Maria Sharapova documents her bitter rivalry with tennis phenomen Serena Williams in her new memoir, “Unstoppable: My Life So Far.”
According to Sharapova, Williams hasn’t forgiven her for beating her in the 2002 Wimbledon finals nor that she overheard Williams crying after the loss.
“I don’t think she’s ever forgiven me for it” – witnessing this “low and vulnerable moment,” she wrote.
“I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds, at Wimbledon. I think she hated me for taking something that she believed belonged to her. I think she hated me for seeing her at her lowest moment. But mostly I think she hated me for hearing her cry. She’s never forgiven me for it,” she wrote.
During a 92Y interview moderated by Katie Couric, Sharapova again spoke of her relationship with Serena Williams.
“I respect Serena. I mean how can I say that I like someone that’s beaten me 19 times? That’d be silly,” Sharapova told Couric, per Page Six.
Sharapova returned to the tennis courts at this year’s US Open, following a doping ban. She was ousted in the fourth round.
She added, “To me, respect is a very important word . . . That’s why I use the word respect when I talk about Serena. Because I know how much it takes, and I know how much she had to work in her upbringing without coming from any money, with having a tough childhood and making it. Going against diversity and being in a position where she is now, it would be very wrong for me to sit here and say I have no respect for her.”
Williams has dominated the sport for years, raking up accolades after accolades. Her last win came — while two months pregnant — in this year’s Australian Open. Williams and her fiance Alexis Ohanian welcomed their daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr. earlier this month.
As for Sharapova, she has struggled to win any majors or make a dent in Tennis.