Maria Sharapova with Serena Williams

Maria Sharapova reveals Serena Williams was ‘most challenging and most consistent’ opponent

Maria Sharapova has shared that her most intimidating opponent was Serena Williams and she believes that Serena has “still got it.”

Five-time major champion Sharapova and 23-time Slam legend Serena faced each other a total of 22 times across their careers between 2004 and 2019.

However, was Serena who overwhelmingly dominated the head-to-head record, winning 20 of the encounters whilst the retired Sharapova only won two.

Serena has also won the last 19 meetings in a row, making this the longest active winning streak over a single player on the WTA Tour.

Breaking this down further, the duo faced each other nine times at the Grand Slams, with four matches coming in Slam finals. Again Serena holds the better record with the American beating her Russian counterpart in three finals, whilst Sharapova was victorious just once.

Speaking on the Never Stand Still podcast with Paypal president Dan Schulman, when asked who she felt was her most intimidating opponent, Sharapova said: “Serena by far.

“When I was young, I lost to Monica Seles like 6-0, 6-1, and I actually thought I had played a really good match and I came off the court, I was just bawling, I don’t know if I was sixteen or maybe I was seventeen and I said to my dad who was my coach at the time ‘I really thought I played well.’

“I just got completely torn apart. But yeah, Serena was definitely the toughest competitor and the most challenging and the most consistent in her level.”

Schulman then drew similarities between the two in terms of their off-court activities, to which Sharapova replied “we just saw each other at the Met in New York a few weeks ago and we were discussing how old we are now compared to the US Open.

“And she’s like ‘oh my goodness, we are up there and I was like ‘well, you still got it girl.'”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.