Serena cops record fine of $191,000

NEW YORK: Serena Williams has been hit with a suspended sentence and the largest fine in tennis history but is free to play in January''s Australian Open.

Williams has been put on a good behaviour bond until the end of the 2011 season after being found guilty of aggravated behaviour at the US Open in September.

She has been fined about $191,100, almost twice the previous record penalty levelled at Lleyton Hewitt in 2002.

If Williams misbehaves again in a grand slam in the next two years, she will be barred from the US Open.

Williams will have to pay about $80,000 immediately, having already paid a about $11,000 at Flushing Meadow.

The balance is payable only if she commits another grand slam major offence before the end of 2011.

World No.1 Williams was found guilty of threatening a lineswoman during a tense semi-final against Kim Clijsters in New York.