WIMBLEDON, England — Maria Sharapova fired back at Serena Williams on Saturday in response to comments apparently criticizing Sharapova’s personal life.
In Rolling Stone’s recent profile of Williams, author Stephen Rodrick was with Serena as she talked by phone with her sister Venus about a rival player assumed to be Sharapova.
After chattering about their dad, they move on to gossip. As usual, Serena does most of the talking.
“There are people who live, breathe and dress tennis. I mean, seriously, give it a rest.” Serena exits the car and the conversation moves on to a top-five player who is now in love. “She begins every interview with ‘I’m so happy. I’m so lucky’ – it’s so boring,” says Serena in a loud voice. “She’s still not going to be invited to the cool parties. And, hey, if she wants to be with the guy with a black heart, go for it.” (An educated guess is she’s talking about Sharapova, who is now dating Grigor Dimitrov, one of Serena’s rumored exes.)
Sharapova said Serena should be more concerned with her own personal life rather than commenting on anyone else’s.
“Obviously, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Serena and what she’s achieved on the court,” Sharapova said at her pre-Wimbledon news conference Saturday. “You can never take anything away from that.
“As for myself, or whether [the comment] was about somebody else, nothing personal. We’ve talked to Serena many times, and I know everyone tries to create rivalries between us here and there. At the end of the day, we have a tremendous amount of respect for what we do on the court. I just think she should be talking about her accomplishments, her achievements, rather than everything else that’s just getting attention and controversy.”
Sharapova then brought up Serena’s unconfirmed relationship with her coach/consultant, Patrick Mouratoglou.
“If she wants to talk about something personal, maybe she should talk about her relationship and her boyfriend that was married and is getting a divorce and has kids,” Sharapova said. “Talk about other things, but not draw attention to other things. She has so much in her life, many positives, and I think that’s what it should be about.”
Sharapova was asked about avoiding controversy when speaking with the media.
“What I do on the court and what I talk about in my press conference is strictly about my career,” Sharapova said. “I’m sure people want to know more, but yet I try to keep my personal life private. Nobody really cares about what I have to say, my opinions. If I speak to my friends, that’s one thing. But I don’t go out and try to create things that shouldn’t be really talked about.”
Here’s video of Sharapova’s comments, courtesy of ESPN: