Wed, Sep 16, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Serena Williams wishes she could give line judge a hug


Winning a doubles title brought some closure on Monday to what has been an awkward, tumultuous US Open for Serena Williams.

Time to celebrate. Time to move on. Maybe even time to make amends with the line judge she verbally abused during that ugly finish to her semi-final loss two nights ago.

“I would like to give her a big ol’ hug,” Williams said.

Williams and sister Venus paired up for a 6-2, 6-2 victory over defending champions Cara Black of Zimbabwe and American Liezel Huber to win their 10th Grand Slam doubles title, and first at Flushing Meadows since 1999. Not surprisingly, the sisters answered very few questions about doubles when it was over.

During a post-match interview on the court, ESPN2’s Patrick McEnroe prodded Serena about her profane outburst at the end of her loss to Kim Clijsters and its aftermath. Williams had issued an apology shortly before the doubles match, saying she is “a woman of great pride, faith and integrity, and I admit when I’m wrong.”

It was a more contrite statement than the one she released the day before — when she was socked with a US$10,000 fine for acting in a “threatening manner,” according to tournament director Jim Curley.

But when McEnroe tried to ask her “what clicked in your head” that led to the new statement, the crowd started booing.

“I think what the crowd is saying is, ‘Patrick, let’s move on,’” Venus Williams said.

Venus also played the role of protective big sister during the news conference, where questions included what Serena did, how she felt, who she owed apologies to and what she would do next.

“You know, everyone is human,” Venus said.

Serena said she didn’t agree with the call from Saturday night, but bore no ill will toward the line judge, who did not work the tournament either Sunday or Monday.

“I don’t think my foot touched the line in that call,” Williams said. “Looking back on it, I think the lady did the best that she could. She was just doing her job. I guess at the time, she probably saw it as what it was. You know, she was just doing her best.”

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