‘Disgraceful’: Aussie star slams Serena

 

She may be the greatest women's tennis player of all time, but Serena Williams has been absolutely savaged by former Aussie star Sam Groth over a bizarre pre-Wimbledon declaration.

In her pre-tournament press conference, Williams said she was unaware Australia's Ash Barty was the No. 1 ranked player in the world.

In a column for The Herald Sun, the former men's No.53 slammed Williams for having "no idea about anything much that happens in the sport", and only being concerned with her 'self-interest'.

"I don't think what Ash has achieved in recent weeks has actually had the recognition it deserves from a lot of people, but as one of the biggest names in tennis, what Serena said was pretty sh***y."

"You're the one of the most recognisable athletes on the planet and you can't tell me who the number one player in your sport is?

"It's disgraceful and not a good look for your sport."

Groth also hammered Williams for failing to promote women's tennis to the same extent stars like Federer, Rafael Nadal, or Novak Djokovic have done for the men's game.

"She's not done for the women's game what others have done for the men's.

"It's all about brand Serena not brand tennis."

When informed by journalists that Barty was indeed the new top ranked women's player, Williams was complimentary towards her rival.

"Wow, that's great," the 23-time grand slam champion said.

Water off a duck’s back.
Water off a duck’s back.


"I think Ash, I don't know anyone that has anything negative to say about her. She's like the sweetest, cutest girl on tour. She's so nice.

"She has the most beautiful game, such classic shots. I mean, she does everything right. Her technique is, like, flawless."

"Obviously I'm happy for her. Yeah, it's good. It's good for her.

Williams even said she "thinks" Barty could stay No. 1 for some time.

"I think she has a great game," she said.

"I think, like, she's really even-tempered. "She's just really chill. I feel like she's just so relaxed in a way. "She's had a solid year, as well. It's not just the French Open. She won Miami. Yeah, I think anything is possible."

Williams' attitude was lambasted by from Groth, who said it was 'derogatory' for Williams to be "going on about how nice she thinks Ash is".

Groth wrote "she's the best tennis player in the world and you didn't know it. She gave her no credit for the achievement."

Herald Sun journalist Jon Ralph compared Williams' apparent dismissiveness to Roger Federer going out of his way to acknowledge 15-year-old American star Cori Gauff in a neat moment that was captured on camera at The All England Club.

He suggested the difference between the two icons of the sport was easy to spot.

The dust is only just settling from Williams' recent controversy at the French Open when star Dominic Thiem was kicked out of his post-match press conference at Roland Garros to give Williams the main interview theatre for her own press conference.

She said before the start of Wimbledon she was powerless to stop officials from kicking Thiem out.

Thiem was later quoted as accusing Williams of having a "bad personality" but she addressed the matter for the first time on Saturday, saying the whole episode was a misunderstanding and she never meant to take Thiem's place.

"I asked them to put me in the small room. I begged them to put me in the small room, and they didn't," Williams said. "I said, 'Listen, I can come back. I'm just going to go back.'

"They're like, 'No, stay here.'

"They pulled him (Thiem) out. I was like, 'You guys are so rude to do that,' quote-unquote, that's what I said.

"The next day I had a bad personality. Literally that's what happened."

Barty and Williams have been grouped in the same quarter of the draw, meaning they could meet in a blockbuster quarter-final meeting.

And we know Barty will have at least one former player firmly in her corner.

NOTABLE RESULTS FROM DAY TWO

- Rising Aussie youngster Alex Popyrin took the first set against 11th seed Daniil Medvedev before falling 6-7 6-1 6-4 6-4

- Eighteen-year-old Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated Corentin Moutet of France 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-2 on No. 3 Court to extend his debut appearance at the All England Club. On Monday, he became the first male player born in the 2000s to win a Grand Slam match

- Last year's men's finalists moved into the third round at Wimbledon within minutes of each other. Moments after Kevin Anderson converted his second match point against Janko Tipsarevic with an ace on No. 2 Court, Novak Djokovic wrapped up his straight-set win over Denis Kudla on Centre Court. Djokovic defeated Kudla 6-3 6-2 6-2 while Anderson ousted Tipsarevic 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-1 6-4. Djokovic trumped Anderson in the 2018 final for his fourth Wimbledon title and they could face each other in the semi-finals of this year's tournament

- US giant Reilly Opelka stunned Stan Wawrinka in five sets 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 8-6

- Teen sensation Coco Gauff continued her fairytale run with a 6-3 6-3 win over Magdalena Rybarikova. She's yet to drop a set.

- Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic was spanked 6-2 6-0 by Victoria Azarenka

- Canada's Milos Raonic served his way to a 7-6 7-5 7-6 win against Robin Haase

- Women's third seed Karolina Pliskova crushed Monica Puig 6-0 6-4 while Simona Halep defeated Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3 4-6 6-2