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Beyond the Baseline

Serena Williams speaks out about Wozniacki impression

Serena Williams has finally commented on Caroline Wozniacki's now-infamous impression of her, for which many criticized the Dane. During an exhibition in Brazil earlier this month, Wozniacki stuffed towels under her shirt and skirt in an attempt to spoof Williams' body type. It wasn't the first time Wozniacki -- or, for that matter, any tennis player -- has done the impersonation that way, but the mainstream media picked up on the story and Wozniacki was accused of being racist.

USA Today contacted Williams, who is in Mauritius training with other members of the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy after minor toe surgeries. Williams said she hasn't actually seen the clip, but she doesn't have a problem with the stunt.

In an e-mail, the 15-time major winner said she saw no ill-intent from Wozniacki.

"I know Caro and I would call her my friend and I don't think she (meant) anything racist by it," she wrote from the island of Mauritius off the coast of Africa, where she is training in preparation for the Australia swing.

Serena also didn't see why critics zeroed in on Wozniacki when other players, such as Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic, have done similar impressions. The fact is the caricature has been around for years -- Williams jokes about her physique regularly, once referring to Rafael Nadal as her fellow "Booty Brother" -- and the criticism of Wozniacki seems arbitrary.

"(Roddick) and (Djokovic) do it all the time and Caro does (it) and now it's racist.??" she wrote.

That said, Williams did drop hints that it was time for players to find a new angle to poke fun at her to avoid this type of backlash.

Williams, however, hinted that while she was not personally bothered if others are then Wozniacki might at least be guilty of bad taste. "I must add if people feel this way she should take reason and do something different next time," she concluded, punctuating her sentence with a smiley emoticon.

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