Sanchez shrugs off ‘cheating’ accusation by Serena Williams


Paris : Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez laughed off the charge of “cheating” levelled by Serena Williams after the American second seed bludgeoned out a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory into the French Open fourth round Saturday in controversial fashion.

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“I just put my racket up (in defence) and the ball hit it,” said the 26-year-old ranked 43rd, who denied the ball hit her body – a breach of the rules and an automatic point for the opponent. “I don’t want to talk about this.

“I put the racket, and the ball, it was in, so it goes point for me,” she said of the first-set incident on a break point at 2-2.

Williams levelled the charge after her narrow victory, in which she also complained of ill health and difficulty in breathing after almost losing her voice due to sickness in the last few days.

“So the ball hit her body, and therefore, she should have lost the point instead of cheating. “I hit that ball rather hard. She knew that ball hit her.”

The angry American added: “It was clearly my point, and it was like, no way. I would never do that.

“I’ve never done that. I’ve never sunk low, and I would never do that to anyone on this tour and I never have. I’ve always been a really clean player and a good player, and it doesn’t take that to win.”

But Williams appeared to calm the waters just slightly by adding: “I don’t need an apology, like it should have been done out there, like I would never have done that to her or anybody else, so I don’t need an apology.”