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.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Chelsea are interested in loaning out Romelu Lukaku to Everton again next season
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
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.

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series