Maria Sharapova Discusses Rivalry With Williams, Says She Was Called ‘A Little B****’
Maria Sharapova has shared an astonishing account from her upcoming book about her rivalry with Serena Williams on the court.
The former world No.1 shared the extracts from her yet to be released biography with PEOPLE magazine. One of them involved the American 35-year-old, who has won 23 grand slam titles in her career. According to the Russian, their frosty relationship dates back to the 2004 Wimbledon championships, when Sharapova stunned Williams in the semifinals.
“When the match was over, Serena hugged me. She said something like ‘Good job.’ And smiled.’ Sharapova wrote. “What I heard when I came into the locker room was Serena bawling. Guttural sobs. I got out as quick as I could, but she knew I was there.”
Overall the two players have faced each other on the tour 21 times. Williams dominates their head-to-head with a 19-2 stronghold. Sharapova frankly wrote that she believed her rival ‘hates her’ because of their Wimbledon clash 13 years ago. She also claimed that Williams once said she will ‘never lose to that little b*** again,’ when talking about Sharapova.
‘I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds, at Wimbledon. But mostly I think she hated me for hearing her cry. Not long after the tournament, I heard Serena told a friend – who then told me – “I will never lose to that little b**** again”.
The meldonium defence
In another part of her biography, the 30-year-old talked about her doping ban. Sharapova returned to the tour in April after serving a 15-month suspension after testing positive for the banned substance Meldonium. Maintaining her innocence, she has taken a swipe at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Accusing them of banning the substance because it was ‘being used by so many Eastern Europeans.’
“How does it enhance performance? It doesn’t. It seems the officials banned it merely because it was being used by so many Eastern Europeans. ‘They must be taking it for a reason’ – something like that.” She argued.
Meldonium was made a prohibited substance on January 1st 2016. According to the WADA, it was banned due to “evidence of its use by athletes with the intention of enhancing performance.” During her suspension, Sharapova stated that she took the drug for a ten-year period and missed the news of it being banned. Something she now calls ‘a big mistake.’
Sharapova’s memoirs, called ‘Unstoppable: My Life So Far,’ will be released after the US Open on September 12th.