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Verbal sparring at the Open

sports Updated: Jan 27, 2009 13:15 IST
Julian Linden

Serena Williams has rejected fellow American Andy Roddick’s demand for a ‘rematch’ as she continues to poke fun at her friend after making it public she beat him in a one-set contest when they were children.

The pair faced off while training together in Florida and while both agree that Williams won the match, they differ on the score. Williams claims she cruised to a 6-1 victory, while Roddick counters that it was a much closer 6-4.

When Williams told journalists at the Australian Open about her win, Roddick demanded a rematch to square the ledger but the women’s second seed said she was not interested.

“I don’t think it’s necessary to have a rematch. I won. I was clearly the better player,” she said after winning through to the quarterfinals on Monday.

“The score absolutely speaks for itself.

“He always jokes ‘rematch, rematch’ but I don’t even have time for a rematch.”

Dump trucks

A day earlier, Roddick joined in the verbal sparring by claiming Williams only beat him because she was a year older and much bigger than he was at the time. “When we were ten, I had to literally run around in the shower to get wet,” he said. “She was bench pressing dump trucks already at that time.”

A giggling Williams returned serve. “Andy’s always exaggerating. I was so small for my age. He was small too,” she said. “He just got jealous because my body was more fit and that my biceps are probably still bigger than his.

“Andy is incredibly jealous of me. I just don’t know why (but) I can’t blame him really.”

Williams did pay tribute to Roddick for helping her out of a slump several years ago but could not resist one last friendly jibe at her pal. “A couple years ago he wasn’t playing his best tennis. The guy never gave up,” she said.

“He was at every event, playing every tournament. He never lost confidence,” Williams said. “That actually motivated me at that point to do well. I was able to win some tournaments after watching his spirit and competitiveness.

“I never told him that, but he definitely did influence me to do better and to work harder... too bad he can’t beat some women players.”