The tirade against the lineswoman was more than six weeks ago and Serena Williams' future is still undecided, but her opponent in that infamous US Open semi-final, Kim Clijsters, thinks the persecution should stop. Clijsters would not be drawn on the merits of the foot-fault rule or comment on the ITF's investigation into Williams' behaviour, which could see her suspended from one or two Grand Slam events. The next major on the calendar is the 2010 Australian Open (January 18-31) and Williams is the defending champion.
Clijsters knows she and the American are now inextricably linked in one of tennis's most bizarre moments. But she does not want to see her friend hounded over a moment of madness and frustration, for which she has already paid a price, both personally and financially. "I really hope people can move on from talking about the incident at the end of the match, not only for my sake but Serena's too," Clijsters told The Australian.
"She's a great champion. You don't win 11 Grand Slams in singles unless you are and, apart from the ending, we played some terrific tennis that day. "I always enjoyed playing her. I always count her as a friend. She's a very funny girl in the locker room." It is that kind of grace and sense of fair play in Clijsters' make-up that has endeared her to fans worldwide. - (THE AUSTRALIAN)