Serena Williams' inspiring words after Wimbledon first-round singles matches win

Ross Houston
July 6, 2018

Three-time Grand Slam victor Stan Wawrinka returned to the All England Club in style, ousting sixth-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 1-6 7-6 (3) 7-6 (5) 6-4. I expect to go out there.

Then, in an article on Deadspin last week, it was reported that Williams complained to both the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) about the frequency of drug-testing after an incident when USADA testers sought to obtain a sample from her at her home in Florida. Not that shes unique: Other mothers who won Monday included 57th-ranked Tatjana Maria of Germany, who beat Svitolina 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-1; former No. 1 and two-time Australian Open titlist Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and 120th-ranked qualifier Evgeniya Rodina of Russian Federation.

"I actually thought the article was interesting, to be honest, because I never knew that I was tested so much more than everyone else", said Williams, who is in search of a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title.

She missed the 2017 tournament as she was pregnant with her daughter Olympia and this year's version is just the fourth event she has played since giving birth last September - and only the second outside the United States.

Five-time champion Venus Williams advanced to the second round with a 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-1 victory over Johanna Larsson.

While there was nothing to suggest Williams had, like certain other champions, abused the TUE system to gain an advantage, the acerbic attitude she displayed to a reasonable question was unsettling, particularly as the only other time she'd been asked it, during a French TV interview in 2016, she walked out.

Having been forced to withdraw from Roland Garros before her scheduled match against Maria Sharapova, it was an encouraging start to her Wimbledon campaign.

She went weeks without practicing her serve because of an injury.

Rus rolled her eyes at that notion after the match, saying: “I mean, she doesnt start a tournament if shes not prepared.”.

Then she revved it up, getting to 115 miles per hour in each set.

Still, Williams had her issues. "Massive challenge for her, but I'm sure one she's up for".

"I didn't play my best but I'll get there".

An immediate break for the 25th seed appeared to signal a comfortable progression, however Rus was not downbeat and battled back to level straight away.

Monday's other Centre Court matches see Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki face Varvara Lepchenko of the United States while Bulgarian sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov, a semi-finalist in 2014, faces three-time major victor Stan Wawrinka.

"I have a lot of expenses that I incur", she explained. Like, ‘What am I doing?.

"I think probably it would be helpful a few more years for the boys to really remember". We, like, literally do everything.

She added: "I haven't played a tremendous amount of tennis since I had the baby".

"It would be impossible for me to not feel some kind of way about that", said Williams, 36.

"I felt guilty", Williams said about her time in Paris.

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