The Serena vs Sharapova beef involves boyfriend rumors, odd book quotes, and a very lopsided rivalry

– This is Maria Sharapova’s autobiography. For a book ostensibly about its author, the text talks a lot about someone else, Serena Williams. The book generated controversy because Sharapova’s fixation with Serena encompasses more than just tennis. There is a narrative around these two. And a beef that hides
just beneath its surface. Until it doesn’t. To understand this beef,
you first need to understand the tennis rivalry or lack thereof. Maria Sharapova entered
the elite tennis circuit right as Serena Williams
was reaching its pinnacle. It was the first of several
pinnacles for Serena. Her career kinda looks like the Himalayas. The 16 year old from
Russia made her major debut at the 2003 Australian Open. The same tournament that
21 year old Williams won to complete a streak of taking
all four major championships consecutively over two years. The so-called Serena Slam. This was concrete evidence
that tennis had a new monarch. Later in ’03, Sharapova
started to actually win some matches in major tournaments. While Serena suffered a setback. Damage to her left knee required surgery, and she pulled out of the tour for months. Carrying into the beginning of 2004. Williams missed more time than anticipated but booked some non-tennis
gigs in the interim, which brought out the
peanut gallery of critics wondering if Serena would
regain her elite form, and if she took tennis seriously enough. But she returned to the court eventually and got back in the swing of
things in tournament play, including a pretty smooth
victory in her first ever meeting with Sharapova
at the Miami Open. Serena wasn’t 100% but
she was getting there, and she battled her way into
the Wimbledon final that year. Her opponent? Maria Sharapova. Who was only seeded 13th but
mounted multiple comeback upsets to reach her
first ever major final. To everyone’s surprise the
17-year old commanded the match. She broke Serena early
and won the first set. Then came back from
behind in the second set to win Wimbledon. A historic upset that
left people wondering if they were witnessing a tectonic shift in top women’s tennis. Serena would later joke that that wasn’t the
real her at Wimbledon. But Sharapova suggested Williams
accept this new reality. Then came back from a
set down to beat Serena in the final of the
2004 WTA Championships. After Sharapova’s two
victories against Williams, many people found the
notion of a new powerhouse in women’s tennis irresistible. Sharapova had proven herself as a player but its important to acknowledge that she had equal appeal as a star. She was talented and she was
conventionally attractive. Even Serena celebrated this. And the media found it
particularly compelling. However the actual tennis part of all this reached a pivotal crossroads when Williams and Sharapova
next met on the court. At the 2005 Australian Open semi-final. Sharapova served for three
match points in the third set. On one of them she came
very close to acing Williams for the win. But Serena fought off all
three of those matchpoints and stormed back to win the match. She’d go on to win the whole tournament. Her first major championship since 03′. And I really can’t stress enough that that meeting at the Australian Open which nearly went the other way, was pivotal as far as tennis is concerned. Sharapova’s career since
then has been great. With multiple major wins spaced out over the intervening decade and change. But each of those was earned in part by avoiding Serena in the bracket. Because, of course, Serena
has more major victories than anyone in history. And while her presence
on the tour has varied with her health. William has smoked Sharapova
at every opportunity, going all the way back to 2005. That is not an exaggeration. After an extended period
away from the game to tend to her physical
and mental well-being. Williams faced the number
one ranked Sharapova in the 2007 Australian Open final. Sharapova drilled
Williams with an overhead in the first set. Serena stared her down,
then dismantled her. Serena got Wimbledon revenge in 2010. She kicked Sharapova’s ass
at the London Olympics. She kicked Sharapova’s
ass at the French Open, typically the Russian’s strongest major. She’s kicked Sharapova’s ass in Miami, Madrid, and the Middle East. Sharapova didn’t get past
Williams in the bracket again until the 2018 French Open. And that was because Serena retired before their match up
with a pectoral injury. Maria’s record against
Serena up to that point was the two wins in 04′ and 19 losses. So despite early signs
that Sharapova might rival, or even overtake
Williams, they have proven to be nowhere near equal on the court. Sharapova is a great tennis player. Williams is one of the
greatest pro athletes in human history. But the dynamics change
