A sneak peek has revealed the real reason Lisa Wilkinson’s ‘intense’ interview with tennis star Serena Williams was shut down.
The 58-year-old television personality was forced to pump the brakes temporarily when she was asked to ‘change topic’ by the tennis champion’s publicist in an interview that will air Sunday night.
A teaser clip of The Sunday Project publish by News.com.au shows the interruption occurring after Lisa addressed the sportswoman’s stunning meltdown at the US Open.
‘Are you comfortable or not?’ The real reason Lisa Wilkinson’s (pictured) ‘intense’ interview with Serena Williams was shut down as she addressed the sports stars meltdown at the US Open
The Sunday Project host, who interviewed the tennis star in New York three weeks ago encountered the ‘sticky’ moment when she grilled Serena, 36, about whether she ‘regretted’ smashing her tennis racket down in frustration during the outburst.
‘Your coach admitted that he was coaching from the sidelines. In retrospect, do you think that makes the violation warranted?’ Lisa asked in the clip.
‘I just don’t understand what he was talking about, because we don’t have signals, we’ve never had signals… and he said he ”made a motion,”’ Serena remarked.
‘So you had to have a fairly tough conversation with him afterwards?’ Lisa said.
‘Yes, because we’ve never had this before. I was like ”It’s OK, but don’t … like … yeah,”’ Serena said as she trailed off.
‘Umm’: Serena (pictured) hesitated after Lisa grilled her about whether she ‘regretted’ smashing her tennis racket down in frustration during her stunning meltdown at the US open
Serena Williams (pictured) threw her racket at the ground in anger before demanding the umpire apologise for insinuating she cheated
‘You then smashed your racket…do you regret that at all?’ Lisa asked.
Clearly uncomfortable with the question, Serena paused and shot Lisa a rather fierce expression.
‘Umm,’ Serena remarked as she turned to her publicist for advice on how to proceed with the interview.
‘Sorry, that’s four questions about the U.S. Open, so…’ a female voice stated in the background.
‘Are you comfortable or not?’Lisa (pictured) said as she looked Serena square in the eye during the sit-down chat in New York
Lisa quickly turned her attention to the athlete and asked the star whether she felt ‘comfortable’ answering the question.
‘Are you comfortable or not?’ Lisa said as she looked Serena square in the eye.
Meanwhile the female voice could be heard in the background again, requesting Lisa ‘change topic.’
‘I’m in your hands Serena, I’m totally in your hands,’ Lisa announced.
The dramatic clip concludes with Serena giving the TV presenter another intense gaze as she hesitates and says: ‘Umm.’
It is unknown whether Serena continues the interview with Lisa after the moment.
Meanwhile, Lisa wrote an article for Ten Daily last week in which she described the chat as both ‘intense’ and ‘enlightening’
‘We talk the difficulties of her return to tennis after the birth of [her son] Alexis. How she’s had to work to accept her body. Her friendship with Meghan Markle,’ Lisa wrote, before addressing Serena’s recent controversy.
‘The US Open meltdown. And that was when things got a little… sticky,’ she added.
Lisa explained things were awkward ahead of the sit-down interview in New York as they waited for the cameras to start rolling.
She claimed that small talk with Serena was ‘difficult’ as the athlete looked at the carpet intensely.
Heated: Serena got into a shouting match with umpire Carlos Ramos during the US Open women’s final as she accused him of ‘stealing a point from her’. Pictured on September 8
Serena made headlines when she got into a shouting match with umpire Carlos Ramos during the US Open women’s final as she accused him of ‘stealing a point from her’.
Ramos issued a game penalty to the American star during her match against Naomi Osaka, accusing her of getting coaching from the sidelines.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner screamed: ‘Every time I play here, I have problems. I did not have coaching, I don’t cheat. You need to make an announcement. I have a daughter and I stand for what’s right. You owe me an apology.’
Controversial: Ramos issued a game penalty to the American star during her match against Naomi Osaka (left), accusing her of getting coaching from the sidelines
‘For you to attack my character is wrong. You owe me an apology. You will never be on a court with me as long as you live. You are the liar. You owe me an apology. Say it. Say you’re sorry,’ she added.
‘How dare you insinuate that I was cheating? You stole a point from me. You’re a thief too. ‘
Moments later Williams crashed out of the final with Osaka winning 6-2, 6-4.
Fighting for what she believes in: The 23-time Grand Slam winner screamed: ‘Every time I play here, I have problems. I did not have coaching, I don’t cheat. You need to make an announcement. I have a daughter and I stand for what’s right. You owe me an apology’