Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams shake arms after the ultimate of the 2015 Australian bnok.vn FAIRCLOUGH/Getty Photographs
Serena Williams enjoys a lopsided 18-2 file in opposition to Maria Sharapova. But the matchup between these two stars stays probably the most compelling on the WTA Tour.
Irrespective of the place or once they play, a Williams-Sharapova match yields excessive drama. The 2 renew their rivalry Tuesday within the quarterfinals of the 2016 Australian Open.
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Williams has received the final 17 conferences. Sharapova’s final win over Williams was in 2004.
Some may debate whether or not you may nonetheless name this a rivalry. However it’s, irrespective of how one-sided the outcomes have been. The stakes, the personalities, the streak and the historical past, make Williams vs. Sharapova must-see TV.
They’re the 2 greatest names in ladies’s tennis. Fashionistas, entrepreneurs and covergirls, Williams and Sharapova transcend sports activities.
They’re probably the most seen feminine tennis gamers on social media. Sharapova leads all WTA gamers in Fb followers. Serena leads all gamers in Twitter followers, per Fast Prime Tens.
Williams has earned simply over $74 million in profession prize cash, greater than any girl within the historical past of sports activities. Sharapova reportedly earns extra endorsement cash than any girl in sports activities, based on Forbes.
It is protected to say that neither Williams nor Sharapova will probably be lining up at a soup kitchen anytime quickly.
So what if Williams owns Sharapova on the courtroom. The longer the streak continues, the larger deal it turns into. Rafael Nadal has a 23-11 file in opposition to Roger Federer, however folks nonetheless need to see them play as a result of they’re among the many greatest within the enterprise.
Williams and Sharapova have been probably the most constant gamers over the previous 5 years. They’ve received a mixed 10 of the final 16 Grand Slams.
For all of the hype about “rising stars,” and “up and comers,” Williams and Sharapova are the 2 gamers who proceed to search out their means into semifinals and finals.
Maria Sharapova greets Serena Williams on the internet after their match on the 2015 Wimbledon bnok.vnnne Plunkett/Related Press
There’s stiff competitors. At this yr’s Aussie Open, Victoria Azarenka is predicted to supply a greater take a look at for Williams. Nevertheless, Vika’s model is nowhere close to in the identical neighborhood as Williams and Sharapova.
She will Dab all she likes, however Azarenka has but to draw the loyal, if not polarizing, gigantic fanbases of Williams and Sharapova.
Azarenka is legendary. Sharapova is legendary and iconic. Williams is legendary, iconic and legendary. Two icons will all the time trigger a commotion.
As quickly because the match was set, phrases like blockbuster and epic have been used to explain it.
There’s greater than a spot within the semifinals on the road. Williams is attempting to win her twenty second Grand Slam title to tie Steffi Graf. Sharapova is attempting to beat a decade of defeats.
Their careers are so intertwined; Sharapova’s legacy is tied to her file in opposition to Williams. Sharapova’s win over Williams at Wimbledon in 2004 propelled her into the highlight. The losses have haunted her profession.
Williams’ dominance over Sharapova has backfired. Critics level to it as proof that she performs in a “weak period.”
Six of Williams’ wins over Sharapova have come at a Grand Slam; three have been in finals. If Sharapova had received even two extra of these finals, that might elevate her above Venus Williams, who with seven Grand Slam titles continues to be second amongst lively ladies.
Whereas assured a spot within the Corridor of Fame, Sharapova has but to enter the dialog of “all-time greats.” That is reserved for these with Slam titles within the double digits.
It is unlikely Sharapova may ever acquire a bonus over Williams within the win column. Nevertheless, if Sharapova have been to play spoiler on the tail finish of Williams’ profession, it may change the complexity of the rivalry.
What if she halts Williams’ run right here, on the French Open or perhaps at Wimbledon? That is another excuse we watch; for the what-ifs.
We additionally tune in as a result of they’re enjoyable to look at. They hit laborious. They scream “C’mon!” Few folks on the WTA or ATP World Tour can ship the demise stare like Williams and Sharapova.
So what may be totally different this time?
Properly, Sharapova is serving higher than she has in years. She has 52 aces this event. Williams has solely 25. Sharapova served 21 aces in her fourth-round match in opposition to Belinda Bencic.
Throughout her post-match press convention, Sharapova instructed reporters that she’s labored laborious to enhance her serve. “I believe I’ve made a bit little bit of a change final yr within the stance, however I believe everybody all the time tries to enhance issues right here and there. It isn’t that large of a deal. We all the time look so as to add these few percentages.”
Bencic instructed reporters (by way of espnW) that Sharapova’s serve may very well be a game-changer. “In all probability she’s serving one of the best now on this bnok.vn she performs Serena, it is going to be ace, ace, ace, every thing. Will probably be an attention-grabbing match.”
After her fourth-round win over Margarita Gasparyan, Williams took a visit down reminiscence lane with reporters throughout her press convention. They requested her about previous victories over Sharapova.
She remembered the 2007 Australian Open during which she demolished Sharapova, 6-1, 6-2. “I keep in mind I made up my thoughts I’ve completely nothing to lose on this match, and, I do not know, I simply began taking part in actually bnok.vnuse she was the favourite. She was No. 1. I actually did not have something to lose, so it was identical to, ‘Hey, I am simply going to go for broke.’”
Now she’s No. 1 and the favourite. But Williams tells herself and the press that she has nothing to lose.
However after all she does. The streak, one other shot at tying Graf and rankings factors are all one thing to lose. Likewise, Sharapova has her personal legacy to contemplate.
Irrespective of how these two attempt to characterize the matchup, when Williams and Sharapova conflict, we watch.
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