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September 15, 2009

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Serena Williams

Serena Williams

Serena Williams issued an apology Monday for what she is now calling an “inappropriate outburst” during her semifinal loss to Kim Clijsters at the U.S. Open.
It was released by the U.S. Tennis Association about a half-hour before Williams and her sister, Venus, played in the women’s doubles final, which they won for their 10th Grand Slam title as a team.

“I want to sincerely apologize FIRST to the lines woman, Kim Clijsters, the USTA and mostly tennis fans everywhere for my inappropriate outburst,” the statement said.

“I’m a woman of great pride, faith and integrity, and I admit when I’m wrong,” it continued. “I need to make it clear to all young people that I handled myself inappropriately and it’s not the way to act — win or lose, good call or bad call in any sport, in any manner. I like to lead by example. We all learn from experiences both good and bad, I will learn and grow from this, and be a better person as a result.”

As previously reported, Williams was fined $10,000 Sunday for unsportsmanlike conduct and could face further penalties — including a higher fine and a possible suspension — for what U.S. Open tournament director Jim Curley described as her “threatening manner.”

The Williams sisters beat defending champions Cara Black and Liezel Huber 6-2, 6-2 Monday for their first U.S. Open doubles championship since 1999. Several spectators in the mostly empty stands showed support for the younger Williams, greeting her with shouts of “You go, Serena!” and “We love you, Serena!”

On Saturday, Serena lost her temper after the lineswoman called a foot fault, resulting in a double-fault. That moved Clijsters one point from victory. Williams then was penalized a point for her outburst. Because it happened to come on match point, it ended the semifinal with Clijsters ahead 6-4, 7-5. Clijsters went on to win the championship Sunday.

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