Bizarre reason cited for Serena’s Wimbledon celebrations no-show
Serena Williams was a notable absentee from a Wimbledon centenary celebration
Serena Williams, one of the most dominant players in Wimbledon’s long history, was a notably absent from recent celebrations marking 100 years of the famous Center Court which acts as the centerpiece of the grass court Grand Slam.
Seven-time Wimbledon champion Williams was knocked out by the unheralded Harmony Tan in the first round of this year’s event at SW19 but despite remaining in London, the younger of the two Williams sisters skipped the gala event – despite the likes of Rod Laver and Billie Jean King opting to attend.
The reason for Williams’ no show? Per The Telegraph, she was upset at Wimbledon chiefs refusal to grant her the use of five courtesy cars throughout the course of the tournament.
Wimbledon generally gives each player one courtesy car to be used at their discretion, with some of the bigger names being allocated two vehicles – but Williams requested five to help transport herself, her husband, her sister, her mother and her coach.
It was reported that Williams wanted use of the vehicles even beyond the regular 24 hour period during which players are obliged to return the cars after their elimination from the tournament.
“She wanted to use the cars for the whole two weeks because that’s what happens at the other Grand Slams,” The Telegraph quoted a source as saying.
“She was told that was not possible because they had to be used by the other players. She was not happy.
“Maybe that’s why she refused to take part in the centenary parade.”
Reporters had quizzed officials as to Williams’ absence from the celebrations but were told by officials that the American had returned home – only for her to be seen at a Rolling Stones concert and a movie premiere shortly after in the English capital.
Reports of Williams’ rancor at the All England Club will again revive reports that she can be considered a ‘diva’. She has been criticized in the past for skipping media obligations, as well as refusing to answer questions from certain publications.
But when probed as to the speculation of Williams’ wrath regarding courtesy cards, Wimbledon officials responded simply: “We have fulfilled every transport request we received.”