"I'd love to use an excuse but I'm not for those" - When Maria Sharapova refused to give reasons after Serena Williams denied her Sunshine Double
Maria Sharapova is among the finest players in the history of women's tennis, winning five Grand Slam singles titles, among other accolades. However, there were a few titles and distinctions that always eluded Sharapova.
The Russian could never enter the list of players who completed the Sunshine Double, i.e. winning Indian Wells and Miami in the same year.
Sharapova came close to attaining the feat twice, the first time being in 2006. She triumphed at the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, but lost to compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final of the Miami Open (then known as the NASDAQ-100 Open).
Sharapova's second title at Indian Wells came in 2013, when she beat Caroline Wozniacki in the final. The Russian then competed with distinction at the Miami Open (then known as the Sony Open Tennis).
Sharapova reached the final with convincing wins over Eugenie Bouchard, Elena Vesnina, Klara Zakopalova, Sara Errani and Jelena Jankovic.
Maria Sharapova then faced her rival Serena Williams in the final, and even won the opening set 6-4. However, Williams roared back into the contest and claimed the next two sets 6-3 and 6-0 to win her sixth title in Miami.
Sharapova was asked in her post-match press conference whether she ran out of energy during the third set, and that she looked like she hadn't eaten enough. The Russian responded by saying that she wasn't one for excuses, even though she would have loved to use that as one.
"I'd love to use that as an excuse, but I'm not one for those," Maria Sharapova said.
The 2013 Sony Open Tennis final was Serena Williams' 11th consecutive win over Maria Sharapova. The Russian was asked how far she was from being able to defeat her rival, and she replied that the way she played in the final was a step in the right direction.
Sharapova also claimed that she had no doubt she would eventually get a win over Serena Williams.
"Yeah, I think, you know, I think today, you know, I certainly played a lot better. You know, I had my chances. There's no reason why I couldn't win the match today," Maria Sharapova said.
"I was playing, you know, well, not well enough to win the match, obviously, but, you know, it was a step in the right direction and there's no doubt that we'll be playing many more times. There's no doubt I'll be able to beat her," she added.
Serena Williams leads 20-2 in the head-to-head against Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams locked horns on 22 occasions, with the latter leading the head-to-head 20-2.
Sharapova won two out of her first three matches against Williams, namely the 2004 Wimbledon final and the title clash at that year's WTA Championships (now known as the WTA Finals).
The American, however, won the next 19 matches on the trot, 16 of them in straight sets. The two faced each another in four Grand Slam finals, with Williams winning three of them.
The final meeting between Williams and Sharapova came in the opening round of the 2019 US Open, with the former winning 6-1, 6-1.
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