Before her U.S. Open Women’s Doubles Final today, Serena Williams issued another statement on her website in which she apologized in more explicit terms about the incident during her semifinal match with Kim Clijsters.
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 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.
This response was probably required after the media, especially those working for ESPN, continually suggested that Williams suffer harsher penalties and even a default from the doubles final for her outburst.
Serena and Venus Williams did go on to win the doubles final over the number one seeds Cara Black and Liezel Huber 6-2, 6-2. In the trophy presentation, Serena did thank the New York crowd for their support and mentioned the new statement. Patrick McEnroe of ESPN desperately tried to get Serena to say more about the incident which only got boos from the crowd. When he tried one more time, it was big sister Venus who stepped in and said, “I think we can tell from the crowd that it’s time to move on Patrick.” which prompted a big roar of approval.
It remains to be seen whether or not Serena will suffer any more backlash or penalties from either the WTA or ITF. It’s very clear that the tennis media will try and wring as much out of this as they can since there’s nothing better to talk about as it’s basically the end of the season.
The idea of defaulting Serena and Venus from the doubles was ludicrous since Venus had nothing to do with the incident. Suspending Serena from future events would not change what happened and only hurt the sport. Serena admits what she did was wrong and that it cost her a chance of defending her title. Talking about it ad nauseam will only take more attention away from the real story of the U.S. Open which was Kim Clijsters’s amazing comeback run to take the title.
I think Venus said it best. “Let’s move on.”