© Ella Ling

Serena Williams

Oddballs and Oddities


It’s been a busy week for Serena Williams in the world of random tennis news…

What happens when you play in your home tournament
You get to go in the main interview room, even if you lost or retired, sending Grand Slam champions into the smaller interview room. Not naming any names, Flavia Pennetta.

Power to the player
Forbes magazine has produced its customary ‘100 most powerful celebrities’ list, and it features a fair few tennis players, which is always good to see. Roger Federer is No.31, Rafael Nadal No.47, Maria Sharapova No.71, Serena Williams No.77, and Li Na No.87.

Federer is fourth on the most powerful athletes’ list, behind Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

When an action speaks a thousand words
Li Na celebrated reaching the semi-finals in Rome by pointing very angrily at her head. Is this a variation on the finger-wag? Or simply her admitting her mental strength can be a bit wobbly. Either way, it was dramatic.

Serena raps back
Turns out Serena Williams didn’t want the world to know about her rapping prowess.

“I was in the studio with friends and I wanted to do something and so they said, ‘Do this,’ and it was for me. The next thing I know, that was one or two years ago, and then I read online that I was a rapper and so my backstabbing friends did that to me and so if I see them, I will act like a rapper—if you can get my drift.”

This looks like fun
As a tiny tot, I was quite partial to diving into those pools of plastic balls you get at fun day out places. So here’s the tennis equivalent. Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova mucking around on a great big pile of the yellow fuzzies.


A Serena-ism, if ever there was one. It was how she described the tour’s top men for complaining about the blue clay.

“Women are way tougher than men,” she said. “That’s why we have the babies, you guys could never handle kids. We ladies don’t complain we just do our best. On the WTA we are real performers, we are not about going out there and being weenies.”

No longer sweetness and light…
…on the WTA, apparently. Now that Serena’s back and Azarenka’s on top, the women’s tour is a far less ray-of-sunshine place than it was in Wozniacki’s day. Agree or disagree?

Who comes off worse?
A neat graphic of what the world’s best players would look like as the tennis Avengers. I think Murray wins. But who loses most?

Um, help?
The Bryan brothers appear in two of the most incongruous photos I’ve ever seen. Shot by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue.

When Will met Roger
Roger Federer managed to win the Madrid Masters at the same time as Will Smith hosted the Men in Black 3 premiere. At the same venue. They even had time to swop suits.

A third Serena story..
Just for good measure. The American champ is the latest celebrity to explore couture for dogs, as show in this interview with Anderson. Wonder what Maggie May thinks.


  • Cheesecake

    Excellent Oddballs this week, really enjoyed it.

    Definitely agree with the sunshine-Wozniacki thing. I miss seeing her on top of the rankings.