Wimbledon 2016: I was in warrior mode, says Serena Williams after her hard-fought win

London: Defending champion Serena Williams on Friday, said she was ready to kick up a racket at Wimbledon after smashing one up on court.

The world number one, who is fighting for a seventh Wimbledon singles title, said she was angry and ready for any challenge after narrowly surviving a major scare against US compatriot Christina McHale on Friday.

Williams was so incensed with her own performance that she violently smashed her racket repeatedly into the Center Court turf.

Serena Williams celebrates winning her match against USA's Christina McHale. Reuters

Serena Williams celebrates winning her match against USA's Christina McHale. Reuters

But she was able to dig deep and make it through to the third round, where she will face Germany's Annika Beck.

"I've struggled and fought on every surface and I've come out on top," the 34-year-old said.

"Every match I do plan on getting better. I hope to play more matches to get better. I'm ready for any challenge.

"I'm amazing when it comes to tight matches and getting through it, just really fighting till the end. I don't give up," she said after coming from behind to beat world number 65 McHale, 6-7 (7/9), 6-2, 6-4.

"I was definitely in warrior mode. I was out there playing for my life at that point, trying to play to stay in the tournament," said Williams, who is trying to win a Open Era record-equaling 22nd Grand Slam title.

"I've been through a lot in my career, on the court and off the court. I've been in every position you can be in. So I know mentally I'm, hands down, one of the toughest players out here. It's very difficult to break me down mentally."

Racket abuse

After losing the first set tie-break, Williams was given a warning after smashing her racket into the ground five times after sitting down, before letting go -- the racket flying into the stomach of a television cameraman.

"I was just really, really, really angry. I had a lot of chances," said Williams.

"I was a little disappointed in myself at that point. It's definitely a fine.

"I've cracked a number of rackets throughout my career. I've gotten fined a number of times for cracking rackets. In fact, I look at it like I didn't crack one at the French Open or Rome, so I was doing really good.

"I don't want to go too long without cracking a racket. I'm on track. I try to crack a certain amount a year. I'm a little behind this year, so it was good."

Her sister, five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, reached the last 16 on Friday, seeing off Russian teenager Daria Kasatkina 7-5, 4-6, 10-8 in a tie featuring a rain stoppage when she held match point.

The eighth seed, 36, was 7-6, 40-30 up on Kasatkina's serve in the final set on Court One when the tie was halted by the second rain delay of the day.

The two sisters could only meet in the Wimbledon final due to being in separate halves of the draw.

"I'm just glad I don't have to play her in the fourth round, as I do at every Grand Slam," Serena said.

"That's the only thing I'm just happy about. Obviously I'm happy she's won. But I'm just happy I don't have to play her.

"I approach it now as any other match. But in the beginning, obviously I wasn't able to approach it like that.

"Now it's different. It's like, Okay, she's probably my toughest opponent, hands down, that I've ever played. It's never exciting to go against her."

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Updated Date: Jul 02, 2016 14:31:21 IST

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