Serena Williams: 5 perplexing moments

Along with her 17 major titles, Serena Williams also has had some major drama. Here's a look at five of the strange twists in her legendary career.

Sept. 12, 2009

Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Trailing Kim Clijsters 5-6, 15-30 in the second set in the semifinals of the US Open, Serena Williams is called for a foot fault on a second serve, making it a double fault -- a call rarely, if ever, seen at that stage of any match, let alone the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament. That made the score 15-40, putting Clijsters one point from victory. Instead of moving on to the next point, Williams went over and shouted and cursed at the line judge. Dropping the F-word liberally, Williams said, "I swear to God I'm f---ing going to take this f---ing ball and shove it down your f---ing throat, you hear that? I swear to God." The line judge was called over to the chair umpire, and tournament referee Brian Earley joined in the conversation. With the crowd booing, Williams then went over and said to the line judge, "Sorry, but there are a lot of people who've said way worse." Then the line judge said something to the chair umpire, and Williams responded, "I didn't say I would kill you. Are you serious? I didn't say that." The line judge replied by shaking her head and saying, "Yes." Williams already had been given a code violation warning when she broke her racket after losing the first set. So the chair umpire now awarded a penalty point to Clijsters, ending the match.

July 7, 2010

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Days after winning her fourth Wimbledon title and 13th Grand Slam, Williams slices a tendon in her foot when she steps on broken glass leaving a Munich restaurant. The injury requires stitches and surgeries.

February 2011

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Williams develops a pulmonary embolism that requires hospitalization. She is reportedly treated with anticoagulant drugs. "I had a lot of swelling in my leg, which really is a telltale sign of an embolism, and I could not breathe," Williams said. After making an appearance at the Oscars, she is back in the hospital later in the month for emergency treatment for a large hematoma on her stomach.

Sept. 11, 2011

REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

Down a set to Sam Stosur in the final of the US Open, Serena lets out a "come on!" after hitting a forehand that appears to win the point, but chair umpire Eva Asderaki awards the point to Stosur, ruling that Williams' exclamation constituted hindrance. That gives Stosur the first game of the second set. "Aren't you the one who screwed me over last time here?" Serena asked Asderaki, perhaps confusing her with Louise Engzell, who was in charge during the 2009 incident at the Open. "Do you have it out for me? That's totally not cool." Later, as her tirade escalated, she defended her right to vent, saying, "We're in America last time I checked." In a final jab, she called Asderaki "unattractive inside." Serena did not shake her hand after the match.

July 1, 2014

AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

Serena and sister Venus forfeit a second-round doubles match at Wimbledon after Serena, looking uncoordinated and disoriented, double-faults four consecutive times in the third game of the match. Tournament officials later said Williams was suffering from a viral illness. "I am heartbroken I'm not able to continue in the tournament," Serena said in a statement. "I thought I could rally this morning, because I really wanted to compete, but this bug just got the best of me."

Related Content