SYDNEY - Serena Williams produced a dazzling performance off the court at the Sydney International yesterday, sporting a $2,5 million (R25 million) diamond necklace.
The American world No.2 was well below her best in a stuttering 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 7-5 first round win over Australian Samantha Stosur, but it was her sparkling necklace, replete with 427 diamonds, that sent the press photographers into a snapping frenzy.
The nine times grand slam champion made friends with a Sydney diamond designer in a visit to his boutique store over the weekend and was loaned the necklace to wear it on the court.
But the thought of being entrusted with the multi-million dollar jewellery made the 27-year-old Williams nervous and she decided to only wear it at her post-match press conference away from the gaze of the fans.
"I told the jeweller that I would wear it at the press conference because I didn't have the cash to be losing a two-and-a-half million dollar necklace," Williams said with a laugh.
"I'm just not comfortable with it and if it fell off I just would have go for it... I wouldn't care about the ball."
The flamboyant American has worn diamonds on court before, causing some controversy at the 2004 US Open when one of her $40000 (R400000) earrings fell off during a match. - Sapa-AFP