Here is Serena's reaction
Lying low in the offseason doesn't keep Serena Williams from making news.
Earlier this month, Williams was inadvertently drawn into a controversy when former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark imitated her at an exhibition in Brazil.
Wozniacki made fun of Williams' ample build by stuffing towels into her top and skirt.
Video footage went viral. Social media reactions were swift and sometimes ugly. Whoopi Goldberg brought it up on the TV program The View.
Innocent or not, some saw it as racist. How does Williams feel?
In an e-mail, the 15-time major winner said she saw no ill intent from Wozniacki.
"I know Caro and I would call her my friend and I don't think she (meant) anything racist by it," she wrote from the island of Mauritius off the coast of Africa, where she is training in preparation for the Australia swing.
Williams has been parodied equally irreverently by the likes of Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic. Some might see that as less offensive, since they don't directly compete across the net.
Others might see it as worse — men performing acts that could be interpreted as both sexist and racist.
Williams herself has poked fun at her physique, calling herself "bootylicious" and referring to her extra "assets."
She and Wozniacki likewise have a history — a friendly one.
The Dane was one of the few players to visit Williams in 2011 following her surgery for a hematoma in her stomach. The two have traded advice on everything from jewelry to boyfriends.
Williams explained that she hadn't seen the widely viewed video clip and didn't understand why it suddenly took on racist tones when others had done it before.
"(Roddick) and (Djokovic) do it all the time and Caro does (it) and now it's racist.??" she wrote.
Williams said in these matters she prefers to stay above the fray.
"At the end of the day I spend my time focused on things to become better and not bring me down," she continued.
Williams, however, hinted that while she was not personally bothered if others are then Wozniacki might at least be guilty of bad taste.
"I must add if people feel this way she should take reason and do something different next time," she concluded, punctuating her sentence with a smiley emoticon.
Meantime, organizers of an exhibition involving Williams in Thailand announced Wednesday that the reigning U.S. Open and Wimbledon champ had withdrawn because of surgery on her big toes. She was to play No. 1 Victoria Azarenka later this month.
According to a medical certificate from Florida podiatrist Jeffrey Rockefeller, Williams ''was treated for a chronic foot disorder which involved minor procedures on both of her great toes" and needs to "minimize her activity" to recover.
Williams' agent, Jill Smoller, said by phone Wednesday that the "minor procedure," performed earlier this month, would have "no impact" on Williams' Australian Open preparations.
Williams, ranked No. 3, opens her 2013 campaign at a tournament in Brisbane on Dec. 31. She has won the Australian Open five times, most recently in 2010.