The Question That Almost Derailed Lisa Wilkinson's Interview With Serena

Just one question about the now-infamous US Open meltdown threatened to derail Lisa Wilkinson's interview with tennis champion Serena Williams.

When asked about smashing her racquet during the US Open final, a side-eye to her publicist gave way to the uncomfortable feeling in the room.

"Ummmm," was all Williams said, before her publicist stepped in.

"That's four questions about the US Open, so if we could change topics," the publicist said from behind the camera.

Despite Williams' publicist attempting to change the line of questioning, to William's credit, she didn't shy away from Wilkinson's questions during her interview for The Sunday Project.

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Talking about the divide she had caused in the female sporting word -- notably Martina Navratilova who said Williams was "out of line" -- Williams said she was supportive of women "no matter what".

"Even a man, if you want to express yourself in a way where you're not using profanities, or you're just being yourself, and you're at this moment that you've worked for since you were three-years-old, and you're in the cusp of this amazing moment," she said.

The meltdown was triggered by a code violation by umpire Carlos Ramos for 'coaching' from Williams' box -- a violation that Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou later admitted to.

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But this admission caused confusion for Williams, and an awkward conversation between her and Mouratoglou.

"I just don't understand what he was talking about. I asked him 'What are you talking about you were coaching? We don't have hand signals, we've never had signals'," she told Wilkinson.

Williams next goal is to recover from the incident, and move on in her career, while being a champion for women's sports.

"If you're a female, you should be able to do, even half of what a guy can do, and I feel that right now, as it's proven, we are not in that same position," she said.

Watch The Sunday Project on Sundays at 6.30pm.