Former US tennis star reveals unknown details about Maria Sharapova’s relationship with Serena Williams

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Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams shared an iconic rivalry in the sport of tennis. While the rivalry was overwhelmingly in Williams’ favor, Sharapova managed to put up a tough fight against Williams. However, her former coach Michael Joyce has spoken of a game that changed Sharapova’s perspective against rival Serena Williams.

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Despite being one of the best players, the Russian couldn’t overcome the challenges that Williams gave her. It also affected her performance against the 23-time Grand Slam champion.

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Michael Joyce on the defining moment of the rivalry between Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams

Michael Joyce was talking about the 2007 Australian Open final. That match turned things around for Williams and Sharapova’s perspective against her opponent changed. The former coach of the Russian player spoke about it in a podcast and say, “Serena wasn’t playing well. She was a bit overweight, she couldn’t move and Serena ended up winning just because of her experience and then they played in the finals.

Despite the expectation of the Russian player’s victory, things turned out differently. He said, “Serena just played unreal, she took him off the pitch and I didn’t see it coming. … It was just a beating and there was nothing Maria could do.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 27: Maria Sharapova of Russia and Serena Williams of the United States pose with their trophies after the women’s final match on day thirteen of the 2007 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 27, 2007 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

However, that just wasn’t the defeat Sharapova faced. His trainer said, “I think that game also affected Maria the 10-12 times she played it. It got a bit mental, but I also think it was a matchup issue.

It made Sharapova see the absolute talent that Williams carried. Joyce said, “At the end of the day, Maria probably had the most respect for Serena out of any player. I’m just saying that based on what I think, she never said that.

He said the five-time Grand Slam champion still had confidence against all players. She believed she could take them down at some point. However, he says, “It felt like Serena brought her a game. Maria was quite predictable in the way she played and Serena went through that period for 3-4 years where she just blew her away.

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The iconic rivalry between Sharapova and Williams

Their rivalry started with the Miami Masters and ended at the US Open. The layers have met against the pitch 22 times and the American player has led the rivalry at a ratio of 20:2.

WATCH THIS STORY: Maria Sharapova whimsically mocks Novak Djokovic on how she helped him win the Grand Slam

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Both players have now retired, with Sharapova bidding farewell to the sport in 2020 and Williams this year. Iconic tennis players are now enjoying their post-retirement lives with their families and off-court endeavours.

What do you think of their rivalry? Let us know in the comments.

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