At the end of the day, we just want the people we love to be despise the same people we do. Is it petty and immature? Sure. But that doesn’t make it any less true. Human nature is what it is.
If you know anything about Serena Williams’ career, you know that she is not particularly fond of Maria Sharapova. The media will call her Williams’ rival. But considering the fact that of the 21 times the two women have played each other, Serena has emerged victorious 19 of those times, she’s not much competition. The rivalry exists largely because of racism—the media and Sharapova’s own.
For years, though Sharapova was far less-skilled she made more money in endorsements than Serena. And in her memoir, people believe she resorted to racist stereotypes in describing Serena’s physical presence as “intimidating.”
“First of all, her physical presence is much stronger and bigger than you realize watching TV. She has thick arms and thick legs and is so intimidating and strong. And tall, really tall. I looked across the net, and, no way to get around it, she was just there! More there than other players, if that makes sense. It’s the whole thing her presence, her confidence, her personality.”
In actuality, Serena is actually five inches shorter than Sharapova. So…Make it make sense.
She also wrote: “I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds, at Wimbledon.”
Okay sis. Sharapova is clearly resting on her laurels here considering she’s only beaten Serena twice. And hasn’t done so since 2004.
There’s also the matter of Sharapova’s drug use. While Serena has been drug tested more than other tennis players, it’s Sharapova who was actually taking meldonium, a drug that enhances athletic performance, for ten years. She was subsequently banned from professional tennis for two years as punishment.
So it was no accident that Serena’s husband Alexis Ohanian wore a D.A.R.E. shirt to the recent match between the two women.
When he first arrived, his had his jacket buttoned up. But as the match progressed, he revealed his Drug Abuse Resistance Education shirt and it was glorious.
As you might know, being a powerful Black woman dominating her field, Sharapova is not the only enemy Serena has collected over the years. There was also the referee Carlos Ramos, who famously took points away from Williams after he accused her of cheating during her match against Naomi Osaka.
After her recent performance in the US Open, an interviewer asked Williams how she felt about the United States Tennis Association deciding that Ramos would not officiate her match. And her response was immaculate.
“Just wondering your reaction to the USTA deciding not to have Carlos Ramos umpire your match. You think that was a good thing or you really didn’t care?”
Serena: “Uhh yeah, I don’t know who that is.”
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Check out the people’s reaction to both Alexis and Serena on the following pages.