The US Tennis Association fined Serena Williams $17,000 Sunday for her outburst in the US Open final as tennis legend Billie Jean King and the National Organization for Women rallied to her defense, the Washington Post reports. The tournament referee's office said the 23-time Grand Slam champion was being fined $10,000 for "verbal abuse," $4,000 for the warning about coaching, and $3,000 for breaking her racket, per Fox News. The money will be taken from her $1.85 million runner-up prize money. The 6-2, 6-4 victory Saturday by Naomi Osaka, the first female Japanese player to win the US Open, was marred by controversy when Williams and chair umpire Carlos Ramos argued and he docked her a game.
"Several things went very wrong during the U.S. Open women's finals today," tweeted King on Saturday. In her view, "coaching on every point should be allowed in tennis" and Williams shouldn't have been penalized for arguing: "When a man does the same, he's 'outspoken' and there are no repercussions. Thank you, Serena Williams, for calling out the double standard." Williams, who was penalized after calling Ramos "a thief," said after the match that "he's never taken a game from a man because they said 'thief.'" The National Organization for Women echoed the sentiment, saying Ramos should be fired: "... In actuality men stretch the rules all the time and are lionized for being 'bad boys' while women are benched," says NOW President Toni Van Pelt. (A Post column argues that Ramos also ruined the moment for Osaka.)