Maria Sharapova Slays Forbes’ Rich List, Responds To Williams’ Criticism Of Her Book - UBITENNIS
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Maria Sharapova Slays Forbes’ Rich List, Responds To Williams’ Criticism Of Her Book

The world No.30 wasn’t afraid to speak her mind following her loss at Roland Garros on Wednesday.

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Maria Sharapova (zimbio.com)

Former world No.1 Maria Sharapova has dismissed the hype surrounding lists such as Forbes’ 100 richest athletes in the world amid an ongoing row over gender equality.

The American business magazine, which Alex.com ranks as the 250th most visited website in the world, recently unveiled their list of the 100 highest earning athletes in the world. Although not a single female athlete made the cut. Triggering questions about gender equality in sport when it comes to endorsements and earning potential. Last year Serena Williams was the only female player to make the top 100 at 51st with an estimated $27 million in earnings.

Sharapova was questioned about the absence of female stars following her loss at the French Open. The five-time grand slam champion crashed out of the Quarter-finals to Garbine Muguruza in straight sets. Instead of expressing concern about the topic, Sharapova questioned the validity of Forbes’ latest findings. Leaving one journalist having to go on the defensive against the Russian.

Sharapova: Do you believe in that list?
Journalist: Well, it’s based on certain factors, but…
Sharapova: Which are what?
Journalist: Economic factors of perceived earnings.
Sharapova: “Perceived” is the word we’re looking for.
Journalist: It could be a male journalist writing this, irrespective of whether the facts and figures are correct or not…
Sharapova: I guess that would be your job to find out.

The Forbes’ rich list is based on a methodology they use. They rank athletes based on all prize money they have earned (including salaries and bonuses) between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018. When it comes to endorsement calculations, their findings are based on conversations with ‘dozens of industry insiders.’

“I think my answer to that (the debate on female athletes) is that I don’t take those lists very seriously.” Sharapova concluded.

Serena’s comments

Sharapova, who has recently returned back into the world’s top 30, also hit back at Williams following her French Open loss. On Saturday the 36-year-old spoke out against comments that were  made about her in Sharapova’s memoir Unstoppable. Especially when it came to their clash at the 2004 Wimbledon final.

“I think the book was 100 per cent hearsay,” said Williams. “At least all the stuff I read and the quotes that I read, which was a little bit disappointing.”

Responding to Williams’ allegation, the 31-year-old insisted that she wouldn’t write lies in her book. Arguing that it would be ‘strange’ for her to not write about the American considering their rivalry. Sharapova trails Williams 3-19 in their head-to-head (counting walkovers).

“I think we played many matches. Some of those matches were very defining for me. It would be very strange, I think, if I didn’t write anything about her. I think everyone would ask me questions, as well.” Explained Sharapova.
“When you’re writing an autobiography, I don’t think there is any reason to write anything that’s not true.”

Sharapova concludes her clay season with a win-loss record of 12-4.

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Jannik Sinner reaches the first grass final of his career in Halle

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Jannik Sinner overcame Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the first final of his career on grass at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Sinner achieved his best result on this surface when he reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2023. 

Sinner will face a final against his friend Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the first semifinal. The Italian player converted his only break point in the ninth game and fended off the only break point he faced at 5-6 in the second set with a forehand winner, one of his winners of the match. 

The Italian player earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead. Zhang Zhizhen pulled the mini-break back. Sinner earned two mini-breaks in the fourth and eighth points to win the tie-break 7-3. Sinner won the first of the four tie-breaks he played this week.

Sinner finished the match in straight sets after clinching three consecutive three-set wins at the start of his campaign at this year’s edition of the Terra Wortmann in Halle. 

The world number 1 player won three titles on hard court at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami this year. 

“It means a lot. I had four tough matches to go to the final. It was a good match today. Definitely more rallies than yesterday. And that’s definitely what I needed today. I am happy and let’s see what’s coming tomorrow”, said Sinner.  

Earlier this week Zhang Zhizhen had previously beaten Danil Medvedev in the second round and came back from 2-5 down to beat Christopher Eubanks in the quarter finals. 

