Serena Williams was at the centre of another US Open controversy on Sunday when she unleashed a tirade of abuse at the umpire before slumping to defeat in the final to Australia’s Samantha Stosur.
Williams had lost the first set 6-2 and faced a break point in the opening game of the second.
The American then unleashed a huge forehand and greeted it with a loud "c’mon" before Stosur had even reached the ball.
Umpire Eva Asdaraki immediately penalised the three-time champion for "intentional hindrance" and the point — and the game — was awarded to the Australian.
"Aren’t you the one who screwed me over last time?," Williams, who was eventually defeated 6-2, 6-3, bellowed at Asdaraki. "That is totally not cool."
Her rage continued at the changeover with her ongoing war of words picked up on live television by the courtside microphones. "Don’t even look at me," shouted the 29-year-old up at Asdaraki.
"If I see you in the corridor don’t even walk past me… a code violation for expressing my opinion, we’re in America… you’re unattractive inside…"
Williams attempted to shrug off the row at the post-match celebrations, keen to praise her opponent who became Australia’s first women’s US Open singles champion since Margaret Court in 1973.
"I was just doing my best. I hit a winner but I guess it didn’t count. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway because she played really well," said Williams, who missed last year’s tournament through injury and then battled a life-threatening illness.
"Six months ago I didn’t think I would be standing here. I didn’t think I would even be standing let alone be here. Sam played really well. She’s a great player."
Stosur shrugged off the controversy. "I didn’t really know what was going on. I was just there. I know about the rule but I have never had to deal with it before," she said.
Williams suffered an even uglier US Open meltdown in her 2009 semi-final defeat to Kim Clijsters.
She unleashed a tirade of abuse at a lineswoman during the tense match and a penalty point sealed her fate in a 6-4, 7-5 defeat.(AFP)