No. 5 seed Serena Williams easily out-classed fellow American Ashley Harkleroad 6-2, 6-1 Sunday on the tennis court at the French Open, but was then upstaged when Harkleroad announced she would be appearing in the August edition of Playboy magazine.
“Sometimes they put athletes in [Playboy],” said the Bible-studying Georgian Harkleroad. “Like [swimmer] Amanda Beard, or [volleyball player] Gabriella Reece. So I’ll be the first tennis player ever. That’s kind of cool. I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal. I’m proud of my body. I stay in shape and try to stay fit. I’m just trying to represent a female athlete and her body. That can be sexy too.”
Williams was surprised her phone didn’t ring first with the Playboy call.
“I’m surprised she beat me to it,” Williams said with a laugh.
The only other Top 10 seed in action was (2) Ana Ivanovic, who defeated Sofia Arvidsson to advance.
Upset victims Sunday were (15) Nicole Vaidisova, who was beaten by Iveta Benesova, and (24) Virginie Razzano, who lost a one-set advantage against Klara Zakopalova.
Highlights of Monday play are (8) Venus Williams vs. Israel’s Tzipora Obziler, the fragile (22) Amelie Mauresmo vs. Olga Savchuk, clay threat Nuria Llagostera Vives vs. (6) Anna Chakvetadze, and claycourter Virginia Ruano Pascual vs. (27) Katarina Srebotnik.
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