Serena Williams dumped out of U.S. Open after she told an official: 'If I could, I'd take this F***** ball and shove it down your f****** throat'
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Click to view image: '64163a12742d-00003.jpg'This was the dramatic moment when Serena Williams screamed her way out of the U.S. Open.
TV viewers around the world saw the irate Wimbledon champion launch a threatening, profanity-laced tirade at a female line judge after being called for a foot fault.
'If I could, I would take this f****** ball and shove it down your f****** throat,' she reportedly said.
The diminutive lineswoman reported her words to the umpire, who called in the tournament referee at Flushing Meadows in New York.
With the crowd booing, Miss Williams could be heard on the court microphone pleading with the lineswoman, saying: 'I didn't say I would kill you. Are you serious? I didn't say that.'
But her extraordinary outburst meant she was docked a point on match point, handing a semi-final victory to bemused Belgian opponent Kim Clijsters in one of the ugliest-ever endings to a major sports match.
Miss Williams had already received a warning for smashing a racquet, so the next sanction was a penalty point for unsportsmanlike conduct.
It happened when, with the 27-year-old American serving at 5-6 and 15-30 in the second set, she faulted on her first serve.
On her second serve, the line judge declared a foot fault, a call rarely, if ever, seen at that stage of a match.
That made the score 15-40, putting Miss Clijsters one point from a place in the final.
Miss Williams stormed over to the line judge, cursing and shaking her racquet, pointing at her and thrusting a ball in her face.
When the ruling was announced, she walked around the net to shake hands with her stunned opponent, who did not appear to understand at first what had happened.
At her post-match press conference, she was asked if she wished to apologise to the lineswoman.
'An apology for?' she asked. 'From me? How many people yell at linespeople? Players, athletes get frustrated - I don't know how many times I've seen that happen.
'I haven't really thought about it to have any regrets. I was out there and I fought and I tried and I did my best.
'I used to have a real temper, and I've gotten a lot better,' she said, with no apparent sense of irony.
'So I know you don't believe me, but I used to be worse. Yes, yes indeed.'
Asked what she had said to the line judge, she replied: 'What did I say? You didn't hear? I've never been in a fight in my whole life, so I don't know why she would have felt threatened.'˜
* Britain's Heather Watson claimed the U.S. Open girls' singles title with a straight-sets win over Russia's Yana Buchina. Watson, the 11th seed, came from 3-1 down in the first set to win 6-4 6-1 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre. The 17-year-old from Guernsey is the first British girl to win the U.S. Open junior title and follows on from Laura Robson's Wimbledon girls' title in 2008, while Andy Murray won the U.S. Open boys' title in 2004.
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