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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007, 06:54 GMT 07:54 UK
Serena hits out at Stich comments
Serena Williams
Williams was treated on court for several minutes
Serena Williams has responded angrily to claims by BBC Sport pundit Michael Stich that she exaggerated her injury during her win over Daniela Hantuchova.

Williams suffered a calf problem during the second set against Hantuchova.

Play was then halted by rain, with Williams eventually completing a three-set win over her Slovak rival.

"My career is actually more stellar than Stich's, so he can say whatever he pleases. I've never been over-dramatic in my whole career," said Williams.

"I have never experienced that much pain. I've always been a fighter and I've always fought through things my whole life."

Williams collapsed in agony after suffering a calf strain at 5-5 in the second set of her match against Hantuchova on Monday.

Considering the circumstances, I think I did pretty well

Serena Williams

When play resumed, Williams was unable to run, but after a rain delay during which she received treatment, she returned to wrap up a three-set win.

Her recovery prompted BBC Five Live pundit Stich to say: "You're either injured or you're not, I'm not sure what we saw last night."

But Williams hit back: "I've never taken a shot at him. If I were in his position to hit on, to make fun of someone in my position, I would never say that."

However, speaking to BBC Five Live on Thursday, Stich stood by his remarks.

"I never criticised her career. Winning all four Slams is outstanding, there's no doubt about it," said the 1991 Wimbledon champion.

"I believe she was in pain but I think it was a little bit of overreacting."

Williams had her calf heavily strapped for her quarter-final match against top seed Justine Henin on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old American's left hand was also bandaged because she had sprained a thumb.

But despite her problems, she gave Henin a scare before eventually going down 4-6 6-3 3-6 to the world number one and French Open champion.

"I can't be too disappointed yet," said Williams, who was seeded seventh. "I obviously wanted to win here and I really felt like I was going to.

It's disrespectful to say 'if I had been fit I would have beaten her'

Michael Stich

"It was a last-minute decision to play today and I was almost able to do it. Considering the circumstances, I think I did pretty well.

"If I had been healthy I think I would have won, definitely."

But Williams drew more criticism from Stich for blaming her defeat to Henin on injury.

"I always believe if a player goes to the court then they are fit to play and if they lose they shouldn't use any excuse," said the German.

"Either you're fit or not and there's nothing in between. I think it's disrespectful to say 'if I had been fit I would have beaten her'."

After her loss to Henin, Williams announced she had pulled out of the women's doubles.

She was due to partner older sister Venus, who is still in the singles event.

Henin overcomes battling Serena
04 Jul 07 |  Tennis
Henin v Serena as it happened
04 Jul 07 |  Tennis


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