Maria Sharapova opens up about Serena Williams relationship – and reveals advice to current tennis stars

Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams
Maria Sharapova has opened up about her relationship with Serena Williams.

Maria Sharapova revealed that she and Serena Williams “have a good laugh” about their tennis careers as she opened up about her relationship with the American great.

Five-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova famously beat Serena to win her first major title at Wimbledon in 2004, celebrating the anniversary of that victory at the All England Club on Wednesday.

The Russian would go on to beat the American in the WTA Finals final that season – but then suffered 19 straight defeats to the 23-time major winner.

Tensions were famously high between the two superstars across their respective careers, with the pair rarely seeing eye to eye.

But, with Sharapova retiring in 2020 and Serena doing so two years later, the relationship between the two has evolved in recent times.

The pair have been spotted together at the Met Gala on multiple occasions – including this year – and at other similar events post-retirement.

And, speaking to Tennis Channel on-site on Wednesday – taking a break from her prime seat in the Royal Box on Centre Court – the former world No 1 revealed she now has “a lot of fun” with her counterpart.

“Now we get to reflect on the past and have a good laugh about it,” said Sharapova.

“Also seeing her, she has two kids now, and an incredibly strong business platform. Yeah, we have a lot of fun – we have some good chats on our phones.”

Sharapova was famed for her mental strength throughout her career, and the five-time Slam champion has repeatedly been cited by the likes of Iga Swiatek and Naomi Osaka as a huge influence.

And, with demands on ATP and WTA stars more intense than ever, Sharapova offered some key advice to those looking to become among the best tennis players in the world.

She added: “We’re faced with so much adversity, challenges, social media, and we want to be at ten different places at the same time.

“I think the focus has to always remain what’s important to you. If it’s being the best in the world at one thing, you have to wake up and that is your goal and your vision.

“I always say: don’t believe the hype. The hype is so instant and it comes in and out so quickly. Just have an even composure when you win and when you lose.

“The victories are so special, but if you treat them too high, and treat the tough moments as a really big low in your career, it’s hard to find that happy medium. I think that sweet spot is really important.”

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