'Phoney' trouble for harassed Serena! | india | Hindustan Times
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'Phoney' trouble for harassed Serena!

Tennis sensation Serena Williams felt harassed recently over the repeated calls of promoter of a tennis match on her cell phone.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2006 19:41 IST

Tennis sensation Serena Williams felt harassed recently over the repeated calls of promoter of a tennis match on her cell phone.

Serena Williams told a jury that she felt "harassed" and "violated" when one promoter of a "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match called on her personal cell phone and repeatedly urged her to take part in the event.

Serena, testifying yesterday in a breach-of-contract lawsuit brought by promoters Keith Rhodes and Carol Clarke, said she thought it was "unprofessional" for Rhodes to contact her directly about the event.

And she was surprised that Rhodes had her personal cell number, she said.

"I felt harassed at the time. He kept telling me that I need to do it. I said 'I don't have time to talk about this. This is not something I want to be a part of'," Serena said. "I didn't like the way he was talking to me. I felt violated."

Serena was also asked by her attorney, F Malcolm Cunningham Jr, if she ever had any interest in playing a match against former men's tennis champion John McEnroe, whose name had repeatedly come up in connection with the possible event and who had publicly challenged her to a match.

"Playing John McEnroe would not advance my career. It would just be a sideshow," she said. "I never saw an upside to playing McEnroe or anyone else on the men's tour."

Rhodes and Clarke contend in their lawsuit that Richard Williams, father of both tennis stars, committed them to play in a 2001 "Battle of the Sexes" event that would have earned some USD 45 million.