Devastated Venus sobs over fatal car crash

2017-07-04 08:00
Venus Williams (AFP)

London - Venus Williams broke down in tears during a Wimbledon press conference on Monday when she was asked about her involvement in a fatal car crash.

Williams is being sued by the estate of an elderly Florida man who died last month after his vehicle was hit by a car driven by the American star.

The 37-year-old is accused of running a red light, inattentive driving and negligent operation of a vehicle, leaving Jerome Barson with a fractured spine and numerous internal injuries before his death several weeks later.

After her 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 victory over Elise Mertens in the Wimbledon first round, world number 11 Williams was repeatedly asked about the incident by the media and eventually became so emotional she began to cry.

"There are really no words to describe, like, how devastating and - yeah. I'm completely speechless. It's just..." Williams said.

The five-time Wimbledon champion held her head for several moments and asked to leave the room before returning, still visibly shaken, to finish the interview session several minutes later.

Williams, who owns a home near the crash site, last week said she was "heartbroken" over the tragic incident as she prepared to make her 20th appearance at Wimbledon.

She was focused enough on court against Mertens, but it quickly became clear the press conference wasn't going to be so easy to deal with.

Asked about her feelings during such a difficult period, she tried to keep her answers limited to tennis at first.

"I've definitely played a lot of tennis. It's a good thing to be on the court," she said.

"Tennis is still the love of my life. You know, it gives me joy.

"This is my 20th Wimbledon. I never thought that I'd play this many. But I'm grateful to be here and to play."

The accident remains under investigation and Williams has not been charged.

Williams' attorney, Malcolm Cunningham said his client entered an intersection on a green light that turned red during her turn, but she was stuck in the intersection because of traffic.

The police report said Williams was deemed at fault for blocking the right of way of the other vehicle.

When she was asked how she was coping mentally, Williams added: "I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. That's all I can say about it. That's what I've learned."

At such a traumatic time, the seven-time Grand Slam winner admitted she would have loved to be able to spend more time with her sister Serena.

But reigning Wimbledon champion Serena is out of action at the moment as she prepares to give birth to her first child later this year.

"I miss her a lot. I think she misses me," Venus said.

Wimbledon results on Monday, the first day of the 2017 championships at the All England Club (x denotes seeding):


First round

Andy Murray (GBR x1) bt Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 6-1, 6-4, 6-2

Dustin Brown (GER) bt João Sousa (POR) 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-4

Jirí Veselý (CZE) bt Illya Marchenko (UKR) 6-1, 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1

Fabio Fognini (ITA x28) bt Dmitry Tursunov (RUS) 6-1, 6-3, 6-3

Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) bt Nick Kyrgios (AUS x20) 6-3, 6-4 -- retired

Benoît Paire (FRA) bt Rogério Dutra Silva (BRA) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (12/10), 6-4

Jerzy Janowicz (POL) bt Denis Shapovalov (CAN) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/2)

Lucas Pouille (FRA x14) bt Malek Jaziri (TUN) 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2)

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x12) bt Cameron Norrie (GBR) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

Simone Bolelli (ITA) bt Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE) 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4

Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) bt Carlos Berlocq (ARG) 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 6-1

Sam Querrey (USA x24) bt Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) 7-6 (7/5), 7-5, 6-2

Kevin Anderson (RSA) bt Fernando Verdasco (ESP x31) 2-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (10/8), 6-3

Andreas Seppi (ITA) bt Norbert Gombos (SVK) 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1

Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) bt Tommy Haas (GER) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5

Daniil Medvedev (RUS) bt Stan Wawrinka (SUI x5) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1

Rafael Nadal (ESP x4) bt John Millman (AUS) 6-1, 6-3, 6-2

Donald Young (USA) bt Denis Istomin (UZB) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 4-2 -- retired

Thiago Monteiro (BRA) bt Andrew Whittington (AUS) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/5)

Karen Khachanov (RUS x30) bt Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) 7-6 (7/4), 2-6, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2

Aljaz Bedene (GBR) bt Ivo Karlovic (CRO x21) 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (8/6), 6-7 (7/9), 7-6 (9/7), 8-6