when Maria and Serena put down their rackets. They’ve got some stuff in common. Both speak their minds, but they never had anything particularly exciting to say about one another until 2013. When we learned Serena and Maria had something else in common. Grigor Dimitrov. That year Williams was
profiled by Stephen Rodrick for Rolling Stone. And in the course of his access to Serena, Rodrick overheard and
reported a phone conversation she had with her sister Venus that included the following
quote about an unnamed subject. “She begins every interview
with I’m so happy, “I’m so lucky, its so boring. “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”. Everyone including
Rodrick assumed Williams was talking about Sharapova who was at the time, dating Dimitrov. A Bulgarian tennis player who, according to rumors, was Serena’s ex. And apparently had a black heart. For almost a decade these
two had slugged it out on the court with barely
any sign of real animosity. Yet all of a sudden here
was this candid sign of beef published in a damn magazine. Serena quickly apologized to Sharapova both privately and in public. – [Narrator] Sharapova
seemed to accept the apology. – [Narrator] But she got
a little dig in there too. – That right there, was
Maria implying that Serena dated her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou. Williams left it at that. And both players returned to
taking the high road, mostly. Serena did give one quote
about how much she cherished her dominant record against Sharapova. And Sharapova told The New York Times she had the utmost respect
for Williams on the court. But off the court things were different. Observers thought they saw
the two players avoiding one another on the court
at Brisbane in 2014. But any hostility was unspoken or passive aggressive at worst. William’s even tweeted one time about how much she loved
Sharapova’s fashion. But there was no doubt
after the boyfriend comments that, beef exists below the surface. And further flare ups have
illuminated even more. See, Serena and Maria have
other stuff in common. They are for instance both
among the highest paid female athletes in the world. Interestingly William
didn’t become number one in that ranking until 2016. Sharapova had been highest
paid for the 11 years preceding that, despite being
the less accomplished player. And the financial hit Sharapova
took in 2016, probably had to do with her failing a
test for banned substances. There is some irony in
that because Williams has been pestered for years
about her muscular physique. Despite never having failed a drug test. In 2014 Sharapova herself
condemned disgusting remarks members of the Russian Federation made about the appearance
of the Williams sisters. Maria knows full well that Serena has been subject to
racism her whole career. Both explicit racist
slurs and implicit racism couched in comments about
her body or her demeanor. Which brings us back to the book. It’s not surprising that
Sharapova would talk about Williams frequently in
telling her life story. Serena’s name even comes up in
the about the author section. And most of these many,
many, mentions are respectful even reverent of the greatest player ever. But Sharapova also made some
puzzling choices in here. Mostly concentrated around the story of beating Serena at Wimbledon. She describes the scene in the locker room following the match. Serena bawling and emitting guttural sobs, and she suggests Serena hated her and vowed to never lose to her again. And then there is this part. The bit about Sharapova
being a skinny kid, that echoes other lines in the book contrasting their appearances. Like, harping on Serena’s thick legs and how she is intimidating and strong and tall, really tall. Which like, yes, these
two are built differently but, even as a teenager
Sharapova towered over Williams. It’s just an odd thing to dwell on. Once Serena caught wind of these passages she addressed them in her own way. Soon after the book came out in 2017, she wrote a Reddit post about her daughter that was addressed to her
mother but seemed to respond to the comments about
her physique in the book. While Sharapova did what she could to explain those comments. – [Narrator] And said she would
speak to Serena one on one about what she wrote. – [Narrator] But whatever came of that Williams still sounded perturbed
by the book a year later. – [Narrator] Sharapova
insists she and Serena should be close since they
have so much in common. – [Narrator] But there are
just too many factors chilling any potential warmth between these two. On the court there is a lopsided rivalry with one early historic exception. Off the court there is a public dialogue. Two people exchanging
comments about one another, that have been petty at
times, even outright cruel. And at other times have
been troublingly tone deaf. But these two don’t do much
speaking to one another. – [Narrator] Because
underlying all of this. The tennis, the gossip, the stardom, is an icy layer of beef.

