Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova’s feud has reared its ugly head again as 2017 season comes to a close. This summer meant a lot for both tennis players as Maria came back from her 15-month doping ban, and Serena gave birth to her first baby daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian. With the 35-year-old American player now readying herself for a comeback, it looks like Maria Sharapova has to step up her game to face her greatest rival.
The 30-year-old Russian tennis player made headlines this summer when she published her autobiography, Unstoppable: My Life So Far. Since she was banned from playing tennis for the better part of the last two years, the book was the result of her taking time off the court and plunging herself into other endeavors that had nothing to do with the professional sport. In the book, Maria Sharapova revealed her personal point of view on her feud with Serena Williams while, at times, putting her opponent down to elevate her story.
Her version of the 2004 Wimbledon, in which she beat the American player in the finals, was seminal in reigniting the feud. Maria strayed off the path of tennis skills to compare their body shapes, a topic about which Serena has always been vocal.
“In analyzing this, people talk about Serena’s strength, her serve and confidence, how her particular game matches up to my particular game, and, sure there is truth to all of that,” the Russian wrote in her autobiography. “But, to me, the real answer was there, in this locker room, where I was changing and she was bawling. I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds, at Wimbledon.”
But the records in professional tennis show that Serena Williams is a much better tennis player than Maria Sharapova. According to Vox, Maria did beat Serena at the 2004 Wimbledon finals, but lost “18 straight times — the most recent of which was at the 2016 Australian Open.”
The 30-year-old player attempted to make a comeback at the US Open this year, but lost to Anastasija Sevastova in the fourth round, barely making headlines in the sport.
On the other hand, the 35-year-old American player is showing no signs of slowing down after giving birth to her baby daughter. She has made clear throughout her pregnancy that she has no plans of retiring after the arrival of her baby. As Wimbledon and the US Open raged on, and she missed both tournaments due to her condition, her coach made it also very clear that she will not be out for long.
It looks like Serena is well on her way back on the court. She showed on her Snapchat recently that “she’s already back in her short-shorts,” just two weeks after delivering her baby. She also showed during her pregnancy that she still frequenting the court so that she does not lose her magic touch.
“I don’t think my story is over yet,” she said during her interview with Vanity Fair.
Do you think Serena will be able to recapture her title at Australian Open 2018? Do you think she will have a face-off with Maria on the court soon? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images]