US Open meltdown all history, says Serena


Serena Williams insisted on Monday that her infamous 2009 US Open rant had been consigned to history and she was looking forward to being probably the most dangerous 28th seed in the event’s history. The three-time champion shocked the tournament two years ago when she unleashed a tirade of abuse at a lineswoman during her tense semi-final clash with eventual champion Kim Clijsters. A penalty point sealed her fate in a 6-4, 7-5 defeat.
“I just remember I lost, and that was that. I got really popular. A lot of people were telling me they thought I was super cool, that they’d never saw me so intense. It was awesome,” said the 29-year-old.
“But I don’t think about it. Are you still thinking about it? Oh, my God, that was like two years ago. This is like two years later.” Williams has endured a roller-coaster period since that horror show. She missed the 2010 tournament after cutting her foot on glass at a German restaurant and then battled life-threatening blood clots on her lungs.
After missing the Australian and French Opens this year, she made her comeback in the sedate surroundings of Eastbourne before enduring a fourth round exit at Wimbledon. That defeat to France’s Marion Bartoli sent her world ranking plummeting out of the top 150.
But tournament wins at Stanford and Toronto helped her back to the top 30 and even an injury-enforced withdrawal from Cincinnati hasn’t affected her status as the player nobody wants to face. All those highs and lows since her last appearance in New York have given Williams a new perspective on her career.
Even the threat of Hurricane Irene was confronted with traditional defiance. “I played a little bit in the rain. I went to Park Avenue because it was empty and danced a little bit in the streets. It was kinda fun,” said Williams, who added that her lowly status in the draw does not concern her. “I think it’s fine. I’m 29 maybe in the world, so I don’t see where else I should be seeded,” she said.
“The rules changed. I know back in the day, if you were out for a while they used to have these injury rules, but I believe they got rid of that. It might be nice just for getting in tournaments, but I’m doing pretty good so I’m okay with it.”
With her 30th birthday fast approaching, the 13-time Grand Slam title winner says she has no deadline for retirement and plans to keep playing even if sister Venus, already 31, decided enough was enough. “The way I feel right now, I’m really enjoying it now more than anything, and I’m having a lot of fun out there.
“I don’t think I’ve proven anything to myself. I just think that if anything, I just enjoy it and am just having fun and being relaxed. I didn’t play last year, so I don’t have anything to lose. “That’s kinda been like a new position I’ve been in and it’s been really fun.”