Tennis - US Open

Serena angry at Crip Walk dance criticism

Serena Williams was hailed as the greatest women's tennis player ever before reacting angrily to criticism of her exuberant Olympic celebrations.

 
Serena spars with reporter - Tennis - US OpenReuters
 

Two days before the start of the US Open, Williams was testy with reporters, agitated by repeated references to her post-match dance in London.

She claimed to be unaware of negative comments about the so-called Crip Walk she performed after winning the gold medal at the Games.

"I read zero press," Williams said.

"That has been my policy since I was 17. I don't know what was made too much of or whether it was too little. I think winning the Olympics was awesome for me and for the USA.

"I'm still kind of in the Olympic moment. I love the Olympics. I was just so proud of the final tally of gold medals that I contributed to. It was really awesome."

The Crip Walk is a hip-hop dance made famous by Crip gang members in Compton, California, in the 1970s.

"First of all, it was just a dance," she said.

"I didn't know that's what it was called. Second, why are you asking me that? Like that's so - I mean, if anything you should be trying to ask me questions to lift me up, not bring up such things. I'm done with that question."

On the heels of her victories at Wimbledon and the Olympics, Williams is widely seen as the US Open favourite.

Earlier Saturday, three-time champion Kim Clijsters said Williams is the best player of all-time.

"To me Serena is the best ever just because I think physically, she just stands out," Clijsters said.

"When she's in good shape I think she just stands out tremendously. She's fast, she's strong, she has a very good eye. The combination of that is - I mean, what we have seen over the last few months is the best player ever."

Williams shied away from Clijsters' claim because her 14 major titles compared unfavourably to Margaret Court (24), Steffi Graf (22) and Martina Navratilova (18).

"I never think about that," she said. "I can't sit here and say I'm the best ever. I'm not. I'm not worthy of that title. I'm just Serena.

"I love playing tennis and I'm good at it. Just because I'm good at it doesn't make me the best. If you're going by titles, you have to go by that."

Williams' career resurgence has coincided with the struggles of Venus stemming from the diagnosis last year of Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disorder.

"I would have to go on if she decided to retire tomorrow, but that's not going to happen," Serena said.

"I'd be devastated. I can't get a better doubles partner than this. If it was that soon I would have to go on, but if it was a little later, maybe it will be together."

Williams said she was ignoring the pressure of trying to win the year's final Grand Slam.

"I don't feel pressure," the number four seed said.

"My dad said the only pressure you have is the pressure you put on yourself, so I don't really feel any pressure. I don't feel any pressure or anything.

"I don't put any pressure on myself. If I win, that would be great. If I lose, I realise I'm going to go home and be devastated. But there's always tomorrow."

 - Eurosport
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