A rusty and agitated Serena Williams grimaced her way through an attack of swooping bugs to resume her domination at Melbourne Park with a scratchy 6-3, 6-2 win over Austria’s Tamira Paszek.
Williams, unable to defend her 2009 and 2010 titles last year due to a freak foot injury, found herself dive-bombed by crickets that made merry on a balmy Tuesday evening at Rod Laver Arena.
“Bugs fell on my back twice,” said the 13-times grand slam champion, bidding for her sixth title at Melbourne Park.
“I hate bugs more than you can imagine. I hate bugs. Like, they kept jumping on me. I just — yuck! So I’m going to request not to play at night anymore because I hate bugs, except for the final. I heard it’s at night, though. I’ll try to get used to them.”
Williams entered with heavy strapping on both ankles and only two matches under her belt in five months. Having put on a brave face in the leadup, Williams admitted she had actually torn ankle ligaments and would need to wait and see how it felt in the morning.