Venus Williams lost to Elena Dementieva in the 2004 Nasdaq-100 QF
Venus Williams was at the receiving end of many a tirade during the early years of her career over accusations of feigning injuries.
At Indian Wells in 2001, Williams who withdrew ahead of a match against her sister was targeted unfairly while Elena Dementieva called her an actress for taking a medical break in 2004.
Venus Williams, who appeared to injure her ankle in the second set of the Nasdaq-100 Open quarterfinal against Dementieva, eventually lost 3-6, 7-5, 6-7.
“After the medical break I was thinking she was a good actress because she was moving so much better than before,” Dementieva stated after the match.
Williams’ grimace after an on-court fall did little to convince her Russian opponent who opined that the California-born player’s movement remained unaffected.
“On her face it looked like she had something very painful, but then she started to move very well,” said Dementieva who lost two points after Williams’ break.
Williams, however, contested Elena Dementieva’s claims vehemently arguing that she clearly twisted her ankle as a result of the fall before taking a nine-minute injury break.
“Maybe I should talk to her. I clearly twisted my ankle and I had issues there. But if that’s the way she feels, that’s fine,” Williams declared.
“These days, to be a champ and to be a winner, you have to play under all circumstances and I think that’s what I did. I just tried to ignore it,” she added.
Elena Dementieva was vocal about the Williams’ sisters on more than one occasion, making startling predictions like she did at the 2001 Indian Wells Open.
“I think Richard will decide who’s going to win tomorrow” – Elena Dementieva after losing to Venus Williams in 2001 Indian Wells QF
Elena Dementieva in action at Indian Wells
Elena Dementieva made the headlines back in 2001 for declaring that Venus Williams’ father Richard would decide the outcome of an upcoming Indian Wells match.
Dementieva made the astonishing assertion after Venus Williams defeated her 6-0, 6-3 to set up a match against sister Serena Williams in the semifinals of the 2001 Indian Wells Open.
“I mean, I don’t know what Richard thinks about it. I think he (Richard) will decide who’s going to win tomorrow. But it looks like Serena because I saw a little bit of this match, she played extremely well. I think she will be in the final,” Dementieva claimed.
Venus Williams was quick to trash Dementieva’s statements, saying rumours were more exciting than the truth.
“No, it’s not a true opinion at all. Everyone makes their own comments. That’s how rumors get started. I guess rumors are more exciting than the truth,” said Williams in response.
As it turned out, Venus Williams pulled out of the Indian Wells semifinal just before the match was scheduled to begin, citing a foot injury.
Serena Williams was booed by the crowd during her title clash against Kim Clijsters since fans believed that Venus Williams’ last-minute withdrawal was manipulated by her father Richard.