The tennis ace says at Wimbledon that she can't keep her eyes off another game

By Pete Norman
Updated June 22, 2004 03:00 PM

By day, Serena Williams is the reigning queen of Wimbledon – but by night, she’s just your average, obsessed English soccer fan.

Speaking at the post-match press conference after her first round defeat of China’s Jie Zheng (6-3, 6-1), Williams confessed to reporters that she’s hooked on the European soccer championships that have transfixed the whole continent.

“It’s weird. I’ve become an amazing English fan,” said Williams, 22. “When England was down 1-Love and they made the goal, I was like, ‘Whoa!'”

England trailed against Croatia early on, but Williams, who normally hates watching TV sports, said she was sucked into the tense battle. “I was really nervous,” she said.

Although back home she is dating “Rush Hour” director Brett Ratner, 35, Williams she’s a big fan of rising soccer star Wayne Rooney – the 18-year-old for England who Monday scored two of his team’s four goals to beat Croatia.

Speaking of Rooney, “He really saved the team, so I’m real excited. I can’t believe I’m even talking the lingo here,” said Williams.