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Busted Racquet

Serena Williams bothered by Melbourne’s nighttime bugs

Chris Chase
Busted Racquet

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Serena Williams wasn't bothered by her 11 p.m. start time and seemed only slightly annoyed at the rusty groundstrokes she was hitting during a first-round win over Tamira Paszek. What really bugged Serena on Tuesday night at the Australian Open was, well, bugs.

A balmy Melbourne night brought out crickets to Rod Laver Arena and they made their presence known to the four-time tournament champion.

"Bugs fell on my back twice," she told reporters after the match. "I hate bugs more than you can imagine. I hate bugs. Like, they kept jumping on me. I just -- yuck!"

Is it safe to say that Serena dislikes bugs as much as she dislikes tennis? (And was anyone else disappointed that there's not some cool Australian slang for the word "crickets"? In my head, "Crocodile Dundee 5" would open with Paul Hogan catching a cricket with his bare hand and saying, "darn hoppers," with his pronunciation of "hoppers" rhyming with the word "tapas." Moving on.)

Serena joked that the bugs should play a factor in when her matches are scheduled.

"I'm going to request not to play at night anymore because I hate bugs," she said. "Except for the final, I heard it's at night, though. I'll try to get used to them."

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