x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Wimbledon round-up: Williams to keep fighting for equal rights

World No 1 unhappy over women getting raw end of scheduling problems. And Del Potro to consult doctor after injuring knee and ankle.

Serena Williams, had to wait until 11.30pm (UAE time) to ste on court for her match against Kimiko Date-Krumm.
Serena Williams, had to wait until 11.30pm (UAE time) to ste on court for her match against Kimiko Date-Krumm.

Serena Williams, the top seed and defending champion, breezed into the Wimbledon fourth round but vowed to keep fighting for equal rights under the bright lights of the All England Club.

World No 1 she may be, but the 31-year-old American was slated as the last match on Court One on Saturday.

With two marathon men's matches before her, she saw her third round clash with 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm suddenly shifted to Centre Court under the roof and the lights.

Her match did not start until around 11.30pm (UAE time) on Saturday night much to her annoyance.

"Well, it's their policy. I've talked about that time and time again, how I'm always fighting for the ladies," said Williams.

"Maybe one day we'll get two matches and the men will get one match, and maybe they'll be able to switch back and forth hopefully.

"But it's definitely something we have to still work on."

Williams was reluctant to get into a slanging match with All England Club schedulers despite her status as a five-time champion and 16-time grand slam singles trophy winner.

"I was a little surprised that I was playing third on after two men. But I wasn't annoyed. I'm able to deal with any circumstance," she said.

Her 6-2, 6-0 win over Date-Krumm gave her a Monday match-up with German 23rd seed Sabine Lisicki for a place in the quarter-finals.

Saturday's win was the 600th of Williams's career as the American continued her gentle cruise towards a sixth Wimbledon title.

A win on Monday will also give her a 35th successive victory, taking her level with sister Venus's record set in 2000.

"Wow, 600 wins. I had no idea. What better place than under the roof at Centre Court to achieve it," she said.

Williams admitted that despite the late shifting of her court on Saturday, she was a definite convert to playing under the Wimbledon roof for the first time.

"It's definitely special. I prefer this one because it's indoor and it's grass," she said.

"I missed all those indoor carpet tournaments in the '90s that I should have played, and I didn't know that that was really good for my game.

"So, playing indoor on grass for me is like amazing. I love the atmosphere. I love the sound that the ball makes.

"I feel like it's really just incredible. You hear the sound. I feel like the crowd is louder. It just feels really cool."

Lisicki, a semi-finalist in 2011 and a quarter-finalist in 2009 and 2012, when she knocked out Maria Sharapova, said she would not be overawed by the challenge.

She can certainly match the American's raw power - coming into Wimbledon, the German had fired 185 aces in 2013, second only to her opponent's 268.

"I was in that situation last year when everybody was saying that Sharapova was the favourite," said the 23 year old.

"I'm probably going into that match being the underdog, but I like that."

Del Potro to visit doctor

Juan Martin del Potro, the former US Open champion, has said he needs to consult a doctor after injuring his left knee and ankle during a third-round victory at Wimbledon.

Del Potro overcame a scary late fall to beat Grega Zemlja of Slovenia 7-5, 7-6, 6-0 on Saturday, but said he twisted his ankle and hyper-extended his knee.

Del Potro hurt his left leg when chasing down a drop shot in the third set, skidding awkwardly on the grass and tumbling face first. He received treatment after taking a 4-0 lead and took a medical timeout after the next game, and returned to break Zemlja again to clinch the win.

"It was really painful. I was a little scared at that moment," said the eighth-seeded Argentine. "Now I start to feel something in my knee and my ankle, as well. I will check with the doctor very soon."

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