match (6-4, 7-5), and Clijsters heads to the final.

What did Serena say exactly? In an argument with officials, she was heard denying she had threatened the linesperson: "I didn't say I would kill you. Are you serious?"

According to witness reports that are circulating, Williams said to the linesperson: "You don't know me. You better be right. I swear to God I’m fucking taking this ball and shoving it down your fucking throat…”

Later, in a press conference, Williams said, "I don't know why she felt threatened."

NYT: "In a matter of confusing minutes, Williams turned what had been a scintillating women’s match into an ugly and improbable spectacle that gave Clijsters, an unseeded wild-card entry making a joyful return to Grand Slam tennis, a 6-4, 7-5 victory she could not even celebrate."

NYDN: "Really, it was all just very sad, lamentable. First there was the absurd foot-fault call by an overzealous lineswoman on an extremely critical point in that last game, on Williams' second serve at 15-30. Replays indicated it wasn't a foot fault at all. Then Williams was storming around, getting nailed with a second warning and losing match point, for threatening the lineswoman over the call."

Watch the incident, and Williams' post-match press conference, AFTER THE JUMP...

Press conference:

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  1. And with a name like Jeremy Pivo and your African American????


    Posted by: Chris | Sep 13, 2009 9:41:26 PM

  2. And MacMike

    Venus nor Serena doesn't owe Monica Seles SHIT!!!!!! AND fucking what???? PLEASE MISS LADY!

    They made it on their own in a sport where minorities are nil. Please move along with assinine observation!

    Posted by: Chris | Sep 13, 2009 9:43:41 PM

  3. ????

    Posted by: Chris | Sep 13, 2009 10:01:24 PM

  4. Fuck you, Jeremy Pivo, you self-hating cunt. I would love to see you say that shit to her face. But you know she would beat your bitch ass, right?

    Posted by: Q | Sep 13, 2009 11:02:38 PM

  5. Uh Damn. Let some color get on Towleroad and the results are so predictable that there is no reason to even comment on the whole Gay racism, thing.

    Serena, no matter what, you are a role model to little girls and you cannot behave that way.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Sep 14, 2009 12:26:51 AM

  6. @ Jeremy Pivo, you're a disgrace. Please commit seppuku.

    I'll be extremely disappointed if Serena apologizes. The lines person should be banned completely.

    With regard to race... I find it really interesting when white people want to be all technical and by the book when the person that the ruling is being made about is not white. That just kills me. I cannot tell you how many times i've seen foot faults that weren't called. This was a bad call all around. I'm riding with Serena to the end on this one.

    It's ok that you hate us. We understand.

    Posted by: Uncontainable Spirit | Sep 14, 2009 2:06:51 AM

  7. Well Derek, They show actions and some of us have reactions!

    Posted by: Chris | Sep 14, 2009 3:05:23 AM

  8. Serena Williams took her anger out on an old small Asian woman because she felt she could intimidate her into submission. If the line judge was Michelle Wie, Serena would simply shut her trap and proceed to lose the match. Otherwise, Michelle Wie would shove her fuckin' nine-iron down Serena's fuckin' throat.

    Posted by: LWH | Sep 14, 2009 4:57:58 AM

  9. It's called Poor Sportsmanship.

    Posted by: Name: | Sep 14, 2009 7:36:57 AM

  10. Derek Washington

    It is called "The Black Tax"


    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Sep 14, 2009 9:28:01 AM

  11. The cost of her outrage at the US Open will be much higher than $10,500.
    There are many people sitting in Board Rooms today saying, we do not want Serena Williams endorsing our products- and rightfully so.

    Posted by: Mark | Sep 14, 2009 9:34:27 AM

  12. As far as the foot fault call itself, it was kind of inconclusive from the video. Foot fault calls on the tour are incredible subjective; I remember that Stefan Edberg used to have a serious problem with foot faults. They didn't catch it at the French Open but did catch it at Wimbeldon one year (was called for it about 6 times in one match).

    I think this has less to do with race than the fact that Serena is a woman, period; these type of tirades are accepted for men. I remember one match where Chris was playing martina at wimbeldon (in a semifinal) and they called Chris's ball out on match point. Chris didn't say anythng but she gave that line judge a look that I will never forget.

    I think that it was personal between Serena and line judge, myself. Clijsters, after all, did win the match in straight sets; she defintely outplayed her.

    As far as jeremy Pivo is concerned, well...

    I guess everyone ignores the fact that our blogs may be getting infiltrated by right wing crazies that want to continue sowing the type of division that is already present in our communities. Since I don't recognize that name and it seems to be that sort of comment, I won't respond to it although I wish that Andy would simply delete the comment.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Sep 14, 2009 11:26:58 AM

  13. Can we correct some of the lies on here?

    There was no conclusive evidence that the foot fault didn't occur. (in fact, the coverage on the Tennis Channel points more in the direction that the call was correct) Unless you were sitting where the line judge was, you can't speculate about whether it happened or not.

    The line judge was simply doing her job. It is her duty to call a foot fault when she sees one--at any point during a match. You don't get a pass just because it's a crucial point or because you are Serena.

    Foot faults were called on many players during the two weeks of the Open. Serena had one called on her earlier in the match. She had fair warning.
    It was not "unheard of" or unfairly directed specifically at Serena at that moment in order to 'pick on her'.

    By foot faulting, Serena only lost a point. It was her disgraceful behavior that cost her another point, which happened to be match point-- because she had broken her racket in anger earlier in the match. All of Serena's misfortunes were her own doing. You can't blame anyone else. Plus Clijsters played a better match and was winning anyway. Serena was mad because she was losing and took it out on the poor lineswoman who was just doing her job. That is poor sportsmanship by any definition.

    Serena most certainly should have taken personal responsibility for her actions and apologized to the lineswoman and to all the people who had been watching.
    Losing your temper and saying "I would shove this f*cking ball down your throat" is bad enough, but not having the grace to apologize once she calmed down is disgraceful. If she had apologized in a timely and sincere fashion, all would be forgiven. How can anyone say she is still a good role model? The best sports figure role models are gracious whether winning or losing.
    She has shown that she is not any kind of role model that kids should emulate.

    Posted by: Tennis Fan | Sep 14, 2009 12:47:12 PM

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