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Serena unhappy about Centre Court snub

sports Updated: Jun 25, 2011 01:29 IST
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Serena Williams has accused Wimbledon’s organisers of disciminating against her and her sister Venus after being asked to play on Court Two on Thursday. The defending champion noted that the leading men are kept on the show courts and believes she is not getting the respect she deserves.

Serena Williams’s three-set victory over Simona Halep of Romania on Court Two came after Venus won her first-round match, against Akgul Amanmuradova, there on Monday. Last year Serena played there in the second round on the day the Queen visited Wimbledon and watched the action on Centre Court.

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

The elite men’s players have had their matches on Centre or No1 court. “They [Nadal and Djokovic] are never moved across. Actually Venus and I have won more Wimbledons 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.”

The Williams sisters have won nine of the last 11 Wimbledon singles championships. Stacey Allaster, head of the WTA Tour, felt Williams had plenty of justification for feeling annoyed: “Serena Williams is a four-time Wimbledon singles champion, the defending champion of Wimbledon and a 13-time grand slam singles champion. I share her disappointment.”

The All England Club denied there is any bias against the Williams sisters or women players in general. “There is certainly no intention to favour any player or players and in this instance I am sure the 4,000 spectators on Court Two would have been delighted to see our reigning ladies’ champion win.” The Guardian