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Maria Sharapova speaks out about feud with Serena Williams

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Maria Sharapova hasn't played since the Western & Souther Open in August. (Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Henri Bendel)

Maria Sharapova hasn’t played since the Western & Southern Open in August. (Craig Barritt/Getty Images)

Maria Sharapova says she’s squashed her feud with Serena Williams, a tiff that made headlines at Wimbledon this year.

“We haven’t spoken too much about it,” she told The Wall Street Journal in an interview conducted before the U.S. Open in August. “But we did [put it behind us]. We left a lot of what had happened in London.”

The beef stems from an interview that Williams gave to Rolling Stone in the spring, in which she appeared to take a veiled dig at Sharapova’s relationship with ATP pro Grigor Dimitrov. In response, Sharapova brought up Williams’ unconfirmed relationship with her coach, 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 during her pre-tournament news conference at Wimbledon. “She has so much in her life, many positives, and I think that’s what it should be about.”

Williams apologized for her comments the next day.

When asked why she came out so forcefully, Sharapova told The Wall Street Journal that it’s all part of her personality.

“I’ve always been tough,” Sharapova said. “It’s won me a lot in life. I’m not the strongest girl, I’m not the fastest girl on the court, but I’ve been extremely tough and it’s brought me many titles, many victories and many smiles.”

When asked why she’s been more successful off the court than Williams, who has a far better tennis résumé, the four-time Grand Slam champion said the energy an athlete puts into the business side is simply a choice.

“I think Serena has done an incredible job on the court,” Sharapova said. “Her tennis has spoken for itself in the last however many years she’s competed. The amount of Grand Slams that she’s been able to win, especially at her age now, still competing at the highest level and maybe her best level yet, speaks a lot to what she’s accomplished.

“At the end of the day, it is tennis that’s brought us all these other things. But I think it’s also how you use it and how you want to use it. Not many players have the interest to do other things, which is OK, because if we’re good enough at what we do, if we’re successful, if we make the right amount of money, some people don’t have to. We have the luxury not to. I think it’s a choice.”

Sharapova hasn’t played since since the Western & Southern Open in August because of a shoulder injury. She says her shoulder injury in 2009 made her think seriously about what her life after tennis would look like.

“I’ve played tennis since I was 4 years old, so the idea of not playing tennis and not having anything to do at all actually scares me,” she said.

Sharapova reiterated her plan to go into business after tennis, and as the highest-paid female athlete in the world, she certainly has the chops for it.

You can see the full interview here:

  • Published On Nov 07, 2013
  • 99 comments
    hatetoregister
    hatetoregister

    The Forbes article did NOT list Maria as the"highest paid female athlete in the world". Instead, it listed her as the highest paid female athlete in the world FOR A PARTICULAR YEAR! That is an important distinction! Serena has about $20 million MORE than Sharapova total! According to the LATEST WTA FIGURES, published in November 2013, Serena has outearned Maria by leaps and bounds. 

    Serena earned over $56 million. Sharapova, who was third behind Venus, earned $26 million. Sharapova certainly had more endorsement deals, but Serena did too. All told, it is Serena who has outearned Sharapova. Sharapova just made up a little ground by having MORE endorsements than Serena, but FEWER wins/dollars on court.

    http://www.wtatennis.com/SEWTATour-Archive/Rankings_Stats/Career_Prize_Money_Top_100.pdf

    MissDMWalters10
    MissDMWalters10

    Maria please you are one of the strongest and tallest on the WTA......please! Anyway congrats on all your achievements since that infamous day in 2004 when you were made as Ms. Williams let down her guard. Hope to see you comeback fit and strong to try and challenge Serena and make things a bit interesting in 2014.

    biglio
    biglio

    This is one thoughtful woman, I cannot say the same for Serena.....in the long run this is the difference. (if we leave Tennis out of course)

    mzfinfan
    mzfinfan

    Sharapova is marketed well. Guys think they want to date her. In reality, most men would not want to date a woman who is nearly 6'3' with no chest or rear. Most women don't want to be nearly 6'3" without a chest or rear. She's a made up illusion. Google pics of her in practice sessions. Sharapova could easily be a confused with a tall teenage boy.

    mzfinfan
    mzfinfan

    Sharapova needs to stop acting like she's not the tallest woman on tour. She's nearly 6-3. She is five inches taller than Serena. Google pics of her and Kevin Bacon at the ESPYs. Bacon is 5'11" and Sharapova towers over him. She's HUGE. Has the broadest shoulders on tour. 

