PV Sports Desk : Serena Williams will be fired up to tighten her 14-year grip on Maria Sharapova by a sense of betrayal as the two iconic stars play out the latest chapter of their bitter feud at the French Open on Monday.
Sharapova has not defeated her fellow former world number one since 2004 — a streak of 18 matches — the same year she made her global breakthrough at Wimbledon as a slender teenager prone to fits of giggles.
The 22nd match of their one-sided rivalry will once again be played out against a familiar soundtrack of suspicion and bad blood.
Williams, the three-time French Open champion and 23-time major winner, has vented her anger at Sharapova’s claims that she had wept after losing the 2004 Wimbledon title match.
The 36-year-old described references to her in Sharapova’s memoir, ‘Unstoppable’, as “100 percent hearsay” while other revelations she dismissed as “not necessarily true”.
Williams is particularly angry as Sharapova’s claims came just months after the American had hailed her for the manner in which she announced her failed drugs test at the 2016 Australian Open.
“I was one of the few people that said she was brave to say something,” said Williams referring to Sharapova’s “drug incident”.
“I didn’t have anything negative to say about Maria.”
Sharapova’s test for meldonium led to a 15-month ban.
Ironically, the Russian’s last match before her suspension was against Williams in the quarter-finals in Melbourne.