Serena Williams in action PHOTOS
Complains about Wimbledon's autograph-seeking fans, but seems confident of a good tournament
Serena Williams has called on Wimbledon chiefs to beef up their security after the four-time champion’s 6-1, 2-6, 7-5 victory over Yaroslava Shvedova was marred when she was mobbed by frenzied fans on the way back from Court Two on Monday.
Serena had to run the gauntlet of autograph-hunting fans eager to get close to the sixth seed as she walked to and from one of Wimbledon’s outer courts.
Although Serena was escorted by a posse of security guards, she said the journey through the All England Club’s crowded walkways got a little intimidating after her fourth round victory.
It is not the first time in her illustrious career the 30-year-old American has been scheduled outside Wimbledon’s show courts and she believes security must be improved if the sport’s biggest stars have to play away from the better-protected arenas.
“I was totally mobbed. I literally was almost knocked over after the match. It was crazy out there today,” Serena said.
“I guess that comes with the territory. There was tons of security guards in there just going nuts and screaming. I’ve never heard them scream so loud.
“Maybe that can be taken into consideration. I think they should take that into account.”
Serena joked that she was happy to take on any fans who got overzealous, but she was right to be concerned by the situation after having to deal with stalkers at various tournaments including Wimbledon in the past.
“I wasn’t scared. Nobody going to knock me over for real! I’d like to see that happen. You guys know how I can get,” Serena said.
“Maybe that’s why I got on Court Two, because they knew I could back myself up. When it boils down, I guess I really didn’t need security.”
Wimbledon officials later issued a statement in response to Serena’s complaints.
“The safety of the players and spectators is of paramount importance to the club and we take any concerns very seriously,” the statement read.
Before the off-court drama, Serena looked set to cruise through as she took the first set in emphatic fashion, but Kazakh wildcard Shvedova has been in superb form, winning all 24 points and dropping none in a Golden Set against Sara Errani in the previous round, and she hit back impressively to force the American to a final set.
Williams, also taken to three sets by Zheng Jie in the previous round, showed why she is a 13-time Grand Slam champion as she finally subdued her gritty opponent to set up a last eight clash with defending champion Petra Kvitova.
Serena hasn’t won a Grand Slam since her fourth Wimbledon triumph in 2010 and her first round exit from the French Open against Virginie Razzano last month ranked as her worst ever result at a major.
But she clearly still has the appetite for more success, even if she might need to up her game to pass the even sterner tests that lie ahead.
“Drama again! I love the drama,” she added.
“As long as I get the win, I’m fine. I don’t feel mental strain. If anything, I feel tougher. I’m Serena Williams; I’m very confident.”
- Serena Williams has warned defending champion Petra Kvitova she will have to survive a brutal battle to hold onto her Wimbledon title in the pick of Tuesday’s quarter-finals.
Maria Sharapova’s shock exit against Sabine Lisicki, just hours after Serena battled into the last eight with a 6-1, 2-6, 7-5 victory over Yaroslava Shvedova, has presented the American with a golden opportunity to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish for a fifth time.
The 30-year-old was taken the distance for the second successive match but, as in her third round victory over Zheng Jie, the 13-time Grand Slam champion showed her appetite for success remains as strong as ever.
Kvitova, who defeated Maria Sharapova in last year’s Wimbledon final, has reached the semi-finals of the Australian and French Open this year and poses a significant threat to Serena’s hopes of winning her first major since 2010.
But Serena remembers how she took Kvitova’s best shot before defeating the Czech left-hander in the 2010 Wimbledon semi-finals and also eliminated her at the Australian Open in their only other meeting.
“I’m sure she remembers that. She played unbelievable. I know she served well,” Serena said of the Wimbledon encounter. “Then she went on to win the title the next year, so she’s obviously a great grass court player, as well as I am.
“I’ll be ready.”