Centre Court snub angers Serena

Defending champion hints at conspiracy as Williams sisters are shunted to No 2 Court while elite men stay put

Serena Williams suggested here yesterday that there was a conspiracy to keep herself and her sister Venus off the two main show courts. The defending champion made her comments after defeating Romania's Simona Halep on No 2 Court, where Venus played her first match on Monday.

The sisters have won Wimbledon in nine of the last 11 years and Serena said she did not understand why they had to play on No 2 Court when the leading male players are rarely scheduled anywhere other then Centre or No 1 Court. Twelve months ago Serena complained when her match against Anna Chakvetadze was put on No 2 Court on the day the Queen visited Wimbledon and watched on Centre Court.

"They like to put us on Court 2, me and Venus, for whatever reason," Serena said. "I haven't figured it out yet. Maybe one day we'll figure it out."

When asked about the treatment of the leading men, Serena said: "They're never moved across. Actually, Venus and I have won more Wimbledons together than a lot of the players. It doesn't look like they're going to change." She added: "I don't make it a big issue. I think at some point maybe I should."

A spokesman for the All England Club said: "Match scheduling at Wimbledon is a complex business and involves the referee and his experienced team in trying to achieve a fair and balanced draw from many competing interests and wishes, including the players. There is certainly no intention to favour any player or players and in this instance I am sure the 4,000 spectators on No 2 Court would have been delighted to see our reigning ladies' champion win."

Yesterday's order of play appeared to offer some support for Serena's argument about the leading men. Roger Federer's match against Adrian Mannarino was scheduled on Centre Court despite the fact the French No 7 was never likely to offer much of a threat to the six-times champion, who won in straight sets. It would be hard to imagine Federer or Rafael Nadal playing on No 2 Court this year.

Rain again disrupted play yesterday and many spectators were disappointed the matches featuring Laura Robson and Elena Baltacha never started. Both Britons were scheduled as final matches on a day when rain was predicted. Robson's match against Maria Sharapova was arguably the match of the day, but it was scheduled for No 1 Court rather than Centre Court, which has the roof.

The referee tries to ensure matches in the same part of the draw are played at similar times, in order not to give one player an advantage over a future opponent. Eyebrows will be raised again with today's order of play. While Robson and Sharapova are on No 1 Court, Victoria Azarenka and Daniela Hantuchova are given Centre Court billing. Andy Roddick, who plays Feliciano Lopez, is also on Centre Court again, while Nadal against the big-serving Gilles Muller will be on Court 1.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week