Serena Williams Responds Diplomatically to Wimbledon Snub

Serena Williams (Photo: Susan Mullane, USA TODAY Sports)
Serena Williams (Photo: Susan Mullane, USA TODAY Sports)

Five-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams responded diplomatically on Saturday to the decision by officials to pass over her for the honor of opening the women’s tournament on Center Court – which some see as a snub.

Instead, last year’s runner-up Sabine Lisicki will take the ceremonial Tuesday slot that is usually reserved for the defending champion.

France’s Marion Bartoli, last year’s winner, retired a few weeks after her victory.

Asked in a pre-tournament press conference to respond to the decision, No. 1 Williams said of Lisicki: “She was in the final last year, so she was two sets closer than I was. So why not?”

Lisicki has struggled since defeating Williams 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 in the fourth round on her way to the final.

The 19th seed from Germany has advanced past the quarterfinals in only one event since and is 8-8 in 2014.

Serena and her older sister, Venus, have won 10 of the last 14 All-England Club singles titles.

The Williamses have felt slighted before by Wimbledon officials.

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Douglas Robson

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