Sharapova Feels Her Wimbledon Win 15 Years Ago Still Troubles Serena
- IWB Post
- September 13, 2017
Serena Willams might have managed to overpower Maria Sharapova on the court but in a recently released autobiography, Maria reveals that the feud between them started fifteen years ago with a particular win.
The Russian-born Sharapova was 17 when she defeated Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final. Rather than proving the start of a long, close-run rivalry, it was one of just two victories Sharapova can claim against the US great, who has beaten her 19 times. She muses on her long, lopsided rivalry with tennis legend Serena Williams in a new autobiography released on Tuesday and how she believes a locker room moment fueled the American’s drive to overpower her.
In her new book, “Unstoppable: My Life So Far,” Sharapova says it was not only her victory but the fact that she overheard Williams weeping afterward in the locker room that ensured the American would always find a way to elevate her game in their future contests.
“Guttural sobs, the sort that makes you heave for air, the sort that scares you,” Sharapova writes of the moment, according to excerpts released by The New York Times. “It went on and on. I got out as quickly as I could, but she knew I was there. People often wonder why I have had so much trouble beating Serena; she’s owned me in the past ten years. I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds, at Wimbledon,” she said.
In the memoir published by Sarah Crichton Books, an imprint of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, Sharapova details her tennis career from the time of her move to Florida at the age of six — and Williams caught her attention early on. She recalls surreptitiously watching Serena and her sister Venus play during a visit to the Florida Academy where she trained — unwilling even then to “put my self in the position of worshiping them, looking up, being a fan.”
Tensions between Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion who returned to competition in April after a 15-month doping ban, and 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams — who gave birth to a daughter this month — have sometimes spilled over into public spats.
Sharapova ponders the reasons, wondering if the antagonism between them has perhaps driven each to excellence. “Maybe that’s better than being friends,” she writes, adding: “Serena and I should be friends: we love the same thing, we have the same passion. Only a few people in the world know what we know – what it feels like in the dead center of this storm, the fear and anger that drives you, how it is to win and how it is to lose. But we are not friends – not at all.”