A very questionable call by the line judge cost Serena Williams her semifinal match at the U.S. Open, what followed may cost her alot more.
A rarely called foot fault cost in the second set of her U.S. Open semifinals match against Kim Clijsters sent Serena Williams into a frenzy costing her a point for unsportsmanlike conduct and ultimately the match.
With Williams serving at 5-6, 15-30 in the second set, she faulted on her first serve. On the second serve, a line judge called a foot fault, making it a double-fault – a call rarely, if ever, seen at that stage of any match, let alone the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament.
This put Williams at a 15-40 disadvantage and a point away from defeat.
From there Williams walked over to the line judge and dropped and f-bomb laced tirade. “I swear to God I’m [expletive] going to take this [expletive] ball and shove it down your [expletive] throat, you hear that? I swear to God.”
The line judge was called over to the chair umpire, tournament referee Brian Early was included. Given Williams’ response, the line judge apparently stated in some way that Williams threatened to kill her. “I didn’t say I would kill you. Are you serious? I didn’t say that.” The line judge replied by shaking her head and saying, “Yes.”
Earlier in the match Williams was given a code violation for breaking her racket after losing the first set. This coupled with the foot fault and point deduction gave Clijsters the win.
It was a poor call and one that should have never been made – it’s like calling a ticky tack foul with 5 seconds left in Game 7 of the NBA Finals with the game tied.
The call seems even more bizarre because Williams was already in trouble and had any chance of extending the match was snuffed out.