World No. 1 Serena Williams crushed the Portugal screamer Michelle Larcher de Brito 6-0, 6-4 on Tuesday at Wimbledon before holding court to the world media on hot topics ranging from her outfits and nail polish to the World Cup and the queen.
After doling out the punishment, Serena faced the harsh wrath of the British (and other international) press, which grilled her on…her outfit.
“Well, we dubbed it strawberries and cream,” Serena said of her ensemble. “Strawberries, is that the correct enunciation of it? I don’t have a good British accent. The red is strawberries and the white is cream. It’s not like a pure white; it’s more of a cream. Also the red kind of symbolizes a lot of things I do in Africa, along with a lot of the work, like the red laces. Everybody that buys a pair can pretty much save a life in Africa.”
And her nails.
“They have strawberries on them, too,” Serena said in response to the question, or rather a statement, that her nails looked good. “If I would have thought about it, I would have put a strawberry instead of a heart. They’re hearts. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner. I could have had a strawberry.”
Serena also shared her deepest thoughts, when prompted by the pit of jackals otherwise known as the press, when asked about…how it would feel to play in front of the queen.
“I’m almost speechless because, I mean, hopefully I’ll even get to play in front of her,” Serena said. “If not, I’ll be fine because I don’t want to get too nervous. But I think it’s cool.”
On yet another day when the seeded players cruised at the All England Club, No. 6 Sam Stosur was the only highly-seeded upset of note, falling to Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi 6-4, 6-4. Also ousted was No. 25 Lucie Safarova, who fell to Dominika Cibulkova in straights.
“It has been definitely a long few months through Europe,” said Stosur, the runner-up at the French Open. “But, you know, that’s all part and parcel with doing well. I guess, yeah, today I just didn’t play as well as I know I can.”
Close first-round shaves among the seeded included No. 18 Aravane Rezai escaping Magdalena Rybarikova from a set down, No. 19 Svetlana Kuznetsova beating Akgul Amanmuradova in three, and No. 31 Alexandra Dulgheru outlasting Kimiko Date Krumm in three.
Qualifiers had a successful day, with Italy’s Romina Oprandi beating Brit wildcard Heather Watson in three, Romania’s Monica Niculescu topping Gisela Dulko, and Japan’s Kurumi Nara rolling past Mariana Duque Marino.
Suspended due to darkness was No. 24 Daniela Hantuchova tied with American Vania King 6-7(4), 7-6(4).
Wednesday highlights (or lowlights as it is a little light) at the All England Club include (2) Venus Williams vs. Ekaterina Makarova, (8) Kim Clijsters vs. Karolina “The Spreminator” Sprem, (17) Justine Henin vs. Kristina Barrois, Aleksandra Wozniak vs. (4) Jelena Jankovic, American Shenay Perry vs. (27) Maria Kirilenko, and an all-Belgian in (15) Yanina Wickmayer vs. Kirsten Flipkens.
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