Serena Williams doesn't bring up US Open final during Vegas appearance

LAS VEGAS -- Serena Williams talked about her fashion business, not tennis fouls, during an appearance before a business convention in Las Vegas.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion said not a word Friday about gender equality in sports or an argument she had last weekend with the chair umpire at the US Open final in New York.

Williams, who took no questions from the audience, said previously that she was treated more harshly than a male player would have been after smashing her racket and arguing with match official Carlos Ramos during her loss to Naomi Osaka.

She received three code violations and was penalized one game. She was later fined $17,000.

Williams spent 25 minutes talking onstage with Sarah Robb O'Hagan, CEO of Flywheel Sports, at the National Retail Federation trade show.

"It's been quite the week," O'Hagan said before steering the conversation away from controversy. "It isn't the first time you have had to deal with unfair judgment against you, and yet you have this amazing ability to come back with such courage and grace."

She drew applause, praising Williams for calming a riled-up audience that booed the US Open outcome to refocus the moment on Osaka's victory.

"I feel it's really important to stand up for what you believe in," Williams said, "especially if it can affect the future and affect a lot of people in the future. That's what it's all about."

Williams also was asked about what O'Hagan termed "epic comebacks" during her 20-year tennis career, including having a baby a little more than a year ago.

The tennis star, who has her own fashion line, advised business owners to "really figure out, 'What can I do to revamp and bring it back to the top?'"

"Really, it's just about having a great team ... and rolling up your sleeves and hard work," Williams said. "I work really, really hard at my game. And then I work super hard at my fashion business. And I'm working incredibly hard at being a mom."