It’s the maximum on-site fine a Grand Slam tennis tournament can issue for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The U.S. Open said Sunday the Grand Slam Committee Administrator has opened an investigation to determine whether Williams’ behavior should be considered a “major offense,” which can lead to additional penalties.
Williams also is being docked $500 for racket abuse in what became a 6-4, 7-5 loss Saturday night.
“Serena Williams’ conduct last night was inappropriate and unprofessional,” WTA chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster said in a statement. “No matter what the circumstances, no player should be allowed to engage in such behavior without suffering consequences. I have spoken with the USTA about this matter and I agree with the action they have taken.”
Williams earned $350,000 in prize money for reaching the singles semifinals. She also is scheduled to play in the women’s doubles final Monday with her sister Venus.
Williams issued a statement on Sunday night.
“Last night everyone could truly see the passion I have for my job,” it read. “Now that I have had time to gain my composure, I can see that while I don’t agree with the unfair line call, in the heat of battle I let my passion and emotion get the better of me and as a result handled the situation poorly. I would like to thank my fans and supporters for understanding that I am human and I look forward to continuing the journey, both professionally and personally, with you all as I move forward and grow from this experience.”
Allaster had some positive words for Williams as well.
“Serena is a great player who has done so much for our sport and I am certain she will continue to be a role model to millions of young women who want to play the game and excel as Serena has done,” her statement said. “As a role model, it’s important for a leader like Serena to step forward and recognize her behavior last night was unacceptable, and I believe that her statement earlier today is an acknowledgement of her responsibility to her fans.”