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Hubert Hurkacz beats Alexander Zverev to reach the second final of his career in Halle

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Hubert Hurkacz moved past this year’s Roland Garros finalist Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in 1 hour and 33 minutes to reach the second final of his career at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Hurkacz will be aiming to win the second title of his career at this tournament two years after his triumph. 

Hurkacz fired 17 aces and saved all four break points he faced in the first game of the opening set to clinch his fifth top 10 win on grass. The Pole won 81% of his first serve points. 

The first set went on serve en route to the tie-break. Hurkacz earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2. Hurkacz his only break in the third game of the second set to win the second set 6-4. 

“I really love grass. The game suits my game and the atmosphere here, having the full crowd is incredible. It brings so much joy to the players”, said Hurkacz. 

Hurkacz improved to 1-3 in his head-to-head matches against Zverev. The Polish player will aim to clinch the ninth ATP Tour title of his career in his 11th ATP Tour final. 

Hurkacz won the Halle tournament in 2022 and reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2021. 

Zverev holds a record of 37 wins to 11 defeats this season. 

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Jannik Sinner beats Jan Lennard Struff to reach the semifinal in Halle

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Jannik Sinner battled past Jan Lennard Struff 6-2 6-7 (1-7) 7-6 (7-3) to reach his second tour-leve semifinal on grass at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle. Struff hit 18 aces and saved 16 of the 18 aces he faced, including all 11 in the second and third sets. 

Sinner has scored his third consecutive three-set win at this tournament after beating Tallon Griekspoor and Fabian Maroszan in the first two rounds. 

Sinner broke twice to win the opening set 6-2 in 30 minutes. The Italian player won 67% of his second serve points in the first set. 

Sinner saved a break point in the fourth game of the second set. Struff fended it off with an ace and three more chances two games later as the set headed towards towards a tie-break. 

Struff earned the first mini-break to race out to a 4-0 lead in the tie-break. The German 34-year-old player made a serve and volley at 5-1 to earn a set point. He converted it as Sinner made a backhand error. 

Struff created his first break, when Sinner made two double faults at 2-2 after two hours. 

Sinner earned two break points in the ninth game of the third set, but Struff saved them with his serve and forced Sinner twice to serve to stay in the match. The set was decided by a second tie-break. Struff played his 10th consecutive tie-break in the 2024 season. Earlier this week won a 12-10 final-set tie-break against Luciano Darderi in the opening round before beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in the next round on 

Sinner opened up a 3-0 lead in the tie-break. The 2024 Australian Open champions earned four match points in the second tie-break and converted his second chance, as Struff netted a backhand. Sinner won his third head-to-head match against Struff in 2024. 

Earlier at this tournament Sinner came back from a set down to beat Tallon Griekspoor 6-7 (8-10) 6-3 6-2 before beating Hungary’s Fabian Maroszan 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-3. 

“It was a very tough match. I had chances in the second set, had chances in the third set, but I could not use them. It was 0-40 in the third set. I jus try to accept these kind of challenges. It has been very tough, also mentally. I am very pleased to be in the next round. I played a lot today, I played a lot yesterday, two and a half hours on grass. It’s a long time”, said Sinner. 

Alexander Zverev rallied past Arthur Fils 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 in two hours and 30 minutes to reach the semifinal at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. The two-time Halle finalist is aiming to win his first grass title.

Zverev becomes the first player since Roger Federer to reach back-to-back semifinals in Halle. 

The first set went on serve en route to the tie-break. Fils earned his first mini-break to take a 2-0 lead in the tie-break. Zverev pulled back on serve, but Fils got a second mini-break to win the tie-break 7-5. 

Zverev raised his level in the second set breaking Fils at 3-2 with a streak of eight winning consecutive points.  

Zverev sealed the third set 6-4 with a break in the seventh game winning 83% of his first serve points. Fils saved two match points in the ninth game, as he was serving to stay in the match. Zverev served out the win at love in the 10th game. The German player was not broken in the entire match. 

Zverev now leads 2-0 in his two head-to-head matches against Fils. 

Zverev lost to Carlos Alcaraz in five sets in the final of Roland Garros. 

“After the French Open, I was hoping on grass I would a lot quicker and not play for two and a half, three hours every single match, but I am continuing what I always do”, said Zverev. 

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