Serena in sexism row after showcourt snub
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Last Updated: Saturday, June 25, 2011, 09:14
  
London: Serena Williams accused Wimbledon officials of giving special treatment to male stars like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic after she was shunted out to Court Two for her 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 win over Simona Halep on Thursday.

Despite being the defending champion, tournament chiefs decided that the four-time winner's second round match against Romania's Halep was only worthy of a place out in the far reaches of the All England Club.

That piece of controversial scheduling prompted an angry response from Serena. She insisted that reigning men's champion Nadal and second seed Novak Djokovic - who have won fewer Wimbledon titles between them than her - would never be treated with the same lack of respect.

It is not the first time Serena and sister Venus - a five-time Wimbledon champion - have had to play on Court Two.

"They like to put us on Court 2, me and Venus, for whatever reason. I haven't figured it out yet. Maybe one day we'll figure it out," said Serena.

"They (Nadal and Djokovic) are never moved across. Actually, Venus and I have won more Wimbledon's together than a lot of the players or by ourselves in doubles even. I don't make it a big issue, but I think at some point maybe I should."

For a 13-time Grand Slam champion like Serena it was something of an indignity to have to fight her way through the large crowds that gather in the walkways around Wimbledon as she tried to get to Court Two. But the seventh seed expects to be put back out there at some stage in the future.

"I never have too much time to warm up. I look at that as kind of a warmup, trying to walk out there. I'm like, 'Okay, well, this gets my legs moving'," Serena said. "But I pretty much won all my matches so far on Court 2, so like I said, they're not going to change or doesn't look like it. I just really try to focus on not going down on Court 2. At least now they have a review out there, so I do like that.

"It was much better than the old one that was actually closer. I really hated that court. I don't necessarily think I should play there but I try to play my match and take that first and foremost, then deal with whatever else later. I just say, What court am I playing? I just say, 'What time am I playing? Like 12 o'clock. Oh, I have to wake up early'."

Serena has played only four matches since she clinched her fourth Wimbledon title 12 months ago and the American seventh seed is clearly still finding her way back to top form.

The 29-year-old has had to recover from emergency surgery to remove two blood clots, while also getting over a foot injury sustained by stepping on glass in a German restaurant.

That long lay-off has left some rust and for the second match here, Serena was pushed to three sets by a lower-ranked opponent before finding a way to grind out the victory.

A third round clash against Russia's Maria Kirilenko is Serena's next challenge as she bids for a third successive title.

Bureau Report


First Published: Saturday, June 25, 2011, 09:14


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