Serena Williams has just added another title to her string of incredible achievements; Queen of the press conference.
After beating her sister Venus in what she describes as an ‘incredibly tough’ U.S Open quarterfinal match, the tennis pro was then obliged to attend a press conference.
It took place after 11pm on the same day, following the match which was no doubt both physically and emotionally draining. Williams is just a few victories away from winning every grand slam tournament this year, and had to defeat her own sister to edge closer to that goal.
So when questions from reporters almost exclusively took on a ‘sibling rivalry’ angle, it’s fair to say Williams got a little tired.
12 questions in to the press conference – two were about Williams’ thoughts on Steffi Graff, none were about her next opponent - one reporter asked why Williams didn’t look particularly cheery.
“You just won a match. Normally you smile when you win you come here, you laugh. What happens tonight? Is just because you beat Venus or because you’re thinking about what is going next? What’s wrong?”
Williams replied: “It’s 11:30. To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t want to be here. I just want to be in bed right now. I have to wake up early to practice.”
“I don’t want to answer any of these questions and you keep asking me the same questions. It’s not really — you’re not making it super enjoyable [laughs].”
The honesty didn’t end there. As the reporter began to move onto a new question, Williams cut in with: “Is it about Venus again?
With her direct approach to the ‘why aren’t you smiling’ issue, Serena has joined the ranks of women in the spotlight urging the media to widen the net when it comes to the topics covered in interviews.
At this year’s Oscars Reese Witherspoon took a stand with the #AskHerMore campaign, asking that reporters talk to female actors about more than just what they’re wearing.
“This is a movement to say we're more than just our dresses," says Witherspoon. "It's great the dresses are beautiful - we love the artists that make all these clothes - but, you know.”
"This is a group of women - 44 nominees - and we are so happy to be here and talk about the work we've done. It's exciting for me to get to talk to other nominees to talk to other women about the work they've done.”
Kristen Stewart and Emma Stone have also used the spotlight to highlight the differences in questions they’re regularly asked, compared with their male co-stars.
Teaming up for a Funny or Die sketch, Stewart and America Ultra co-star Jessie Eisenberg hit the nail on the head with this script flip…
Images: Rex Features