Serena Williams now says she’s sorry.
It took a couple days, but world No. 2 issued a formal apology for her outburst during her loss in the semifinals to Kim Clijsters Saturday night.
Here’s the full text of the statement:
“I want to amend my press statement of yesterday, and want to make it clear as possible - I want to sincerely apologize FIRST to the lines woman, Kim Clijsters, the USTA and mostly tennis fans everywhere for my inappropriate outburst. I’m a woman of great pride, faith and integrity, and I admit when I’m wrong. 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.”
Williams had previously issued a more vague statement about the incident that did not contain a direct apology.
We’ll see if it makes a difference to the USTA, which has already fined her $10,000 for her behavior, and the Grand Slam Committee Administrator, who has opened an investigation to see if more penalties are warranted.
The investigation could take weeks, if not more, adiministrator Bill Babcock told ESPN. Possible penalties include permanent suspension from Grand Slams, or fines of $250,000 or more.
To recap, Williams was called for a foot fault while serving at 5-6 and 15-30 against Clijsters in the second set of Saturday’s semifinal. The call set up match point, and Williams reacted by pointing at the line judge and threatening, with profanity, to shove a tennis ball down her throat. The threat led to a code violation, which resulted in a point penalty and the end of the match. The point penalty was called because Williams had previously been given a warning after smashing her racquet at the end of the first set.
Perhaps the craziest thing about all this is that Williams is playing in the women’s doubles final as we speak against Liezl Huber and Cara Black. Babcock said the USTA would have only blocked her from playing in the doubles if she had actually been defaulted from the tournament. Though Williams actions did lead to her losing, it was not officially a default