“Watching defeat is like stabbing myself”
NEW YORK: Olympic and Wimbledon champion Serena Williams admitted on Saturday that watching horror-show video repeats of her defeats was akin to stabbing herself.
The American star spoke after reaching the fourth round of the US Open courtesy of a straightforward 6-4, 6-0 win over Russia’s world 42 Ekaterina Makarova, the woman who knocked her out of the Australian Open this year.
That fourth-round loss was followed by a shock first-round exit at the French Open at the hands of Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano, her worst ever loss at a major.
“Whether I learned something (from the defeat at the Australian Open), I don’t know. I really hate watching matches that I lose unless I’m punishing myself,” said Williams.
“I used to watch those matches. It was so painful. It was like stabbing myself. I don’t like to do that. I have tried either not to lose or not to watch matches that I lost.
“It’s just not a good feeling because I already know the result. I’m telling you, it’s very painful. It’s really like cutting yourself to me.”
Williams, the US Open champion in 1999, 2002 and 2008, also revealed that her first round defeat to Razzano in Paris in May caused her to ignore coverage of the match as well as dumping the dresses she wore.
“I threw them all away, actually,” said the 30-year-old, 14-time Grand Slam title winner.
Williams, the fourth seed in New York this year, fired 31 winners and eight aces past Makarova will next face either another Russian, Maria Kirilenko, the 14th seed, or unseeded Czech Andrea Hlavackova.
“After 4-4, I started to play better and more consistent. She’s a good opponent,” said Williams, who now has 61 wins in New York, the same as sister Venus, who was knocked out in the second round.
Williams will turn 31 next month, but has no intention of joining Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick in retirement.
“I can’t leave you guys. I love this sport way too much. I need to stay here for tennis,” she told the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd in the aftermath of her win.
The world number four, who has five titles this year, was also quizzed on the strange-sounding “aye yi yi” sound she emits everytime she misses a shot.
“My friend actually is Mexican. She was telling me a long time ago that I do that. I’m like, ‘Really?’ She said, ‘Yeah.’ I was like, ‘I didn’t know.’
“She claims that I have been doing that since we have been friends because she does it all the time. Maybe she rubbed off on me. I didn’t even realize that I did that.”