In a surprising announcement, Wimbledon officials have decided that Serena Williams will not be playing in front of the Queen, despite the US tennis champ's obvious excitement about the opportunity. But why?
When it was announced that the Queen of England would visit the courts at Wimbledon for the first time in 33 years, Serena Williams wasted no time perfecting her curtsy and planning her outfit. She told reporters that she was "speechless" at the thought of playing in front of the monarch. "My curtsy is really fun," she said on Tuesday. "It is a little dramatic... It's something that she'll definitely never forget, if I ever even get a chance to meet her." She also promised to wear something "more conservative," and play "champagne" tennis. Rumor has it that she was considering wearing a tiara during the match, though Williams never mentioned this possibility to reporters (and it seems unlikely, considering her earlier pledges to "tone down" her apparel and her obvious glee at the "honor" of playing in front of the royal figure).
However, officials announced today that Williams will not be playing on the center court, where the Queen will be watching from the Royal Box. Instead, Williams will play Anna Chakvetadze on Court 2, while Caroline Wozniacki and Kai-Chen Chang get star treatment. According to the Herald Sun, Williams is "devastated" about the decision. Several sources have deemed it a "royal snub." "Did she briefly wonder about wanting to stuff a tennis racket down the scheduler's throat?" Diane Pucin rather snarkily asks at the LA Times.
Maybe Williams was upset - seeing as she hasn't released a statement, we don't really know. But according to the SW19 Diary, there is no reason for her to feel slighted. Instead of seeing the move as a snub, the Independent suggests that it may have been a way to avoid an awkward moment:
Because the Queen will not necessarily stay all day at the Club. And imagine the headlines if she stayed for Murray and then left before Serena played. That would look really bad. The odds about her staying as long as the second match on Centre are deemed to be long. As someone familiar with the situation suggestion to the Diary: "It's boiling hot. She's 84. And she f***ing hates tennis."
Fortunately, Serena will still get to meet the queen in a special ceremony before play starts. So although she won't be playing on center court, she will still get a chance to demonstrate her moves.
Serena Williams Vows To Produce Champagne Tennis For The Queen [Mirror]
Royal Snub For Serena Williams [Herald Sun]
Serena Williams 'To Dress More Conservatively' For The Queen [Telegraph]
Did Serena Williams Get The Royal Snub? [LA Times]
Serena Match Proves Too Hot For Queen To Handle [Independent]