Serena says she put US Open rant behind her immediately
Beijing: Serena Williams was accentuating the positive on Sunday after her return to singles action for the first time since her rant at a lineswoman at the US Open last month.
The world number two was fined a record USD 10,000 for the verbal assault on the official during her semi-final loss to Belgian Kim Clijsters in New York, and could still face further punishment after an investigation into the incident.
Asked about it at the China Open on Sunday, however, the 28-year-old said her victory in the US Open doubles a few days later meant she had finished her home grand slam on a high.
“I think I (put it behind me) the moment it happened,” she told reporters after her 7-5 6-4 victory over Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi.
“I felt so great about winning the doubles. I thought it was perfect. I thought I was blessed even to have the opportunity to stay in the doubles. I had an opportunity to come back. It was a positive note so I was excited about that.”
Williams, who has since apologised to the official, could face a grand-slam ban if the incident is deemed a “major offence” by investigators.
The Australian and French Open champion said she thought it would be inappropriate to comment about the investigation while it was continuing, but suggested that her enthusiasm for the game was undimmed by the incident.
“I’m really excited to be a tennis player,” she said. “And obviously I have such amazing passion. I think it’s been enabling me to have some 20 grand slam titles. I love fighting for every point, for everything.”
Williams’s 23 grand slam titles include 11 in singles, 10 in women’s doubles with sister Venus and two in mixed doubles with Max Mirnyi.