SAN FRANCISCO: Serena Williams is known for her athleticism on court but the tennis ace proved to be quite a 'superwoman' off it as well when she chased down a man who she said took her phone while she ate at a restaurant.
Williams, 34, the top-ranked tennis player in women's singles, posted a picture of herself in a superhero outfit on Facebook and described a dramatic ordeal that she said took place at a Chinese restaurant, where a man stood next to her and lingered a bit too close to her table for comfort.
Though, surveillance video suggests the encounter was not as dramatic as Williams's widely shared tale on Facebook yet she did chase down the alleged phone thief.
"My phone was sitting in the chair but I just didn't feel right. He (the alleged thief) was there too long. 'Is he a customer? I thought 'Is he waiting on the bathroom?'" she wrote.
Williams said her "superhero sense" proved correct when the man grabbed her phone and ducked out of the restaurant.
"He began to run but I was too fast. (Those sprints came in handy) I was upon him in a flash!" Serena said.
There were few details about the episode from her Facebook post. Williams did not say what city she was in, what type of phone she had or the identity of her dinner companion. Surveillance footage broadcast by "Good Morning America" show yesterday offered more information.
The video shows Williams dining with a man in a restaurant in San Francisco and another man can be seen walking up next to her and lingering before he snatches the phone, the New York Times reported.
Williams then rushes to follow him out of the restaurant.
The footage shows Williams walking quickly to catch up with the man, who does not appear to be running.
The video does not exactly show a superhero phone rescue, as she recounted on Facebook, but it is a fast-moving, calm one carried out by a professional athlete.
She said in the post that she used the "most menacing yet calm no nonsense voice I could muster" to ask "if he 'accidentally' took the wrong phone." The man then returned the device.
Williams said that she was able to retrieve her phone after passing the whole thing off as a mistake. There was no arrest.
Anastasia Villanueva, a waitress at the restaurant, was quoted as saying that Williams said she was looking to avoid conflict with the man.
After recovering her phone, Williams says she was met with a standing ovation upon her return to the restaurant.