GRAND SHAM

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Front Page - TAY­LOR AUERBACH

THE START

Ten­nis su­per­star Ser­ena Wil­liams cheats in her own

fun run by catching a cab THE worl­world’s No.1 women’s ten­nis star Ser­ena Wil­liams has been caught out catching

a ccab dur­ing a 5km char­ity run that was rais­ing funds for her own foun­da­tion. The 34 yeyear old was spot­ted hail­ing a taxi near the 2km mark of the Ser­ena Wil­liams Live UlUl­ti­mate Run South Beach in Miami be­fore be­ing dropped off near the fin­ish

lin­line about half an hour later. The un­ex­plained short­cut has sent shock­waves througth­rough the in­ter­na­tional ten­nis com­mu­nity less than a month be­fore she is due

DowDown Un­der for the Hop­man Cup and Aus­tralian Open.

AUS­TRALIAN spon­sors of Ser­ena Wil­liams and The Aus­tralian Open were last night duck­ing for cover af­ter the fe­male ten­nis leg­end was caught tak­ing a cab-as­sisted short­cut in her own char­ity fun run in the US.

In a stun­ning un­forced er­ror, the world No.1 stopped to hail a taxi less than half­way in to the 5km Live Ul­ti­mate Run event in South Beach, Miami, Florida as fel­low com­peti­tors looked on in shock.

The char­ity event, staged just five weeks out from the Aus­tralian Open, was rais­ing money for the Ser­ena Wil­liams Fund — an or­gan­i­sa­tion set up by the 21time ma­jor win­ner to help im­pov­er­ished African chil­dren.

About 20 min­utes into the run, near the 2km mark of the event, Wil­liams stopped and hailed a taxi be­fore be­ing dropped off near the fin­ish line about half and hour later.

“I didn’t run the whole way this year but next year I will,” she later ad­mit­ted in a video watched more than 400,000 times.

Ser­ena’s star sis­ter Venus was also tak­ing part in the char­ity run and man­aged to com­plete the event with­out catching a lift from nearby cab­bies.

Re­garded as a mas­sive draw­card at ev­ery tour­na­ment she plays, Wil­liams has not com­peted since she was bun­dled out of the US Open by Roberta Vinci in Septem­ber.

She later an­nounced she would be tak­ing the rest of the year off to nurse knee and shoul­der in­juries.

But Ten­nis Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig Ti­ley last night said there was no ques­tion about Wil­liams’ fit­ness.

“If there’s any sug­ges­tion Ser­ena is not pre­pared for the ten­nis sea­son ahead, you’d be se­ri­ously un­der­es­ti­mat­ing her abil­ity,” Mr Ti­ley said.

Pic­ture: Splash News

Cab-catching Ser­ena Wil­liams with sis­ter Venus who com­pleted the 5km fun run on foot.

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