War of words as Serena Williams hits back at Groth
Former Aussie tennis star Sam Groth caused a storm when he lashed out at Serena Williams over her Ash Barty comments and now the undisputed queen of tennis has hit back.
Williams rejected Groth's opinion that she was not supportive of Barty.
"I don't even know what he's talking about," she said.
"I'm happy she's no. 1. I don't know anyone that isn't.
"She's such a sweet person. I don't know.
"I think she's just the one person in the locker room that everyone roots for, including me."
Williams had appeared surprised when asked about Barty's rise earlier in the week.
Groth seized on her comments in a piece for the Herald Sun.
He wrote: "I thought Serena Williams' reaction to Ash Barty becoming world No. 1 last week was an absolute disgrace.
"I don't think what Ash has achieved in recent weeks has actually had the recognition it deserves from a lot of people, but as one of the biggest names in tennis, what Serena said was pretty shitty.
"Claiming she didn't know Ash was number one - I don't care if it was a genuine error or not. In fact if it was genuine it's actually worse."
Barty and Williams have both progressed to the third round of Wimbledon.