Venus Williams beats Elise Mertens (7-6, 6-4)
Leaves press conference in tears
Facing questions from the media at Wimbledon about her involvement in a fatal car accident, a tearful Venus Williams said what has happened has been “devastating.”
The 37-year-old Williams comfortably beat Belgian No. 1 Elise Mertens on Court 1 Monday – winning 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 – but was lost for words when asked about the crash.
A police report says that Venus Williams is responsible for the car accident earlier this month in Florida, which caused injuries to a 78-year-old man who later died.
The Palm Beach Gardens Police report states the accident occurred on June 9 in Palm Beach Gardens and the victim, Jerome Barson, was a passenger in a car that was driven by his wife, Linda Barson.
The victim’s family has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Williams, alleging negligence.
After beating Mertens, Williams was repeatedly asked about the incident by the media and eventually became so emotional she began to cry.
“There are really no words to describe, like, how devastating and – yeah. I’m completely speechless. It’s just …” Williams said.
The five-time Wimbledon singles champion held her head for several moments and asked to leave the room before returning, still visibly shaken, to finish the interview session several minutes later.