Belfast Telegraph

Wimbledon: Fuming Williams in court appeal

By Eleanor Crooks

Serena Williams has warned Wimbledon chiefs she deserves the same treatment as the top men after being kept off Centre Court and Court One again.

The defending women's champion, who has won four singles titles and a further four doubles titles at Wimbledon, was sent out to the distant Court Two for her second-round clash with Romanian Simona Halep, which she won in three sets.

So too was Williams' sister Venus, the five-time singles champion, for her opening match on Monday.

For Serena it meant venturing out of her comfort zone, and the 29-year-old believes she and Venus are getting a raw deal in comparison to the elite men.

“Yeah, they're never moved across,” she said. “Venus and I have won more Wimbledons together than a lot of the players, or by ourselves in doubles even.

“They like to put us on Court Two, me and Venus, for whatever reason. I haven't figured it out yet. Maybe one day we'll figure it out. I don't know.”

Serena complained last year when her second-round match against Anna Chakvetadze was put on Court Two on the day the Queen visited Wimbledon and watched the Centre Court action.

And now the younger Williams sister has indicated she will not necessarily take it in her stride if she is sent away from the two main show courts again.

“I don't necessarily think I should,” Williams said. “I try to play my match and take that first and foremost, deal with whatever later. But obviously they're not going to change.”

She added: “I don't make it a big issue. I think at some point maybe I should. I don't know.

“I just really try to focus on not going down on Court Two. At least now they have a review (system) out there, so I do like that.

“It was much better than the old one that was actually closer. I really hated that court.”

The American would have plummeted from 25th to 311th in the world rankings if she lost, relinquishing almost all the points she earned for her triumph in London last year.

When the opening set went to Halep, the four-time champion was in trouble but she recovered to win 3-6 6-2 6-1.

Williams faces Maria Kirilenko next, presumably on Centre or Court One.

Sixth seed Francesca Schiavone beat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 7-5 6-3.

Italian Schiavone, who turned 31 yesterday, will face Tamira Paszek following the Austrian's 6-4 6-1 victory over American Christina McHale.

Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 12th seed from Russia, breezed past Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru 6-0 6-2 to set up a meeting with Yanina Wickmayer.

Belgian 19th seed Wickmayer required three sets to down Anna Tatishvili 3-6 6-4 6-2 while Julia Goerges beat Heather Watson's conqueror Mathilde Johansson 7-6 (12/10) 6-2.

Ana Ivanovic cruised to a 6-3 6-0 win against Eleni Daniilidou but the 14th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova crashed out to Nadia Petrova, going down to a 6-3 6-3 defeat.

Belfast Telegraph

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