The International Tennis Federation does not appreciate Serena Williams' ESPN cover—it may violate ITF code of conduct—and are also salty about her verbal shellacking of a line judge during the US Open last month. And to show they really mean business (and don't care about revenue) the fine may include a ban from this year's Australian Open. From the AP:
Soon-to-be world number one Serena Williams should know by year's end whether she will be barred from the Australian Open over her outburst at the US Open, the WTA's chief executive said Saturday.
The result of an International Tennis Federation probe was likely to be known in the coming months, Stacey Allaster told a press conference Saturday on the sidelines of the China Open.
Williams drew a 10,000-dollar fine in Flushing Meadows for her verbal assault of a female line judge after she called a foot fault at a key point in a semi-final loss against eventual champion Kim Clijsters.
"It is under investigation. It is ongoing," said Allaster, who took over from Larry Scott during the summer. "It would be safe to assume a decision will be taken before year-end.
"Serena has acknowledged the incident as a mistake. It's something she's not proud of, and she's apologised for that," said the Canadian.
Williams, 28, is being investigated by the ITF's Grand Slam Committee and could face bans from one or more of the four major tournaments. The next Slam, the Australian Open, begins in January.
"I think all of us would love to have it resolved sooner rather than later," said Allaster. "It would be in the best interests for the sport and definitely the best interests for Serena."
President Obama is expected to issue a speech on the kerfuffle later this week.*
*That's actually not true at all, but for a second you kinda believed it, right?