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Ruling on Serena Williams U.S. Open tirade expected soon

ANDREW DAMPF | 11/6/2009, 4:25 p.m.

REGGIO CALABRIA, Italy (AP) -- A ruling on Serena Williams' U.S. Open tirade is expected in the next two weeks.

"It's in the hands of the Grand Slam administrator, who I believe has now completed his investigation and will be making a ruling within the next two weeks," United States Tennis Association President Lucy Garvin told The Associated Press on Friday. "That's what we have been told - that Serena would hear, we would hear."
The Grand Slam administrator is Bill Babcock.

Williams was fined $10,000 after her profanity-laced outburst at a lineswoman during her semifinal loss to Kim Clijsters in September, and she could face a more severe penalty in the coming weeks.

"We really have not gone down that path of making a judgment as to what would be right or wrong at this point," Garvin said. "She was defaulted out of the singles and she has apologized sincerely. So we'll just have to see what the Grand Slam administrator comes to the Grand Slam committee chairs with. I think Serena is very anxious to hear."

Speaking before the Fed Cup final between the United States and Italy that starts Saturday, Garvin said she has discussed Andre Agassi's recent drug revelations with some board members, but that "nothing official" has been decided.

"It definitely was surprising to all of us," Garvin said. "Andre is a very open individual now - he's older, he's matured, he's been a wonderful ambassador the sport. I'm not sure of his reasoning as to why he felt he wanted to disclose that, but that's his personal business and he chose to do it."

In his book "Open," which goes on sale Monday, the eight-time Grand Slam champion said he used crystal meth in 1997 and failed a drug test - a result he says was thrown out after he lied by saying he unwittingly took the substance.

"Back in that time we didn't have the anti-doping set up like the ITF has it setup now," Garvin said.

Serena and Venus Williams opted not to play the Fed Cup final after meeting in the championship match of the season-ending WTA Tour championships last weekend. Garvin suggested the schedule is too tough on the top players.

"It is (upsetting), and this is something that has happened in Davis Cup also," she said. "After Wimbledon we played a Davis Cup match and Andy (Roddick) was not able to play. But we have to understand that. The schedules are very taxing. At all times we should be looking at the schedule and seeing if we can improve it, and talking with the ITF as to what could be done to make it easier for the players."

Without the Williams sisters, 18-year-old Melanie Oudin - the surprise U.S. Open quarterfinalist - is the top singles player for the Americans this weekend.

Oudin was asked about Williams' outburst.

"I'm a player as well and when you're on the court playing, emotions are going crazy and anything can happen," Oudin said. "I have no idea how she was feeling that day, but I heard she apologized and I think that was definitely the right thing to do."