NEW YORK -- Serena Williams heard about Andy Roddick's foot fault from the other night.
Guess whose side she's on.
"A foot fault counts only after you hit the ball, so I don't know. It's always kind of shaky to call it," Williams told ESPN while on hand to watch her sister, Venus, play at the U.S. Open on Friday night.
Serena is not playing, saying she's still recovering from July 15 surgery on her right foot.
In last year's semifinal against Kim Clijsters, Williams went on a tirade against a line judge who called a questionable foot fault against her, resulting in a double-fault that left her facing match point. The tirade earned her a point penalty that ended the match.
On Wednesday, Roddick carried on a long argument after being called for a foot fault. He didn't disagree with the call, only the explanation. The line judge said it was Roddick's right foot that touched the line when replays clearly showed it was his left. He said the judge's refusal to correct herself was "infuriating," but that in the end, it didn't affect the match.
Asked about Roddick's reaction, Williams said: "Andy will get over it. I got over it. I call it my claim to fame now."
She called her foot injury "a one-in-a-trillion chance" and "a disaster."
"I've always said if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck," Williams said.
Williams, who plans to be back in time for America's Fed Cup final against Italy in November, said she doesn't know exactly how her foot got cut while she was walking out of a restaurant in Munich less than a week after winning Wimbledon in July.
"My nephew said, 'Be careful,"' Williams said. "Next thing I knew, I was in the emergency room getting stitches."
Ana's big climb
Next up, Ana Ivanovic faces a big hurdle, and a big opportunity, as she pushes forward in her attempt to climb back up the rankings.
It's a round-of-16 meeting against defending champion Kim Clijsters.
Ivanovic, the world No. 1 after her French Open title in 2008, has fallen as low as 65 since because of injuries and inconsistent play. She is back to No. 40, with a chance to go much higher.
She defeated wild card Virginie Razzano of France 7-5, 6-0 in the third round at Flushing Meadows on Friday.
"It's hard to believe it when you don't have results to prove it, but I really feel I'm playing a lot better," Ivanovic said. "Things are starting to come back, come together out on the court, as well."
Ivanovic is one of a number of former No. 1s who have taken sudden tumbles in recent years. Maria Sharapova dropped out of the top 100, but has climbed back to No. 17. Dinara Safina, the much-maligned, top-ranked player at last year's U.S. Open, is currently at No. 50, and lost in the first round this year.
Ivanovic is another who disappeared for a while, due to a series of injuries to her thumb, knee and thigh.
"There were doubts of one sort or the other," she said. "But definitely it's hard when you do lose a lot of matches. You work hard, but there are no results to back that."
Her opponent is Clijsters, who knows all about going away. When she came to the U.S. Open last year, shortly after returning from retirement, she hadn't played enough matches to even have a ranking. She won the championship and a year later, is ranked third.
"She and I are good friends, and I'm happy to see her doing well again," Clijsters said. "I followed her very closely when I wasn't playing, and saw her win the French Open. And from there she just kind of lost it a little bit."
Ivanovic said she's looking forward to playing a big-time player who also happens to be a nice person.
"When I was struggling, she was messaging me. She was very supportive," she said. "That's really rare and really nice to see. In those times, you know who your friends are."
It's gotta be the ... laces
Whatever you do, mon, don't call his shoelaces pink.
"It's orange, OK, it's not pink," said Dustin Brown, the colorful Jamaican who brought his dreadlocks and his cheering section to Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday.
The show didn't last long. Brown lost 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 to No. 4 Andy Murray, but Brown is hoping his week at Flushing Meadows might spark a little tennis renaissance back home on the island. Earlier this week, he became the first Jamaican man to win a Grand Slam match since 1974. Last month, his country elected a new leader of its tennis federation and the hope is interest in the sport will pick up in a country that loves its athletes.
"I mean, there's more tennis tournaments than [Usain Bolt] runs in a year, so hopefully I'll get to that status sooner or later," Brown said.
Among Brown's peculiarities are that he doesn't like to sit down during changeovers. No coach would ever support that, but Brown doesn't care.
"I play my best tennis when I'm a little bit more emotional and awake and everything," he said. "I always have the feeling when I sit down that my pulse and everything just goes down, so I just don't do it anymore."
As for the shoelaces, well, he started wearing bright orange and other neon colors when he found a pair like that while sorting through boxes at his doubles partner's house. Since he put them in his shoes, his ranking has climbed from around 450 to as high as 98 in July.
"So now, every time I buy a new pair of shoes, I order those shoelaces," he said. "I don't go on the court unless they're in the shoes."