100 thoughts on “The Serena vs Sharapova beef involves boyfriend rumors, odd book quotes, and a very lopsided rivalry”

  1. 8:18 there was seriously some other pro player doing that on such a global scale and event organisers and WTA did nothing about it?


  3. Stop calling this a rivalry. With a record of 2-18 against Serena, Maria can't hold Serena's bra strap. Did you guys see the 6-1, 6-0 dismantling during the 2019 US Open?

  4. Let's keep it real. Sharapova has grossly underachieved, while Serena has becomes one of the GOATs. However, I believe the beef has partly to do with the racism shown toward Serena by sponsors. Sharapova got at least a few endorsements that should maybe have gone to the more successful Serena, but Sharapova is the "classic beauty". The bias where endorsements are concerned is undeniable.

  5. Wow bro! you broke that down to a T. And you kept it 💯!! Hats off to you for speaking TRUTH unapologetically. I Personally Salute You🤙

  6. Serena is THE best Woman to play the game. However, she is not a great person. The whole hiding from the drug testers and how she treated Osaka kind of shows the person she is. That's just my opinion. She could be a great person off-court but this is from what Ive seen.

  7. SB Nation, I am grateful for your uncut objectivity, direct, no nonsense reporting of information, and commendable commitment to ethics applicable to your work. Insofar as this Williams – Sharapova non-rivalry fodder the sports media and tennis pundits feed upon when it suits their purpose, it could also be viewed as the tale of disparate cultures in microcosm. One side will never accept Serena for the dominant, all-time great athlete she has become or recognize her associated accolades, while the other will doggedly embrace Sharapova despite her PED controversy, which coincides logically with her formerly unparalleled earning power, despite possessing the distinctly lesser quantity of winning hardware when compared to Serena.

  8. Serena Williams was embarrassed by Maria when Maria said that she was going out with the coach. Serena can't compete with Maria, Maria can literally get any man that she wants while Serena cannot. It was dumb for Serena to cede the ground to Maria by making it not about tennis but who they slept with where Serena lost badly. Maria would always sleep with better white men than Serena, that's the truth.

  9. Anna kournakova part 2 . No doubt if she wasn’t a pretty girl this would be a non-issue there is no rivalry it’s one-sided her tennis sucks she’s only hanging around because of her looks and her endorsement

  10. Maria was known cheater!! She was only sorry cuz she got caught. Love when they say they didn’t know ?? It’s just as bad is when they say they tried for the first time

  11. Another vid about Sharapova-Serena´s comparison. It´s impossible to talk about Sharapova to talk about Serena. No comparison with Kvitova, Kerber or Halep, always with Sharapova.

  12. Exhibit 998 out of 999 that when you're white you are celebrated more for your accomplishments than when you're black. #facts

  13. Getting paid to be in people's business? WOW!! For the record women are just freaking petty. If I was making millions of dollars for playing freaking tennis I would trot out there in my funny looking outfit, hit the ball, cash my check and keep my mouth shut. You are getting paid to play sports…..

  14. Serenas Williams shoulders are as big as the Himalayas you can fit three heads on those shoulders biology doesn’t lie this is a big O tranny !

  15. Alex Levy
    @elpidi0 valdez : Sharapova was on steroids for over 10 years before getting busted and suspended. I see you chose to omit that in your comments but choose to insult the GOAT..FOH Hater !!