    TarugoKing
    TarugoKing

    Maria will always have a tough time beating a man in tennis! 

    dre
    dre

    Im scratching my head over here wondering why so many journalist always asking Maria about Serena?   Why when Serena do interviews, no one even mentions Maria name?  Its beginning to to be a crazy pattern.  Maria is always asked a Serena question when they both don't think about one another.  Maria will go down as interested in fashion as Serena will go down as one of the greats in Tennis.

    MCB
    MCB

    There is no doubt that Serena is one of the greatest tennis players ever. But let's be real. She would have more endorsements and be more marketable if she didn't let her mouth get in the way. The rape comment? Threatening a linesperson? Martina, Chris or Steffi would NEVER do such things. Serena is always her own worst enemy.

    tpwarren23
    tpwarren23

    At the end of the day, Serena will go down as one of the greatest of all times and Sharapova will be seen as a good player and a player that was GIVEN much b/c she's white and blonde and that's fine.  Serena is still beautiful and has had way more relationships with men than Sharapova who I think is a lesbian. Her "so-called" relationship with the basketball player was a sham and so is her relationship with Dimitrov who's still a kid. If she's so beautiful why isn't she openly desired? I'll tell you why. She's too busy hanging around known lesbots like Chelsea Lately and pretending to be so uppity and classy. I've always thought Maria was the upgraded version of Gabriela Sabitini...who also was a beautiful lesbian. 

    When it's all said and done Sharapova is the biggest loser because all of her interviews ALWAYS have questions about Serena and her having to comment on someone who has beaten her for nearly 10 years. That is the ultimate humiliation that Maria and her FANS share. However, you can't name more that ONE interview in which Serena is questioned about Sharapova...LMAO so the jokes on Sharapova and her bitter fans.  

    tyesoteric
    tyesoteric

    Ok, so I admire both of these ladies. I think that Maria is attractive and while I adore Serena, I had not always thought that she necessarily attractive but ultra athletic.   Lately though, i think that Serena has a much more streamlined body and is very attractive. Regardless of these things, it is a fact that Sharapova has a very marketable image. I don't compare Serena's legacy in any way to Maria's image because we all know that Maria is no match for Serena. Sorry, it's just a fact.  But Maria is good for the sport and is marketable, so tennis wins.  Serena is the Queen of tennis and I love her for that .   Serena also has foregone several endorsements for getting a percentage of the profits from her relationships with HSN and others.  My point is that there is no need to really argue as both bring huge contributions to the tennis.  Serena is the ultimate players and reigns over the sport while Maria serves as a hugely important figure in terms of a face perspective. Either way, neither one of these ladies are hurting for anything so i don't really care too much.  But i do hope for 2014 to be a great year across the board.

    sld1776
    sld1776

    "When asked why she's been more successful off the court than Williams...."

    She's tall, slim, and blond. Not very beautiful, but TALL, SLIM, AND BLOND. Not hard to figure it out.


    rcamerous
    rcamerous

    I don't understand...I must be missing something...She is NOT pretty...She is so average looking...Why is everyone so up in arms about her?..It's something about her jawline and her mouth that turns me off....It's kind of like the Grinch...I see, on average, 10 women per day who make her look like Ragedy Anne.

    Darnell47
    Darnell47

    I forgot , Sharapova is a beauty. I had to tell the truth. Nevertheless this is not a beauty contest. It's tennis.

    Darnell47
    Darnell47

    This article needs to be adjusted. Serena has more money than Sharapova. Forbes has her with $20 Million more than Sharapova. Forbes calls Serena the Highest paid Female athlete in the WORLD!!! This other stuff is hype. Some people do not want a black female's face on tennis. However, it's is too late. The LORD has SPOKEN!!!! I like Sharapova but let's tell the truth.

    Darnell47
    Darnell47

    This interview is good but it's a little dishonest. Shapova might be the highest paid but she is not the richest. Serena Williams is. Serena is worth $20 Million more than Sharapova. Checkout Forbes for the truth. She has more endorsements but not money.

    GaryGuillermo
    GaryGuillermo

    If it were up to me Tennis would be like Victoria Secret models in sexy outfits.   Maria S. fits this model with her beauty.  On the other had we have a big fat black girl . . .

    Isbonifacio
    Isbonifacio

    Maria is a very attractive woman who is a pretty good tennis player.  So in western society, she is VERY marketable.  Serena is a great tennis player who sometimes with her fashion choices and hair styles is...well...not so good to look at.  If she looked like Halle Berry or Beyonce Knowles AND played great tennis, then the advertisers would be all lined up to sign her like they are with Maria.

    acash626
    acash626

    Face it Madison Ave likes tall thin & blonde. Because she has 4 grand slams Maria Sharapova fits that bill. Serena Williams despite 17 grand slams does not fit Madison Ave's profile. That's why Sharapova's off court earnings are higher. On the court the TV ratings for tennis are highest when Serena Williams is playing. Both women are attractive. It's a matter of personal preference.

