A 17 year-old kid Maria Sharapova shocked the Tennis world in 2004, when she beat Serena Williams in the Wimbledon Ladies’ singles final to win her maiden Wimbledon crown.
The world took notice and Sharapova suddenly became the poster girl of tennis, grabbing media attention, endorsements and fanfare from all around the globe.
Serena was forced to deal with that eerie feeling of defeat, something that she wasn’t used to, and especially not against a young kid. She took that loss hard, and since then has lost just once against Sharapova.
Sharapova is currently on a comeback trail, after being suspended for 15 months for doping. During her suspension period, Sharapova came up with her autobiography, titled ‘Unstoppable: My Life So Far’.
In an extract released by the ‘People Magazine’, Sharapova revealed the reason for Serena’s apparent hatred towards her, taking us back to the 2004 Wimbledon final.
When the match was over, Serena hugged me. She said something like, ‘Good job’. And smiled. But she could not have been smiling on the inside,”
“What I heard when I came into the locker room was Serena Williams bawling. Gluttural sobs. I got out as quickly as I could, but she knew I was there. People often wonder why I have had so much trouble beating Serena; my record against her is 2 and 19. To me, the answer was in this locker room.
“I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all the odds, at Wimbledon. But mostly I think she hated me for hearing her cry. Not long after the tournament, I heard Serena told a friend – who then told me – ‘I will never lose to that little b**** again.'” Sharapova wrote.
Sharapova later went on to write that she believed Serena drew a lot of her aggression out of her hatred for Sharapova, one of the major reasons for her success since 2004.
“Serena and I should be friends; we have the same passion, but we are not. I think, to some extent, we have driven each other. Maybe that’s what it takes.”
“Only when you have that intense antagonism can you find the strength to finish her off. Who knows? Someday when all this is in out past, maybe we’ll become friends.”