Serena on her best behaviour for SW19

Nine months after her foul-mouthed outburst at a US Open line judge cost her a fine of $82,500 (about £56,000), Serena Williams is promising to be on her best behaviour when Wimbledon starts next week.

"I've demolished a few rackets here, but I'll try not to do that this year," the defending champion said yesterday after her return to the All England Club. "I didn't break any at the French Open. I think that was my first Slam in years where I haven't done that."

Williams, whose fine will be doubled if she offends again at a Grand Slam event over the next two years, did not think the incident in New York would affect her relationship with the Wimbledon crowd. "It was a while ago," she said. "I think people can really understand my passion for the game and how much I love to play and how much I love to just be out there competing on the court."

After losing in the quarter-finals of the French Open Williams spent the best part of a fortnight back home training in the Florida heat. "I've just hit on grass here today and yesterday," she said. "There aren't too many grass courts in the US, so I just adopt Andre Agassi's method. I read once about how he never practised on the grass, he just played on hard courts."

Is she ever tempted to miss a training session? "Every day I wake up and think: 'On no, I've got to practise again.' I feel like Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day". But once I get on the court I rediscover my desire.

"As an athlete, especially when you're a professional, you have to think to yourself: 'If I'm not practising then someone else is.' You might think you could just go home, but that would always be at the back of your mind. The only way to make that constant noise in the back of your head go away is to go out and practise.

"When you don't enjoy doing something I think you shouldn't continue to do it, but I'm healthy and I have a great opportunity in front of me. I feel that when you're given a chance and an opportunity to do something that you love or that you're good at then you should definitely take it."

Williams said she had been following the World Cup closely, watching "every match, every day". She said her "football obsession" started on a previous trip to Britain and extended to a trip to Stamford Bridge to watch Chelsea play. The World Cup final takes place the weekend after Wimbledon ends and Williams said she was organising a party at her home to watch it.

Would she be requesting start times at Wimbledon that did not clash with World Cup matches? "The problem is that I have so many teams I'm rooting for," she said. "I would have so many requests that I would never play."

PROMOTED VIDEO
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.

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore