December 2, 2009 / 6:55 AM / 8 years ago

Australian officials want Williams on best behavior

<p>Serena Williams of the U.S. hits a return to her sister Venus Williams during their WTA Tour Championships final tennis match in Doha November 1, 2009.Fadi Al-Assaad</p>

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Open officials expect Serena Williams to be on her best behavior at the first grand slam of 2010 after she was given permission to defend her title.

The world number one escaped a ban for her foul-mouthed attack on a line judge at the U.S. Open when the Grand Slam Committee opted to slap her with a fine and a two-year probation.

"We're confident there will be no repeat and we've had no problems with Serena," Australian Open boss Craig Tiley told reporters Wednesday.

Tiley refused to be drawn on whether the committee should have banned Williams from playing in Australia but said he supported their decision to punish the American.

"It is important to know that her behavior at the U.S. Open was unacceptable, it couldn't go unpunished," he said.

"Those who are charged with making that decision have all that evidence and have precedents they can go on.

"From our view, we felt she needed to be punished and that type of behavior needed to be punished."

Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Ian Ransom

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