Damir Džumhur (BIH) bt Renzo Olivo (ARG) 6-2, 6-0, 6-1

Lukáš Rosol (CZE) bt Henri Laaksonen (SUI) 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4

Gilles Muller (LUX x16) bt Márton Fucsovics (HUN) 7-5, 6-4, 6-2

Kei Nishikori (JPN x9) bt Marco Cecchinato (ITA) 6-2, 6-2, 6-0

Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) bt Julien Benneteau (FRA) 6-3, 7-6 (10/8), 2-6, 6-2

Peter Gojowczyk (GER) bt Marius Copil (ROM) 7-6 (7/5), 2-6, 6-3, 6-1

Roberto Bautista (ESP x18) bt Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT) 6-3, 6-1, 6-2

Steve Johnson (USA x26) bt Nicolás Kicker (ARG) 6-4, 7-5, 6-3

Florian Mayer (GER) bt Viktor Troicki (SRB) 6-1 - retired

Marin Cilic (CRO x7) bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-4, 6-2, 6-3


First round

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x8) bt Andrea Petkovic (GER) 6-3, 3-6, 9-7

Jennifer Brady (USA) bt Danka Kovinic (MNE) 6-3, 6-1

Irina Begu (ROM) bt Naomi Broady (GBR) 6-4, 6-2

Ana Konjuh (CRO x27) bt Sabine Lisicki (GER) 6-1, 6-4

Barbora Strýcová (CZE x22) bt Verónica Cepede (PAR) 6-3, 6-3

Naomi Osaka (JPN) bt Sara Sorribes (ESP) 6-3, 7-6 (7/3)

Wang Qiang (CHN) bt Kai-Chen Chang (TPE) 6-3, 6-4

Venus Williams (USA x10) bt Elise Mertens (BEL) 7-6 (9/7), 6-4

Jelena Ostapenko (LAT x13) bt Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 6-0, 1-6, 6-3

Françoise Abanda (CAN) bt Kurumi Nara (JPN) 6-2, 6-4

Camila Giorgi (ITA) bt Alize Cornet (FRA) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4

Madison Keys (USA x17) bt Nao Hibino (JPN) 6-4, 6-2

Carina Witthoeft (GER) bt Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO x26) 6-3, 5-7, 8-6

Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) bt Irina Khromacheva (RUS) 6-3, 6-4

Francesca Schiavone (ITA) bt Mandy Minella (LUX) 6-1, 6-1

Elina Svitolina (UKR x4) bt Ashleigh Barty (AUS) 7-5, 7-6 (10/8)

Johanna Konta (GBR x6) bt Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) 6-2, 6-2

Donna Vekic (CRO) bt Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 6-1

Maria Sakkari (GRE) bt Katerina Siniaková (CZE) 6-3, 6-4

Kristýna Plíšková (CZE) bt Roberta Vinci (ITA x31) 7-6 (8/6), 6-2

Caroline Garcia (FRA x21) bt Jana Cepelová (SVK) 6-1, 6-1

Ana Bogdan (ROM) bt Duan Ying-Ying (CHN) 6-4, 6-2

Madison Brengle (USA) bt Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 6-3, 6-3

Petra Kvitova (CZE x11) bt Johanna Larsson (SWE) 6-3, 6-4

Elena Vesnina (RUS x15) bt Anna Blinkova (RUS) 6-4, 5-7, 6-2

Victoria Azarenka (BLR) bt CiCi Bellis (USA) 3-6, 6-2, 6-1

Heather Watson (GBR) bt Maryna Zanevska (BEL) 6-1, 7-6 (7/5)

Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) bt Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-1, 7-6 (7/3)

Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP x25) bt Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) 1-6, 6-1, 6-1

Peng Shuai (CHN) bt Markéta Vondroušová (CZE) 6-7 (5/7), 6-0, 6-4

Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) bt Laura Robson (GBR) 6-4, 6-2

Simona Halep (ROM x2) bt Marina Erakovic (NZL) 6-4, 6-1

Read more on:    wta tour  |  wimbledon 2017  |  venus williams  |  tennis


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