"There was a reason why I didn’t lose to Maria Sharapova" - Serena Williams teases more details of her rivalry with Russian in upcoming documentary

Serena Williams teases more details of her rivalry with Maria Sharapova
Serena Williams teases more details of her rivalry with Maria Sharapova

Serena Williams has assured her fans that her upcoming 'In the Arena' documentary will shed more light on her relationship with Maria Sharapova, a rivalry that caught the imagination of the tennis world for a decade. The American leads the head-to-head between the duo 20-2, including 19 straight wins in their last 19 matches.

After losing their first battle at the 2004 Miami Open, Sharapova bounced back with two wins in two, the first of which came at the 2004 Wimbledon Championships. It marked the maiden Grand Slam title for the former World No. 1, following which she beat Williams in the final of the WTA Finals that same year.

It was Serena Williams all the way after that, with only four of their next 19 matches even going to three sets.

Speaking in an interview with the New York Times, the 23-time Grand Slam champion was asked about the rivalry, to which she responded that her documentary will explain to fans why she never lost to Sharapova again after the twin losses in 2024.

"Oh, man, you didn’t see [what I said about beating Maria Sharapova]? I think that’s Episode 3. God, I’m so sad. You have to see the rest. You gotta wait for it. There was a reason why I didn’t lose to her, and I explain that," Williams told the journalist.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda last year, Williams' former coach Rick Macci had also expanded on her rivalry with Sharapova, comparing it more to a "catfight." In addition to coaching Serena Williams and her sister Venus Williams, he also coached Sharapova in her younger days.

"I think Maria, when she came to me at 11, her and Yuri, they had their sights on Venus and Serena, and they talked about it, we talked about it a lot, that was always her goal. But listen, at the end of the day it was a rivalry simply because maybe it was more like a catfight. Who knows, maybe they didn't like each other for other reasons," Macci said.

'In the Arena: Serena Williams' will release on July 10 on ESPN+. It will capture the rise of the 42-year-old from a little girl in Compton to arguably the greatest female tennis player of all time in eight episodes.

"It was just too much pressure" - Serena Williams laments losing her last four Grand Slam finals

Day Five: The Championships - Wimbledon 2016
Day Five: The Championships - Wimbledon 2016

Serena Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam at the 2017 Australian Open, which took her past Steffi Graf as the woman with the most Major titles in the Open Era. In history, however, Williams trailed behind Margaret Court and her 24 Slam wins.

After the 2017 victory in Melboure, the American reached four more Grand Slam finals, but lost in each one (Wimbledon in 2018, 2019 and the US Open in 2018, 2019).

Speaking in the interview with the New York Times, the former World No. 1 opened up about the losses, admitting that she put too much pressure on herself to match Court's tally. Regardless, she shrugged them off, stating that there isn't anything she can do about it now.

"I think so. I should have won two or three of those. One I should have lost for sure. I don’t think, even looking back, I could have won at least one of them. But definitely at least two of them I could have won. It was just too much pressure I put on myself, and I couldn’t relax. That sucks. Honestly, it does. But nothing I can do about it now," Serena Williams said.

Overall, Williams finished her career with 73 WTA Tour singles titles and 23 trophies in doubles.

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Edited by Shyam Kamal
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