Maria Sharapova has opened up in her memoir Unstoppable, revealing her take on how Serena Williams reacted to losing to her in the Wimbledon final of 2004.
Sharapova famously defeated the American for her first Grand Slam title at the All England Club 13 years ago, a victory that catapulted her to superstardom.
For the better part of the next 12 years, she was the world’s richest female athlete, until her fall from grace when she failed a doping test during Australian Open 2016.
— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) August 11, 2017
Her rivalry – if you can call it that – with Williams took a turn after 2004, the last time Sharapova beat Serena (at the 2004 WTA Championships in Los Angeles).
Williams has never lost to the Russian again in 18 meetings spanning 11 years, dropping a meagre three sets to her in that time.
People magazine ran excerpts of Sharapova’s autobiography – due for release next month, it details her road to Grand Slam glory, her time at the top of the game and her return to tennis following suspension – and it’s explosive, to say the least.
Sharapova documents a moment occurring in the sacred space of the locker-room, just moments after her Wimbledon triumph.
“When the match was over, Serena hugged me. She said something like ‘good job’ and smiled. But she could not have been smiling on the inside,” Sharapova wrote.
“What I heard when I came back into the locker room was Serena Williams bawling. Guttural sobs. I got out as quickly as I could, but she knew I was there. People often wonder why I have had some much trouble beating Serena; my record against her is 2-19. To me, the answer was in this locker room. 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 that Serena told a friend – who then told me – ‘I will never lose to that little b…. again.'”
Both Sharapova and Williams are currently absent from the game; Sharapova continues to be hampered by a left-forearm injury while Williams is very soon expecting the birth of her firs child.
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