During their career, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams met on court 22 times, the balance is 20-2 in favor of the American. Another game of tennis players did not take place. At Roland Garros 2018, Serena, who came out of decree, withdrew from the fourth round match with Sharapova with a hand injury.
Spectators missed out on watching the Sharapova-Williams battle on Parisian soil, but it wasn’t boring outside the venue. Serena made claims to Maria about the fact that the Russian woman wrote about her in her autobiographical book.
“You can’t do it this way!” Serious passions after Serena’s departure from the decree at Roland Garros – 2018
The match between Williams and Sharapova in the fourth round of Roland Garros 2018 was awaited with great interest. The tennis players have not met since the 2016 Australian Open, after which Maria admitted doping and served a 15-month suspension.
Serena was returning from her maternity leave and not quite in peak shape. In Paris she passed past tennis recents Ashleigh Barty and Julia Goerges, though there were questions about how long her fuse would last. The American was considered the favorite of the confrontation with Maria, but not as evident as before. To a greater extent, Williams was the favorite due to a dominating 18-fight win streak against Sharapova.
Serena Williams at Roland Garros 2018
Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Sharapova and Williams have been in open conflict for some time, most acutely in 2013. However, in the mid-2010s, relations between the tennis players improved. Serena expressed her support for Maria during the suspension for doping, the Russian woman in response spoke flatteringly about the American many times. Before the match of the fourth round of Roland Garros – 2018, Sharapova again paid tribute to Williams.
“In any match with Serena, you know what to expect. You understand the difficulty of the task. Despite the statistics of personal encounters, I always want to play with the best tennis player. And I will be waiting for our meeting. I don’t think we’re fighting off the pitch. I think we have to add up what we have achieved, how many people we have been able to inspire with our examples, our stories, in our own way.
I am very inspired by what he does. And behind business and fashion for us there are always results on the court – this is the driving force. There is nothing more inspiring than the fact that after all our achievements, we still go out on the court and strive to win, even when something doesn’t work out,” said Sharapova.
Maria Sharapova at Roland Garros 2018
Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
As soon as Mary announced the absence of competition with Serena off the court, the American made a very conflicting statement that did not directly relate to the game.
“Sharapova wrote in her book that I cried in the locker room after losing to her at Wimbledon 2004 and after that I tuned in to the matches with her in a special way? I think this book is 100% hearsay. At least the parts I’ve read. This disappointed me a bit. I have cried many times in the locker room after defeats and I have seen others cry many times. I think it’s okay. This shows that the person has the passion and desire to fight. It was the Wimbledon final. It would be more amazing if he didn’t cry. And I’m an emotional person, I don’t hide my feelings. For me, this is normal. But I think that what happened should have stayed in the dressing room and it wasn’t necessarily very positive to describe it in the book. I don’t have any bad feelings for her. Again, it was painful to see this in her book.
It seems to me that a negative attitude is instilled. And I think women should help each other. Many will think that I think differently, but it is not so. We should always promote each other, and the success of one should inspire the others, and I’ve said it a thousand times. I am always inspired by other successful women. Before the doping incident, she performed well. And now she’s doing it right again. And I don’t feel bad for her. I treat her matches with her the same way I treat others. I give it my all, but I don’t change anything in the game. I fight because they fight with me, and you have to be prepared for this. I am a fan of María and I wanted to read her book, I really wanted it to come out. It turned out that there is a lot about me. It was incredible.
I didn’t expect so much to be written about me in the book, and that’s not always true. This is very curious. I don’t know. Maybe he admired me or closely followed my career. Have I read the book? Yes, I told you I’m a fan… Not a fan, but a person who wants to keep up with sports. And during Sharapova’s history with drugs, I was one of the few who praised his courageous performance. I didn’t say anything bad about her. Of course, I wanted to read the book, find out what was going on,” Williams said.
Serena Williams didn’t like Maria Sharapova’s autobiography
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The journalists themselves at Williams’s press conference addressed the topic of Sharapova’s autobiography, published in 2017, entitled Unstoppable. My life”, where, among other things, an American is mentioned. But Serena could have answered the question more delicately. Still, Maria’s book presents her own interpretation of her rivalry with Williams. Sharapova did not make any direct claims against the American, instead praising her as a worthy opponent for her.
Serena spoke about the completely false information in the book, but at the same time confirmed that she cried in the locker room. She clearly didn’t justify her claims, which speaks to a personal insult. Williams was probably especially upset by this snippet, which describes in detail her reaction to her loss to Sharapova in the 2004 Wimbledon final.
“Serena and I should be friends, we have a lot in common. But we are not friends. It seems to me that we somehow force ourselves to move on. And it is possible that this is the other side. Only when there is strong hostility in a relationship can one find the strength in oneself to squeeze it out to the end. Who knows? Maybe one day, when this is all over, we’ll be friends. After the 2004 Wimbledon final, Serena hugged me. She said something like “Well done.” And she smiled. But inside she couldn’t smile. When I got back to the locker room, I heard Serena Williams crying. literally crying. I quickly left, but she knew I was there.
People often wonder why it’s so hard for me to beat Serena: I’m giving her 2-19. For me, the answer lies in that locker room scene. I think Serena hated me for being the skinny girl who beat her against the odds at Wimbledon. But she mostly hated me because she heard her cry. Shortly after the tournament, Serena told a friend, who relayed it to me, “I will never lose to this petty piece of trash again,” Sharapova wrote.
Sharapova crossed the line. Maria in vain mocked Serena’s pain at the Australian Open – 2013
In Paris, Maria commented that Serena, on the eve of her failed match at Roland Garros 2018, criticized her book.
“Serena said that my book is 100% rumor, right, and that she is surprised by everything I wrote about it? It would be strange if she didn’t write about the person I fought with for so many years. There are many autobiographies in the sports world where people don’t talk about their rivals. We played a lot with her. Some games have become decisive for me. It would be strange if I didn’t write anything about her. I think then they would also ask me questions. So I don’t fully understand how to answer this question. And I don’t see why writing a lie in an autobiography,” said the Russian tennis player.
Sharapova responded quite diplomatically, so the conflict did not develop further. Serena, after the removal, she regretted that she never had the opportunity to meet Maria.
“It’s a shame for me to act because I love playing with Maria. I always play matches with her at her level. I really like her game. I gave up a lot to be here. Sometimes during practice I see my daughter playing on the screen, and I really want to be with her, but I understand that those are the sacrifices that your dreams require,” Williams said.
Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals of Roland Garros 2018
Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
A technical victory over Williams did not give Sharapova any advantage, as in the quarterfinals she lost without a chance to Garbine Muguruza (2:6, 1:6). At the same time, Maria wanted Serena to return to the court as soon as possible.
“I really wanted to meet Serena and was saddened that she had to retire. I wish her a speedy recovery and hope she returns to competition soon,” Sharapova said.
Serena insulted Sharapova on racial grounds. Karma immediately outpointed Williams at the US Open – 2015
There were rumors in fan circles that Williams withdrew from the match on purpose, because after leaving the decree she was not very sure of a victory over Sharapova and did not want to spoil the balance of personal meetings with her. The theory is interesting, but there is no proof. Serena is unlikely to be as petty as she is to be afraid of suffering a third loss to Sharapova after a string of 18 wins since 2004.
One has only to regret that the star tennis players did not fight in Paris. At the end of their careers, they practically did not cross paths on the court. After the ban for doping, Sharapova played Williams only once – Serena crushed Maria (6: 1, 6: 1) at the US Open – 2019 and summed up their one-sided, but extremely interesting rivalry for fans.