serves up warning
Says if daughter hurt he would kill stalker
By BRIAN HARMON and DAVE GOLDINER
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Serena Williams' dad said yesterday he believes German stalker Albrecht Stromeyer has to be stopped from tormenting the tennis star - and vowed to kill Stromeyer if he hurts her.
"I don't think the guy is ever going to give up," said Richard Williams. "At some point ... something very tragic could take place."
After polishing off another match at the U.S. Open, Serena seemed to admit that Stromeyer's arrest at the National Tennis Center on Friday is gnawing at her sense of security.
"I'm definitely taking it serious," said the world's top female tennis player. "I get too tense, too tight. I can't relax."
But in a strange twist, she later retracted the statement, saying she thought a reporter was asking her about the threat of future opponents - not the stalker suspect.
Her father said he would take revenge on Stromeyer if the man harms the 20-year-old Serena or her older sister, Venus.
"Would [anything] stop me from killing this guy if he did something to one of my daughters?" asked Williams. "I do not think all the police officers in the world could stop me."
The star athlete, who stormed past her sister this year to earn tennis' top ranking, has wowed New York tennis fans with her powerful strokes and sexy, skintight outfits.
She was supposed to play at Arthur Ashe Stadium yesterday morning, but rain forced her to wait more than six hours to get out of the clubhouse.
When she finally got on the court, Serena, clad in a sleeveless pink top that peeked open at the midriff, and matching pink sneakers and headband, took just 41 minutes to rout Czech Daja Bedanova, 6-1, 6-1.
After the match, tennis officials ordered reporters not to ask Serena about the stalker.
But one journalist asked her about the threat hanging over her. She answered, but the officials scurried to retract her statement. "It's amazing how words can get twisted," the tennis great said in a written statement.
Stromeyer, 34, remained behind bars last night on $3,000 bail after being hit with misdemeanor stalking charges.
Caught watching star
Immigration officials filed a detention order against Stromeyer yesterday, meaning he will stay in jail even if he posts bail. The orders are usually filed for immigrants with visa problems, although officials said they could not comment on his case.
The scruffy fan was nabbed by police Friday after a cop spotted him staring at the athlete from behind a chain-link fence.
"I think this guy is sick," the elder Williams said. "A sick person is not capable of thinking correctly and they are capable of doing anything."
Williams worried Judge Lenore Gerald sent Stromeyer the wrong message with the $3,000 bail.
"The bail is so low, I think that encourages him to keep doing what he's doing," Richard Williams said. "It makes me wonder, 'Could he hurt Serena?'"
Along with his usual bluster, Williams bared some of the famed family loyalty that has helped mold Serena and Venus into the best 1-2 sister punch in the history of women's tennis.
"A Williams is the most precious commodity to a Williams," he said. "A Williams would die for a Williams."
Years of threats
Williams, who splits major tournaments with his estranged wife, Oracene, also revealed that both superstar sisters have dealt with nasty threats since they burst into the spotlight.
"We've been getting letters for years," Williams said. "But this still took us by surprise."
Now a bodyguard shadows Serena's every move.
Stromeyer's obsession with the tennis star started a year ago when he started reeling off E-mails and phone calls to her. He has followed her to tournaments around the globe and occasionally shouted, "I love you," in English and German.
Stromeyer was arrested in February when he tried to accost the star at a tournament in Belgium. Police also arrested him in Scottsdale, Ariz., when he stripped off his clothes at the front desk of a hotel where she was staying.