Serena Cracks Before Media Onslaught at Wimbledon

Posted on June 23, 2004

Top-seeded Serena Williams looked shaky while still thoroughly disposing of China's Jie Zheng 6-3, 6-1 Tuesday at Wimbledon.

"I wanted to try out some things and the first round is the time to do them," said Serena, who while showing poor movement and form, insisted that in the 'Serena Reality,' everything is fine.

"I am playing good," said Serena, desperate to impose her confidence on the assembled media. "You never hear me say I am playing good so that is pretty bold and confident for me to say that."

In addition to not needing a coach, Serena is apparently not in need of a p.r. person either.

Unfortunately the house of cards that is Serena's mental facade fell down when, after being presses by journalists about her 24 unforced errors during the match, the younger Williams cracked.

"Well, I'm going to come in here, you guys are going to coach me now? You guys are going to be coaches now? You're going to talk about unforced errors?" snapped Serena at the assembled journalists. "Feel free to come out on the practice court if you guys want to help out."

Hey journos, you should have learned from last year's French Open that reality is whatever Serena says it is, don't question the queen.

Other seeds in the winner's circle Tuesday before rain cut the schedule short were (10)Nadia Petrova (d. Pennetta in three), (15)Patty "Handshake" Schnyder (d. Morigami), (20)Elena Bovina (d. (Q)Gallovits), (25)Nathalie Dechy (d. Anabel "Funky Cold" Medina Garrigues), and (32)Meghann Shaughnessy (d. American countrywoman Irvin in two breakers).

Four seeds were ousted on the day, the foremost (8)Svetlana Kuznetsova in a shocker (l. to (Q)Razzano in three), joined by another Russian in (8)Elena Dementieva (l. to Sandra "Calvin" Kleinova in three), (17)Chanda Rubin (l. to Bartoli), and (30)Eleni Daniilidou (l. to Magui "Don't Call Me Maggie" Serna).

Other un-seeds into the second round were Spanish qualifier Nuria Llagostera Vives (d. Mandula), Daniela Hantuchova (d. Reeves), Italy's Maria Elena Camerin (d. Barna), Thai Tamarine Tanasugarn (d. Groenefeld), Venezuela's Maria Vento-Kabchi (d. Martina "Nurse, Hand Me a" Sucha 1-and-0), Brit wildcard Elena Baltacha (d. Marrero), Czech Klara "Kouky" Koukalova (d. Jankovic in three), Swiss Emmanuelle Gagliardi (d. Snyder, who retired in the first with a knee injury), qualifier Stephanie Foretz (d. Cohen-Aloro), another Brit wildcard in Jane O'Donoghue (d. Lee-Waters in three), Karolina "The Spreminator" Sprem (d. Granville in three), and Russian Elena Likhovtseva (d. Leon Garcia).

One match was halted due to the rain, with Spain's Maria Sanchez Lorenzo leading Brit wildcard Katie O'Brien 6-4, 5-4, 0-15, serving for the match.

On court Wednesday are (4)Mauresmo vs. Kostanic, (3)Venus vs. Sprem, (7)Capriati vs. Schaul, (24)Pierce vs. Ruano Pascual, Kapros vs. (2)Myskina, (29)Safina vs. Parra Santonja, Dulko vs. (WC)Navratilova, (31)Frazier vs. (WC)Webley-Smith, Golovin vs. Jidkova, (9)Suarez vs. Perry, Obata vs. (12)Zvonareva, Strycova vs. Talaja, Vakulenko vs. Hopkins, Perebiynis vs. Wheeler, Washington vs. Panova, Sequera vs. (22)Martinez, Sun vs. Garbin, Kleinova vs. Tanasugarn, Sanchez Lorenzo vs. (WC)O'Brien (to finish), Kremer vs. (19)Zuluaga, Srebotnik vs. Chladkova, Peng vs. (14)Farina Elia, Asagoe vs. (26)Raymond, Schett vs. Cervanova, Koukalova vs. (11)Sugiyama, (32)Shaughnessy vs. Llagostera Vives, Grande vs. Santangelo in an all-Italy, Bartoli vs. Camerin, Krasnoroutskaya vs. Nagyova, Ashley vs. (27)Molik, (13)Sharapova vs. Brit (WC)Keothavong (On Court 18? Nice scheduling), (5)Davenport vs. Brandi, (18)Schiavone vs. Casanova, Harkleroad vs. Callens, and Craybas vs. (21)Maleeva.