Everything is negotiable. Venus Williams made a savvy business decision after her first round upset loss to American Sloane Stephens at the French Open. Williams decided that she didn’t want to answer a bunch of questions from the media about the twilight of her career — at least not minutes after wilting on the clay and winning just a single game in the closing set — 7-6 (5), 6-1. Williams clearly figured she’d take her time, compose her thoughts, and work on her own timetable rather than that of the French Open officials. She knew she’d be fined for skipping the press conference and she skipped it anyway.
Williams was fined $3,000 for not subjecting herself — and her raw emotions — to those difficult questions. She didn’t want to opine on why she’d lost in the first round in five of the last 13 Grand Slams she’s entered. It’s a decision Venus Williams would surely make over and over again. Williams can afford the $3,000 slap — and in Paris she bought herself a little privacy with it.