Wimbledon’s Centre Court celebrated its 100-year birthday with a ceremony littered with some of tennis’ greats including Rod Laver, Billie Jean King, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to name four.
However, a seven-time champion was a notable absence and the reason behind her no-show is puzzling.
Despite competing in this year’s edition of the tournament and being bundled out in the first round by world No. 611 Harmony Tan, Serena Williams was nowhere to be found.
According to The Telegraph, Williams gave the ceremony a miss due to Wimbledon officials not granting her request for five courtesy cars to be used during the tournament.
Most players are given one courtesy car, with some of the higher-ranked players competing even given two cars.
However, the report claims Williams wanted five cars: for herself, her husband, her sister, her mother and her coach.
A Wimbledon source told The Telegraph that Williams was disappointed when her request to have five vehicles beyond the regular 24-hour window after a player has been knocked out was denied.
“She wanted to use the cars for the whole two weeks because that’s what happens at the other grand slams,” the source said.
“She was told that was not possible because they had to be used by the other players. She was not happy.
“Maybe that’s why she refused to take part in the centenary parade.”
Journalists who quizzed tournament officials why Williams was absent from the Centre Court ceremony were informed she’d “gone home” with many assuming that meant a return back to the United States.
But pictures surfaced of her and her husband at a Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park before the 23-time grand slam champion popped up at a restaurant in Mayfair and the premiere of Thor: Love and Thunder at Leicester Square.