One day after Serena Williams' now-infamous outburst in the U.S. Open women's final, the USTA announced that they are fining her $2,000, but she will not be suspended.
The USTA should be applauded for not letting this behavior fly, but a fine that small does nothing to deter this type of behavior.
If the USTA decided that Serena's antics were no big deal and not worth fretting over, I could have lived with them not handing down any type of punishment.
I could have heard an argument by the USTA that the way Serena acted was not acceptable, but simply part of the game.
Reacting that way would have only sent a message that berating chair umpires is expected and allowed, but at least they would have been consistent.
As it is, they described her outburst as "verbally abusive," but then handed down this trivial fine.
Considering how much money Serena Williams has made on tour in her career, I'm sure she has $2,000 in spare change stuck between couch cushions and under the seats in her car.
On the CBS broadcast of the men's singles final Monday afternoon, John McEnroe admitted that he was fined much more heavily than that during his playing days.
Granted, McEnroe was and is known as the most outspoken player of all time, but that was 30 years ago.
The USTA needs to decide whether they want to prevent this from happening again or not. They can't, in good faith, say that this type of behavior will not be accepted and then pass down these types of fines.
If they want this type of thing to become commonplace in their tournaments, they should allow players to say or do anything short of physically assaulting an umpire or official.
If they really want to do something about this, take a stand. Increase fines, even for first-time offenses. If a player is a serial offender, hit them where it really hurts and award a point to an opponent.
The USTA can't afford to pay lip service to this issue. If they do, it will just continue to happen.
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