People need to stop talking about Serena/Maria as a tennis rivalry. Serena’s won 13 straight and hasn’t lost to Sugarpova in 9 years. That is embarrassing stuff for Maria.
The two clearly don’t like each other, a fact that obviously helps feed the headlines. But, outside of spats off the court (Wimbledon 2013 etc.), Maria has shown very little of the fight and spirit that tennis experts need no invitation to talk about. It’s way beyond time to put up or shut up for Sharapova.
She is in nowhere near the same class as Serena - a fact that cannot be lost on Williams. It must be a massive catalyst for Serena when they play. I imagine it must tick her off that Sharapova steals so much of the spotlight that she’s earned over the years.
UPDATE: As expected, Serena prevailed 6-2 7-6. She is now 15-2 against Sharapova. Onward to the final where she will face her only legitimate rival, Victoria Azarenka.
Serena didn’t keep up her end of the bargain in Paris, but we may get another crack at Williams-Sharapova in the quarters at Wimbledon. The non-rivalry is now 16-2 after Serena straight-setted Maria in Miami earlier this year.
After losing in the 2nd round at the French Open, Serena declared, “I’m going to go home and work five times as hard to make sure I never lose again.” Maria may have to run for cover should they meet at the All England Club.