    JackMaehoffer1
    JackMaehoffer1

    At the end of the day, your average male sports fan would prefer to watch Sharapova jump rope over a Serena tennis match.   

    Yonex Pro
    Yonex Pro

    Sharapova is a big mouthed bamboo stick. She is not even worthy to be mentioned in the same sentence or even article as the Great Serena Williams. She is okay when it comes to looks but I think the tennis media and world is so desperate to have a blonde  on top that they are forcing their opinions on everybody. Who says Sharapova is more successful off court than Serena? or has more money than Serena? She is a fool. If she doesn't know that Serena owns her off the court and on the court by now, she is clearly suffering from delusions of grandeur.

    Bad_Girl
    Bad_Girl

    @MCB By the way Serena is richer that sharapova despite her endorsements. Serena toned down the number of products she endorses while sharapova will endorse anything as long as there is money in it. You have to question the morality of an athlete who sells sugar to kids 

    makouria
    makouria

    @MCB    what mouth are you talking about,  if Serena was a blonde she would have gotten all of the endorsements, she is better than all of the rest.  The people who give out endorsements do not like Black people, plain and simple.

    dre
    dre

    @MCB  Serena is not worried about endorsements.  She is thinking about records and history something Maria will never have a chance is breaking.  Another thing, Maria mouth is big also.  Sharapova is only marketable because she is tall and thin and which I believe she also has had some surgery to put herself out like that. 

    Bad_Girl
    Bad_Girl

    @sld1776 The thing is she is not more successfully that Serena off court !! The journalist here is just trying to make her feel better..............

    MissDMWalters10
    MissDMWalters10

    So true and to be honest Serena and Venus started the off the court interests and in fact were bashed for doing it. Serena has her great endorsements as well and am sure has more than enough money to retire and never work for the rest if her life. Brand Serena is alive and well trust me she is not losing any sleep over Pova...

    Bad_Girl
    Bad_Girl

    @GaryGuillermo yes if it was up to you every one would be as stupid as you......If it was up to me you wont even own a computer........

    dre
    dre

    @GaryGuillermo You are stupid and Ignorant. You need to fall off the earth.

    dre
    dre

    @Richard--Ramirez I wonder how you look.  ugly and stupid.  You are Ignorant and trash.

    jlnew130331
    jlnew130331

    @acash626 You could replace the term "Madison Ave." with "porn".  Isn't that what Russian girls do best?

     

    Will18
    Will18

    @Yonex Pro Sharapova's big mouth doesn't make boorish death threats. Tennis is not a game for animals. 

    tfaw
    tfaw

    @Yonex Pro the williams dudes are angry and horrible to watch.

    John183
    John183

    @makouria @MCB Really? Then why I do I see LeBron James in numerous ads. The above comments are right, people don't like Serena because of the way she acts on the court. I'm a fan of Venus. She always composed herself with class and grace when she won and lost. Her sister, not so much.

    MCB
    MCB

    @dre @MCB If you don't think that Serena is bothered that Sharapova has more endorsements, despite owning her, you haven't been paying attention. Serena likes to win, but she LOVES beating Maria. The intensity she has when playing Sharapova is unlike it is with almost any other player.

    dre
    dre

    @tfaw @JackMaehoffer1  It seems both of you are dumb just like Maria.  She may be OK to look at, but she is dumb as a knob.

    dre
    dre

    @Will18  are you stupid.  Maria is dumb.  Let it go!!!!

    adaorile
    adaorile

    @John183 @makouria @MCB You now love Venus because she's no longer the juggernaut she was prior to her health problems.

    I wager your 'sudden' love for Venus is hypocritical. I don't remember Venus getting this much love when she was top of the tree. She was lumped in the same basket with Serena by fans like you.

    Sharapova gets the best endorsements because she is blonde and tall, period. Character has nothing to do with it.

    mzfinfan
    mzfinfan

    @MCB @dre Serena doesn't beat Maria over endorsements. She beats her because Sharapova hasn't added a single element to her game since 2004, the last time she beat Serena. 

    Allinthetoss
    Allinthetoss

    @dre @Will18 Calling Maria dumb would be upgrading her.  She is a soulless bore. That stiff, boney, un-athletic body running around a court is enough to make you vomit