Serena Williams has struggled to hide her travel envy after sister Venus put her disappointing Wimbledon campaign behind her by jetting off to Italy for a relaxing break. The 43-year-old five-time All England Club champion received a wildcard entry to her 24th appearance at the grasscourt Grand Slam but, following an early fall, was comprehensively dispatched by fellow wildcard entrant Elina Svitolina, who herself went on to reach the semi-finals.
A downbeat Williams has since jetted off to Puglia in Southern Italy, where she has taken to social media to share a photograph of herself sporting her crimped pink dyed hair on a traditional cobbled street, alongside the caption: “This is it a caption.”
But sister Serena, who retired from the sport last year following her exit from the US Open was not impressed and displayed a clear moment of ‘Insta-envy’ in response.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion commented on the post: “Yea yea yea keep rubbing it in my face lol.”
The older of the Williams sisters looked relaxed and glowing as she took time out in the intense southern European heat. But she was less comfortable with her first-round defeat to Svitolina, which she appeared to blame squarely on her on-court slip.
Speaking to reporters after the Day 1 match, Williams said: “I am not sure what happened. I will have to check. I was in pain and it was difficult to concentrate on the game. The grass is always slippery. It was just bad luck. I started perfectly, then I was killed by the grass. I felt in great shape, but that’s the sport.
“Now I have to figure out what my next plans are. I’m a bit in shock right now. I just can’t believe this happened. It’s bizarre. I do not know. I still have to elaborate. I’ve had so many injuries, so it’s not easy to process what happened. This is not what I want for myself.
“I didn’t do anything wrong, I just tried to hit the ball. Emotionally it’s really hard. I never thought of retiring before the end. I tried to fight and looked for another way to win.”
Injuries have ensured that Williams has only been able to contest four matches all year, winning two of them. The former world No. 1 is now outside the top 500 and is left to consider just how much longer she can keep competing at the top level of women’s professional tennis.
With 49 tour titles to her name, including seven Grand Slams, she has nothing left to prove in the sport but unlike her younger sister Serena, she has not appeared ready to call it a day.