Friday 30 September 2016

'I'm suing...' - Serena Williams threatens legal action during her fourth round win at SW19

John Skilbeck

Published 04/07/2016 | 18:27

Serena Williams speaks with Tournament Referee Andrew Jarrett on day seven of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Adam Davy/PA Wire
Serena Williams speaks with Tournament Referee Andrew Jarrett on day seven of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Adam Davy/PA Wire

Serena Williams insisted she would never sue Wimbledon after a "heat of the moment" threat to do so during a fourth-round win over Svetlana Kuznetsova.

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The defending women's singles champion was unhappy with the suggestion she and her Russian opponent should play on at 5-5, after light drizzle fell on Centre Court.

She believed it left her open to suffering a slip on the grass that could lead to injury.

After discussing her concerns with umpire Marija Cicak and tournament referee Andrew Jarrett, Williams and Kuznetsova were allowed to leave the court and the retractable roof was moved to provide cover.

The players left court but were soon able to return and Williams won every game from that stage onwards, for a 7-5 6-0 victory.

When talking initially to Cicak, Williams could be heard to say: "I'm going to fall. Can't they just close the roof?"

Cicak's response was inaudible but Williams added: "If I get hurt, I'm suing..."

A ball boy then ran across the court, and slipped badly on the grass, showing that Williams had valid concerns.

In her post-match press conference, Williams was asked about her comments on court.

She said: "You guys, don't even try me like that. I was in the moment, I was on the court, and what I say on the court, whether it's smashing my rackets, or... it's in the heat of the moment.

"I have no plans, no future of suing Wimbledon. Like, let's get serious. That's not what I do, that's not what I am, and I'm not answering any more questions about that. Nor will I want anyone reporting that either - that's just completely unfair and wrong. Next question."

She had also been asked about the on-court conditions in a BBC post-match interview, and said: "It was really tricky out there because even though it wasn't raining hard - it was like a dewy - but it's on the grass, you can fall really easy.

"And then it wasn't about that, it was like 'Okay, shall I run for this shot or shouldn't I? Because I don't necessarily want to fall', then it became more of a difficulty because of that."

Monday proved a rewarding American Independence Day for the Williams sisters, as Venus reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time since 2010.

Five-time champion Venus Williams, looking to match Serena's haul of six, dug out a 7-6 (7/3) 6-4 victory against Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro.

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