Serena comes up aces
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Serena Williams had nothing but love for the fans at Rod Laver Arena after winning her 19th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open tennis tournament on Saturday.
As she walked to the microphone to speak to the crowd, someone from the dark arena yelled, “I love you, Serena.”
Williams didn’t miss a beat: “I love you back. I really do.”
“This crowd here in Australia is really good to me,” she said later at her post-match news conference. “I don’t get that everywhere. I really feel my heart really is here.”
Williams also told the crowd about a television commercial she filmed this week to raise awareness about motor neuron disease (MND), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
It’s an ailment that affects the nerve cells controlling the muscles that enable people to move, speak, swallow and breathe.
She got a big cheer when she announced she was increasing her donation for the cause from 100 Australian dollars for every ace she hit in the tournament to $200.
The American led the women at the Australian Open with 88 aces. That’s good for A$17 600, or US$13 675.