NEW YORK // The line judge who called a foot fault on Serena Williams in last year's US Open semi-finals - setting off a tirade by the American - will be officiating at this year's tournament. Tournament organisers said in a statement that Shino Tsurubuchi "is a world-class official and we are confident in her abilities". Tsurubuchi was officiating along the baseline in Williams's match against Kim Clijsters. She called a foot fault on a second serve by Williams, resulting in a double-fault that moved Clijsters one point from victory.
The ruling prompted a profanity-laced tirade by Williams, who approached Tsurubuchi with what tournament director Jim Curley called at the time "a threatening manner". Williams earlier had been given a code violation warning, so the chair umpire awarded a penalty point to Clijsters because of Williams's outburst - and, as it was on match point, it gave Clijsters a 6-4, 7-5 victory. Clijsters went on to win the championship.
Williams last week withdrew from this year's US Open because of surgery on her foot. * Associated Press