  16. Bottom line, Sharapova feels inferior to Serena…and heaven forbid a strong black woman be totally and utterly athletically superior to the frail white woman. Haha. Serena may have her flaws, but she’s upfront and blunt…Sharapova was banned for PDEs, even after receiving 4 or 5 different emails warning her that it would be a banned substance starting January 1st! #NoIntegrity

  17. I ve been following serena since before she turned pro. Amazing athlete and champion. But her body has become bigger and more muscular throughout the years. It makes no sense. It has been suggested she has taken performance enhancing drugs. It seemed a crazy idea at first but not anymore…her body has become more muscular as she got older

  18. People talking black and white stuff the color dont mean anything or country she from its the person u are and maria better person and sweeter than sw thats just fact i dont care if maria was black or sw was white its the person

  19. I think that 2 year ban on Sharapova for some BS steroid charge was BS. If it had been Serena Williams there would have been no ban because the tennis federation would have been afraid of being accused of racism.

  20. By Sharapova's own admission, she's not very friendly with most of the girls on tour. In other words, she's snooty and stuck up, but mostly she's insecure.

  21. Serena is an awesome tennis,probably best ever,she got no class though,love seeing her lose major finals like yesterday at the u.s,gotta love a good dummy spit.Sharapova is all class,great career also.

  22. So the old tennis intructer giggolo
    Laying the pipe is true among wealthy women at the countryclub.
    Hahahahahaha and serena is among them.
    What about the dude massage therapist?

  23. Williams is like playing a man.muscle god she's like ben rothlesberger of tennis.that said tennis isn't all about size and strength but I'd bet Serena squats 450-500 and bench 225..just a physical specimen

  24. At 3:41 "serena has more major victories than anyone in history". Umm, yes, she at 23, more than any man, but I believe Margaret Court from Australia, has 24? Pls correct me if i'm wrong..

  25. Serena face has bloated soooo much over time…..only men's faces grow as they get older. Look at photos from serenas youth….clearly a boy

  26. Class and demure strength will always beat thuggery, Yeah, she's more athletic, talented, and accomplished, but she's more successful in every real definition of the word. Figure it out. Hint: guess why anyone watched their last matchup US Open 19.

  27. It's pretty disrespectful to Serena to even associate her with the PED-user Sharapova. There is no rivalry. Serena has always been on a higher level of athleticism that Sharapova will never attain. She should retire now.

  28. I prefer Sharapova. At least she's not whiny, a diva and a huge ego. And she didn't cheat cough I mean fought on a refs for warning her on receiving instructions from his coach.

  29. I think Serena threatened Maria off court after those losses and told her if she ever beat her that she will do something about it.

  30. Any man who think Serena is worth a glance should be locked up.That beast!! Frankly, I can't believe any normal man would have the slightest interest in her.

  31. Funny how comments on the vid turned into a thing about skin color, beauty, and who made more money because of both. I wish Davenport and Kournikova had beef. The comments would be exactly the same thing, minus any reference to skin color. Nobody asks why Tim Duncan never made remotely as much money as Iverson in endorsements when they entered the nba a year apart, but Duncan won 5 titles.

  32. Sharapova is natural skill, Serena is obviously roided our. She’s beefier than most men players. Either way both these women would’ve crushed by male players

  33. Fake racism again: Serena Williams does have thick thighs Serena Williams is a physical specimen Serena Williams is a modern marvel of athleticism… Nothing racist about that at all.

  34. I love how everybody's claiming racism when Serena was not the highest paid female tennis player… But now Serena Williams is the highest paid female athlete in the history of the world… Is the world now racist against white people?

    Probably not. Serena probably just got better at marketing herself.
    Both are beautiful both are rich both are amazing athletes Serena is the greatest of all time. You people get so hung up on race in everything.

  35. ‘Sharapova insists they should be close given that they have so much in common’ and what is that, exactly? The few titles Maria won whilst using performance enhancing drugs which don’t even begin to stack up when compared against Serena’s sensational career? Is that what she honestly thinks she can class as having ‘in common’? But otherwise I’m stumped. At best it’s that they’re both tennis players but Maria is a drugs cheat who doesn’t respect the game- so I would argue she doesn’t even deserve to be classed as a pro athlete 🙄

  36. There is no rivalry between those two, Serena is the clear cut dominant athlete between the two 19-2 doesn't sound like a rivalry to me

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