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Wimbledon: Serena & Dream Team
News Bytes 07/4/2019 9 Comments

Players used to dread facing Serena Williams, especially at Wimbledon. Nowadays, they seem to be eager to play her—not because they think they can beat Williams, but for the memories.

So when Italy’s Giulia Gatto-Monticone made her Wimbledon debut, she was thrilled to meet Williams. So what if she fell behind 5-0 in 17 minutes and wound up losing 6-2, 7-5?

“Incredibly happy to play her,” Gatto-Monticone says. “Serena is Serena.” The whole day was, “a dream come true,” filled with smiles, tears, and goose bumps. Did Gatto-Monticone think she had a chance against the 23-time Grand Slam winner? “No,” she says, “I never thought that.”

“She told me I’m an amazing player. I don’t know if she really thought so, but she was so nice. I told her she’s the queen of this tournament. I thanked her.”

Then Gatto-Monticone asked Williams for a selfie together. “She was sweet, because I was panicking and I couldn’t find my phone,” Gatto-Monticone recounts. “She said, ‘That’s fine. Don’t worry. I’ll take it with mine and post it on Instagram.’”

Williams faces 18-year-old Kaja Juvan of Slovenia today. Juvan was born more than a year after Williams won the 1999 U.S. Open.

Like Gatto-Monticone, Juvan looks forward to meeting Williams. “I’m glad I got the chance to still play with her,” Juvan says.

Williams’ coach says the pain is gone from Williams’ left knee. “I can actually use my legs now. It’s been a while,” says Williams, who pounded serves at up to 122 mph during the match against Gatto-Monticone. “Now that I can actually use my legs, it just all feels better.”

If the knee holds, Williams and three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray will play for the first time as a mixed doubles team. That event begins today. Watch for tennis fireworks: The Williams-Murray match-up is as high-profile as a team could be.

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Most recent comments

First Comment!

I can see why you would want to play with Serena even if you lost. That must have been so cool for Gatto-Monticone to have Serena take a selfie with her and post it on Instagram.

@everyone who is American

Happy Fourth of July!!

(AH)

Yeah, Happy 4th!

This is so cool! I don't play

This is so cool! I don't play tennis, but yeah, if I ever got to play against someone famous like Serena Williams I would probably just want to meet them, like Gatto-Monticone did. Happy 4th of July, everyone!

To above

I agree! It would be fun to compete in anything in order to meet someone super famous, even though you would lose! My brother wouldn't like that... =)

Happy independence day!!!

I like tennis, even though that I have only played 2 games in my life!! It's really fun! I think it would be fun to play against someone famous!
Happy Independence Day!!

Everyone in America!

Happy 4th of July!

Elsie (Emelias sister)

I love Serena's face in the picture! She is so beautiful!

Happy 4th of July!!!

It's nice to see that some people actually don't mind losing, just enjoying playing with people!

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