Serena Williams temper outburst towards a lineswoman at the US Open, which cost her a 10,000 fine was bad enough. But what was worse and clearly the reason why Serena refuses to directly apologize to the lineswoman is that she falsely accused Serena of wanting to kill her.
With her arms outstretched gesturing at the judge with her racket , Williams in her verbal torrent of anger apparently said to the lineswoman ”If I could I would like to shove this f****** ball down your f****** throat” clearly an expression said in anger, not to be taken literally. I should also add that Serena apparently added the words “If I could”. She did not say “I will”.
But apparently the lineswoman took this expression of anger a bit too literally as she falsely reported to officials that Serena threatened to kill her. You could see the shock on Serena’s face in the video and in the photo displayed in this post. In the video, you can hear the pitch of Serena’s voice go up two octaves in disbelief as she hears the words directly from the linewoman’s mouth telling officials that Serena threatened to kill her.
When officials ran out on to the court to confront Serena, she was absolutely shocked at the linewoman’s accusations as she stated, “I didn’t say I would kill you. Are you serious asked an incredulous Serena with open palms and a wide eyed look of shock on her face. She even repeated” Are you serious?”
So afterwards, when Serena was asked if the lineswoman deserved an apology, Serena could not bring herself to say yes as she replied “An apology? From me? Well, how many people yell at linespeople?” Williams said.
“If you look at all the people that kind of yell at linespeople, I think it kind of comes sometimes. Players get frustrated. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen that happen.”
Serena is absolutely right. A lot of players lose their temper and she was no exception. In fact at her press conference Serena admitted that she was not pleased with the way she conducted herself and said she would learn from her mistakes. In essence she apologized to fans.
With her temper now under control and having the time to reflect on what happened, I have no doubt that Serena would have even apologized to the lineswoman in her press conference for losing her temper and shouting at her, had the woman not falsely accused Serena of threatening to kill her. Threatening one’s life is a serious offense and I shudder to think what would have happened to Serena if officials had not believed her or reviewed the videotape of what Serena exactly said.