On the verge of tying Billie Jean King for the number Grand Slam singles titles, Serena Williams' US Open seminfinals title defense ends with an expletive-laden rant and a bizarre loss to Belgium's Kim Clijsters.
Following a foot-fault call at match point by an over-aggressive lineswoman, Williams approached the line judge, shouting and cursing and pointed a racket in her face. The judge relayed the unpleasantness to the chair umpire who penalized Williams a point for "unsportsmanlike conduct." The ugly end to the competition gave a 6-4, 7-5 upset to the unseeded, unranked Clijsters.
Witnesses say the reigning champion of women's tennis told the judge: "You better f------ be right" and "I swear to God I’m f----g taking this ball and shoving it down your f-----g throat."
ABC News: "When the ruling was announced, Williams walked around the net to the other end of the court to shake hands with a stunned Clijsters, who did not appear to understand what had happened."
NYDN: "Really, it was all just very sad, lamentable. First there was the absurd foot-fault call by an overzealous lineswoman on an extremely critical point in that last game, on Williams' second serve at 15-30. Replays indicated it wasn't a foot fault at all. Then Williams was storming around, getting nailed with a second warning and losing match point, for threatening the lineswoman over the call."
Williams refused to explain her outburst in the post-match news conference: "What did I say? You didn't heard what I said? ... I've never been in a fight in my whole life, so I don't know why she would have felt threatened."
UPDATE: Racist comments galore on YouTube.
The incident and the post-match presser, WHEN YOU JUMP.