Serena Williams vs Maria Sharapova is one of the most heated rivalries in the women’s game. Their match-ups have always been the most compelling ones. The viewership of their battles has been sky-rocketing compared to other rivalries on the WTA Tour.
There is some kind of friction existing between the two of them and the Grand Slam champions have never really got along with each other. In Sharapova’s autobiography, Unstoppable its mentioned their relationship has some kind of ‘intense antagonism.’
Post her two consecutive defeats, Williams has been ruthless against Sharapova on all the surfaces. Sharapova must have stunned the world by defeating Williams at Wimbledon 2004 finals and WTA Championships, but she lost 20 consecutive matches against the American veteran tennis player.
The heated-rivalry of women’s track has witnessed some bitter moments. One of them took place on Rod Laver Arena during the Australian Open 2007 finals. Serena was steamrolling over Maria in the first set with a 5-0 lead. Sharapova released her serve and later Williams charged onto the net.
The Russian wasn’t holding back, even she sprinted to the net, and in a blink of an eye, she smashed the ball on Serena Williams. A frustrated Serena moved back to the baseline for the next reception and simultaneously uttered the ‘B’ word.
Later, Williams thrashed the Russian ace 6-1, 6-2 and clinched her third Australian Open title.
“I will never lose to that little bitch again” – Serena Williams
According to Maria Sharapova’s autobiography, Unstoppable, Serena was super-annoyed after losing to the lanky Russian at Wimbledon 2004. The battle could be termed as Williams, the physical Goliath vs Sharapova, like David.
The American just couldn’t accept her Wimbledon final defeat to a 17-year-old skinny girl. Out of disappointment, Serena once used the ‘B’ word for Maria.
“Not long after the tournament, I heard that Serena told a friend — who then told me — ‘I will never lose to that little bitch again,’” Sharapova depicted in her book.
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova (Picture Courtesy: USTA)
The salty rivalry of the women’s game concluded at Flushing Meadows during US Open 2019. In their very-first round-one WTA match-up Serena Williams took 59 minutes to crush Sharapova 6-1, 6-1.
‘I’m done with losing’: Anthony Joshua opens up on his pain after Oleksandr Usyk defeat
Anthony Joshua has opened up on his shock loss to Oleksandr Usyk last month that saw him relinquish his heavyweight titles, saying he is “done with f…..g losing” and will exact swift revenge in their rematch next year.
In a wide-ranging interview with iFL TV, the former heavyweight champion also discussed his trainer situation as he looks to win back his IBF, WBA and WBO belts from the Ukrainian at the first time of asking.
Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) was thoroughly outboxed by Usyk as the unbeaten Ukrainian (19-0, 13 KOs) earned a unanimous points victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London to end Joshua’s brief second reign.
Joshua had suffered his first career defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019 before winning back his titles in an immediate sequel in Saudi Arabia six months later.
The 32-year-old is confident that he will do the same against Usyk after getting his tactics wrong in their first encounter and hit back at critics who suggested he was too happy to lose.
“Because you don’t hear from me, I may not be effing and blinding on Insta stories and stuff like that, it doesn’t mean that I stomach losses,” Joshua said.
“I was on the next plane to the States, spoke to all my team. We’ve had some awkward conversations in the camp … It hurts bro. It hurts. Especially when you’ve got a winner’s mentality.
“I know from experience and track record, my mindset and my evaluation of losses and how I use them, it can catapult me to the next level.”
When asked why tried to outbox a technical fighter like Usyk rather than using his size and strength advantages to bully the much smaller man, Joshua initially sought to justify his baffling strategy, saying he was trying to conserve energy.
“When I looked at the other fight [Tyson Fury’s KO of Deontay Wilder in their trilogy fight] a couple of weeks later you saw that after two rounds, three rounds, the energy was depleted, Joshua told iFL TV.
“It’s not what I thought was the right way of boxing. So I started working on different elements of my boxing – trying to learn how to slip shots, roll shots a bit better, etcetera.
“MY LIFE IS ON THE LINE” – ANTHONY JOSHUA EXPLAINS SEARCH FOR NEW TRAINER
The deposed champion is preparing for his Oleksandr Usyk rematch
Anthony Joshua has denied splitting with trainer Rob McCracken but says he is looking for additional input ahead of his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua lost to the Ukrainian former cruiserweight in September but immediately exercised his rematch clause which should see the pair face one another for a second time in 2022.
The 31-year-old Briton was well beaten by Usyk in a technical match-up with many believing the former champion was wrong not to use his size and strength advantage.
Since the defeat Joshua has toured gyms in Texas and California, and he told IFL TV what his plans were.
Speaking of retaining McCracken, he said: “Yeah, and he has to speak to the people I may want to work with and see if he can work with them.
“I had the same conversation with Rob, ‘I want to work with you, but I also want to work with this guy for six months’.
“Rob might tell me, ‘You know what champ, this ain’t working for me. For the next six months, you do your thing and come and see me after.’
“It’s mature conversations. My life, my health is on the line.”
Joshua explained who he had seen on his visit.
“I need to go and get some new teachings from guys that have trained – Robert Garcia trained 13, 14 world champions,” he said.
“They’ve got so many generations of teachings.
“Virgil Hunter trained Andre Ward, a phenomenal fighter.
“I wanted to go around and be in an environment of fighters.
“Eddy Reynoso, ‘No boxing, no life.’ I love that saying. Canelo is obviously a phenomenal fighter.
“I watched him spar 12 rounds, asked certain questions.
“Ronnie Shields, another African American coach who has worked with the greats.”
Tearful Serena Williams aids fight against cancer with heartbreaking call to action
In tears, Serena Williams shared a heartbreaking video call-to-action to support her friend Esther Lee, a DPT who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a year ago, in promoting a challenge event meant to raise funds for battling cancer everywhere.
In the video, Serena Williams can be seen failing to keep her tears under control since the message involves a dear friend of hers. “I don’t think I can do this. This is going to be too hard for me,” Williams says in the video as her voice drowns in tears.
“My dear friend Esther has been a huge part of my own health journey and now she needs our help as she battles pancreatic cancer. Join me in helping patients like Esther by registering for the LA Cancer Challenge 5K Walk/Run on October 31.
With both in-person and virtual events, everyone can participate,” Serena Williams captioned the video.
How to help Serena and Esther in the battle against cancer
If you want to help researchers find a cure for cancer or aid people in battling the disease, you can register for the LA Cancer Challenge event, which “helps the Hirshberg Foundation raise money to fund research and programs designed to improve patient care, offer better treatment options and, ultimately find a cure for pancreatic cancer,” according to Serena Williams.
The tennis icon also said that you can “join me, in-person or virtually, for a day of costumes and fun, remembering those we have lost and celebrating those who are currently battling this disease. Together, regardless of where we are, we can make a huge difference in the battle against pancreatic cancer”.
On Williams’s official donation page on pancreatic.org, you have the option to donate or join Serena’s or Esther’s teams. At the moment, there are over $5000 raised. The goal is around $15000.