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I've always been a fighter, says Serena
July 05, 2007 10:07 IST
The American seventh seed beat the Slovak despite collapsing to the ground in agony at 5-5 in the second set with a cramp in her left calf muscle.
After lengthy treatment and two-hour rain break she returned in leggings to power to a 6-2, 6-7, 6-2 victory. She also attracted further criticism for asking for toilet breaks throughout the third set.
Michael Stich, who won his only Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 1991, said on the BBC that Williams was "overreacting" but on Wednesday she took the chance to fire a shot back in his direction.
"I don't really read the press," the eight-times Grand Slam champion told reporters. "I do know the pain I was in. I mean, my career is actually more stellar than Michael Stich's, so he can say whatever he pleases.
"I'm really excited to say that because I have never experienced that much pain. I've never been over-dramatic in my whole career. I've always been a fighter and I've always fought through things my whole life.
"I've never taken a shot at him. If I were in his position to hit on, to make fun of someone in my position, I would never say that."