Venus Williams fined $5,000 for avoiding media

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Venus Williams has been fined $5,000 by tournament organizers for skipping a news conference after her first-round exit at the Australian Open.

The Australian Open announced the fine Wednesday after a meeting by the committee of Grand Slam supervisors.

On Tuesday, No. 8-seeded Williams trudged off Rod Laver Arena after her surprising 6-4, 6-3 loss to Johanna Konta, a British player making her debut in the Grand Slam's main draw.

The $5,000 fine is the highest a female player has faced for skipping a mandatory news conference, and the second highest since Marat Safin was fined $10,000 at the 2001 French Open.