Furious rant from Williams sours US Open final defeat

Serena calls umpire a ‘hater’ and ‘unattractive inside’ after losing a point - with video

BY Ben Riley-Smith LAST UPDATED AT 11:23 ON Mon 12 Sep 2011

AN ASTONISHING outburst from Serena Williams during her 6-2 6-3 loss to Sam Stosur in yesterday's US Open final has overshadowed the Australian's first ever Grand Slam win and drawn widespread criticism from the press. Williams called the referee a "hater " and "totally out of control" after being penalised a point for international verbal hindrance during play.

 

The moment for which the final will be remembered came in the first game of the second set. Williams had already given away the first set in 31 minutes and found herself break point down in the first game of the second set. But after unleashing a booming forehand the American presumed she had won the point and screamed "Come on!" as the shot passed over the net, only to see her opponent get her racket to the ball.

 

Stosur failed to return the shot and umpire Eva Asderaki judged that Williams's shout came before her opponent had a chance to get to the ball and therefore awarded the Australian the point, and the break of serve. By all accounts it was the correct decision – Williams was guilty of 'intentional hindrance' and must lose the point – but the 13-time major champion did not see it that way.

 

"Aren't you the one who screwed me over last time?" Williams asked, as the New York crowd booed the decision. "Are you coming after me? That is totally not cool." That could have been a reference to a match in Doha last year, where Asderaki officiated over a similar incident. Williams was then eventually given a code violation.

 

The American played on, winning the next two games after losing the first, but set off on another wild rant when the players next changed ends. "If you ever see me walking down the hall, look the other way, because you're out of control," Williams told Asderaki while sitting in her chair. "You're totally out of control. You're a hater, unattractive inside. Who would do such a thing? And I never complain. Wow, what a loser."

 

She continued: "Give me a code violation because I expressed my emotion? We're in America last time I checked… Really, don't even look at me."

 

It was a remarkable monologue and one that Williams may come to regret – she is still playing under a suspended ban after a similarly heated outburst two years ago in the US Open semi-final against Kim Clijsters which may now become significant. Yet Williams showed no remorse when she finally lost the second set 6-3, refusing to shake the umpire's hand and repeatedly dodging questions about her own behaviour.

 

The press was less reluctant to pass judgment on Serena's behaviour. "Williams is a great champion who often lets herself down when she opens her mouth," said the BBC's Jonathan Overend, while the Telegraph's Simon Briggs called it "an unedifying incident all round", concluding: "On a day when New York was commemorating the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center disaster, tennis deserved a less petulant display from its highest-profile woman." · 

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