Skate fan Serena ready to show her moves against Barbora Strycova


Serena Williams is ready for a battle of the skaters when she goes up against Barbora Strycova in the Australian Open last 16.

Strycova, ranked 16th in the world, was a talented figure skater as a youngster growing up in the Czech Republic before deciding to focus on tennis at 12 years old.

Williams is also a keen skater, although on ice, and has previously been filmed showing off her moves with Caroline Wozniacki in New York.

“I can’t do a triple Lutz, but I can maybe do a double,” Williams said, smiling.

“I have no idea. I just close my eyes and I just spin and I pray I don’t fall. If I do, I get up.
“I used to ice-skate when I was younger but I was never a figure skater.

“Obviously I watched the winter Olympics, and the figure skating was the only thing I wanted to see.”
Williams is still very much standing at the Australian Open after thrashing fellow American Nicole Gibbs 6-1 6-3 in round three on Saturday.

Despite tough opening tests against Belinda Bencic and Lucie Safarova, the 22-grand slam champion is yet to drop a set in Melbourne and looks in ominous form heading into the second week.

“It was good. I was so pumped up going against my first two opponents but I think that helped me out today,” Williams said “She started out really, really well, started with a lot of energy, and then I felt like at the same I really needed that. She really had a strong start.”

Williams’ victory over Gibbs also came exactly 19 years after she first officially played her sister Venus in the 1998 Australian Open second round.

Venus triumphed 7-6 (7/4) 6-1 in the first of 27 career meetings, with Serena winning 16 overall and Venus 11.

“I remember the draw came out and I had to play her in the second round,” Serena said.

“I remember, I think we had a tough first set, and then she really went through in the second. Then she went on, I think, to the quarter-finals.

“She had a really good tournament that year. It was a great time. We really had so much fun playing. It was really exciting.

“Looking back, and looking at those moments, you don’t really get those moments back, but you can remember them so well.”

Venus, the oldest player in the women’s singles draw at 36, plays German qualifier Mona Barthel in the fourth round on Sunday.

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