Wimbledon number one seed Serena Williams described a local woman as ‘really cool’ last week during one of her post match press conferences.
Coleraine woman Sarah Gilchrist has been going to Wimbledon every year for the past eight years.
She describes herself as Serena’s number one fan, and last week, Sarah not only got a ‘selfie’ with her idol, but she also claimed one of her slightly damaged tennis rackets.
“We camp out every year for tickets,” Sarah told Times Sport. “I am a big fan of Serena Williams, she gets a hard time in the press, but she is a lovely girl and a great athlete.
“I know from following her on snap chat that she loves tacos, so I got a t-shirt made that I wanted her to sign.
“When she came off the court after her first match last Tuesday, she spotted me and gave me a hug.
“I then asked her for a photograph, but my hands were so shakey, she ended up taking my phone and taking the photograph herself,” she joked.
Sarah and her partner Laura were lucky enough to get tickets to the star’s second game, last Friday.
“My idea was to give her the t-shirt with the taco snap chat logo on it. We got the exact same seats as the before, but things weren’t going too well this time for Serena.
“It looked like she was going to get beat. She lost her opening set in her match against Christina McHale in a tiebreaker. She slammed her racket against the turf, and then flung the racket at the cameraman,” explained Sarah.
“Being the professional that she is Serena turned things around and won the match.
“On the way off the court, I spoke to her again, and I asked her where the damaged racket was. “She told me she wasn’t sure, and then she called one of the security men over, and told him to find the racket and give it to me.
“He then went to look for the racket, he then gave it to her, she signed it and gave it to me. I couldn’t believe it.”
That wasn’t the end of Sarah’s fame - for the talented American went on to mention our Sarah in her post match press conference!
“I have been getting loads of messages from people who watched the game and saw me on television,” told Sarah.
Serena told the press conference that Sarah was ‘really cool’ and joked about the t-shirt Sarah was wearing commenting: ‘Yeah, she knows I like tacos’.
“The racket itself has three cracks on it, explained Sarah, “I am hoping to get it mounted with my ticket from the game. “It has her name engraved inside, and then she signed the white grip.
“I still can’t believe it,” she said.