Serena Williams wasted no time in dispatching her first round opponent at the Australian Open, and shut down a reporter’s post-match question about her royal friend Meghan Markle just as quickly.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion made short work of Russia’s Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-3, the 350th of her grand slam victory of her career - a mark matched only by Roger Federer.
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The world no.9 would might have been expecting a question about her form heading into the tournament, or how she felt after the first round win - but instead, she was asked about the royal family crisis involving Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, who announced their decision to leave the royal family last week.
Williams is a friend of Markle’s but was clearly not interesting in discussing the ongoing saga whatsoever.
“Your good friend, Meghan Markle, who attended your last two slams, and Harry, have taken a move, a stance that many people think is extraordinary and historic,” the reporter started.
“What are your feelings about that? Have you spoken to her?”
Williams, in no mood to deal with the saga as she chases a record 24th Grand Slam victory, was quick to chastise the reporter for asking the question.
“Yeah. I have absolutely no comment on anything with that,” she replied.
“But good try. You tried. You did good.”
Tennis fans ridicule ‘stupid’ question
As much as Williams was unimpressed by the question, so too were fans on social media.
Many were frustrated that one of the world’s best players was being asked questions about the royal family, as well as AFL star Dustin Martin, who she and her husband had a chance encounter with overseas after the AFL season ended.
just watched the @serenawilliams R1 #AusOpen #AusOpen2020 press conference. First question about Meghan Markle. Stupid. If we're gonna have non-tennis questions why not questions about @alexisohanian's quest for paid parental leave in the US? Far more interesting.— Brendan Churchill (@BrenChurchill) January 20, 2020
Totally absurd question. And great reply from Serena.— Jeniffer L. Estrada (@Jeniestra) January 20, 2020
Williams will face Tamara Zidansek in the second round of the open on Wednesday.
Australia has provided a happy hunting ground for Williams, with seven of her 23 major titles coming at Melbourne Park, including her last in 2017 when she beat sister Venus in the final and later announced she was pregnant.
But grand slam success has proven elusive since the birth of daughter Alexis Olympia.
Four times - twice at Wimbledon (2018, 2019) and the US Open (2018, 2019) - Williams has come agonisingly close to Margaret Court’s record of 24 slams, only to fall at the final hurdle.