"I know mentally, no one can break me," she declared after winning Friday's match

By Tiare Dunlap
Updated July 01, 2016 07:20 PM
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Credit: Getty

“I felt like I was in warrior mode.”

That’s what Serena Williams told The Guardian following her hard-fought victory over fellow American Christina McHale in the second round at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships on Friday.

“I was out there playing for my life, playing to stay in the tournament,” the 34-year-old said.

After losing an opening-set tiebreaker, the tennis legend hammered her racket into the court and tossed it backwards. The racket slid through the grass on Wimbledon’s Centre Court, ultimately landing in the lap of a cameraman in the photo pit, ESPN reports.

“I was just really, really, really angry,” Williams said after the match. “I had a lot of chances. [McHale] got really lucky on some shots. She just was playing great. I was a little disappointed in myself at that point.”

Williams returned to the court to win the match, thus advancing to the third round. After her win, she signed the racquet and passed it on to a fan.

The outburst may result in a penalty for Williams for violating the All England Club’s rule prohibiting players from hitting or throwing racquets while on the court.

“Players shall not violently or with anger hit, kick or throw a racquet or other equipment within the precincts of the tournament site,” the group’s rules state, according to ESPN. “Violation of this section shall subject a player to a fine up to –20,000 for each violation.”

Whether or not a penalty is issued will be decided by the referee’s office following an official report. On Saturday, Williams will take on Germany’s Annika Beck.

It’s been a difficult season for Williams. Just one year after winning three of four grand slams in 2015, she lost finals in the Australian and French Opens. Currently, her only title for 2016 comes from a win at the Italian Open in May.

Still, the elite athlete remains focused on finding glory at Wimbledon. “I know mentally, no one can break me,” she declared after Friday’s match. “I’m ready for it. I’m ready for any challenge.”