Serena Williams has dismissed her threat to sue Wimbledon as a remark made in the “heat of the moment” during a fourth round win over Svetlana Kuznetsova.
The reigning women’s singles champion did not wish to play on in slippery playing conditions after light rain fell on Center Court, in fear of sustaining an injury.
With the score at 5-5 in the first set, Williams voiced her concerns to the umpire Marija Cicak and the tournament referee Andrew Jarrett and was heard to say: “If I get hurt, I’m suing…”
In her post-match press conference, Williams insisted that her threat of legal action was not to be taken seriously.
“You guys, don’t even try me like that. I was in the moment, I was on the court, and what I say on the court, whether it’s smashing my rackets, or… it’s in the heat of the moment.
“I have no plans, no future of suing Wimbledon. Like, let’s get serious. That’s not what I do, that’s not what I am, and I’m not answering any more questions about that.
“Nor will I want anyone reporting that either – that’s just completely unfair and wrong. Next question.”
When asked about on-court conditions in a BBC post-match interview, Williams said: “It was really tricky out there because even though it wasn’t raining hard – it was like a dewy – but it’s on the grass, you can fall really easy.
“And then it wasn’t about that, it was like ‘Okay, shall I run for this shot or shouldn’t I? Because I don’t necessarily want to fall’, then it became more of a difficulty because of that.”
Both players left the court after Williams raised her concerns and, once they returned, the defending champion won every game for a 7-5 6-0 victory.
Williams will play Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the 21st seed, in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.