Serena Williams kicks shopping habit

Tennis star Serena Williams says she has kicked a serious Internet shopping habit that involved spending six hours daily online.

"It hit its worst at the French Open. Every day I was in my room and I was online," she said. "I wasn't able to stop and I bought, bought, bought, bought, bought."

Her favourite items were clothing, shoes and things for her dog.

"Things I didn't need, I didn't even wear them," she said, laughing. "I was just out of control."

Williams said she was shopping online three hours daily during the tournament and up to six hours on off-days.

She initially got hooked as a way to avoid shopping in public.

"People always recognize me no matter where I go," said Williams, who is a platinum blonde now.

"That's why I changed the colour of my hair, so people wouldn't recognize me as much. But it didn't do any good, so I was like, OK, I'll try the online thing and, next thing I know, it's fun and I was addicted."

Williams says she's better now, although she is tempted whenever catalogs arrive in the mail.

"I throw all catalogs out now," she said.

Williams, 19, has earned more than $700,000 US on the court this year.

Williams is in Manhattan Beach for the estylecom Classic tournament.

She beat Australia's Nicole Pratt Wednesday to advance to the quarter-finals of the $565,000 WTA event.