Serena is off court schedule
SERENA Williams is poised to lead a revolt against sexist tournament organisers – even as her grand slam immortality looms.
Pursuing Australian Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles, the American is the most successful of all contemporary players, with 20 majors.
Her tally surpasses Roger Federer ( 17) and Rafael Nadal ( 14), but she is furious with what many leading women players believe is biased scheduling.
The players enjoy prizemoney equality, but the top women insist their male counterparts routinely get preferential scheduling.
Williams and Caroline Wozniacki have accused All England Club officials of shunting them to smaller courts.
Wozniacki claimed “different” standards meant women were given fewer opportunities to play on show courts.
“We’re still fighting on that,” Williams said. “We’ve made some progress, but hopefully we’ll keep making more progress.
“Hopefully we’ll get to the point where we’ll even have more featured matches. I don’t think it’s limited to Wimbledon – pretty much most of the tournaments that are both men and women.
“It’s a huge conversation that we have to have.”
Nine of 24 matches scheduled on Centre Court in the first seven days were from the women’s draw.
“I would love to play on a big court,” Wozniacki said. “That’s what it’s all about.
“You work hard and practise to play on the big courts. The women really haven’t gotten the opportunity here to play on the big courts.
“You only get one women’s match on Court One and Centre Court ( a day, until the second Tuesday). Most of last week it was only one women’s match on Court Two as well.
“I think a lot of us women feel we deserve to play on the big courts in front of a big crowd, as well.”
Williams, Maria Sharapova, Garbine Muguruza and Agnieszka Radwanska will play on centre court in the semi- finals and finals.
Williams holds a 17- 2 head- tohead advantage over Sharapova and is a short- priced favourite to land her sixth Wimbledon. If so, she would hold all four majors.
Williams, 33, is aiming to become the first player since German Steffi Graf in 1988 to win the Australian, French, US Open and Wimbledon in the same year.
Five players in history have managed the feat — Australians Rod Laver ( 1962 and ’ 69), Margaret Court ( 1970), Americans Don Budge ( 1938) and Maureen Connolly ( 1953) and Graf.
FIGHTING FIT: Serena
Williams reacts after winning a point against
Victoria Azarenka during their women's quarter- final at