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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Serena Williams slams Maria Sharapova, says she has it easy due to her race

Serena Williams says she has to be twice as good to deride the notion that she is mean while Maria Sharapova has it easy because of her race.

tennis Updated: Aug 20, 2017 16:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Serena Williams has implied that Maria Sharapova has it easy because of her race.
Serena Williams has implied that Maria Sharapova has it easy because of her race. (AFP)

Serena Williams, who with 23 Grand Slams is the most successful female player in the Open Era, spoke out against how she is perceived to be meaner compared to the dope-tainted Maria Sharapova. On a break from the game as she is expecting, Serena Williams said the perception eventually boiled down to her race.

“I feel like people think I’m mean,” the 35-year-old was quoted as saying in an interview to Vogue. “Really tough and really mean and really street. But Maria Sharapova, who might not talk to anybody, might be perceived by the public as being nicer.

“Why is that? Because I’m black and so I look mean? That’s the society we live in. That’s life,” she said.

READ | Simona Halep seeks No. 1 ranking in Cincinnati, Nick Kyrgios into final

Serena Williams said this prevailing perception forces her to be twice as good to command that respect in public. “They say African-Americans have to be twice as good, especially women,” she said. “I’m perfectly OK with having to be twice as good,” she added.

This comes days after the revelation of an extract in Maria Sharapova’s upcoming autobiography where she spoke about her long-standing rivalry with Serena Williams.

Sharapova, given a wildcard for the US Open that begins on August 28, even claimed that she had motivated Serena Williams to become the greatest ever female tennis player. This was in reference to the 2004 Wimbledon that Sharapova won beating Serena.

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Sharapova alleged that Serena had called her a ‘little b****’ and pledged not to lose again after the final. Serena Williams also questioned detractors who say Sharapova is as good as her and that the only reason Williams wins is because of her ‘bigger serve’.

“I was like, wait a minute, please, place my serve. And what about my volleys? My speed? I’m the player who’s hitting angles. I’m the player who moves you. I use my brain, and that’s really why I win,” Williams said.

First Published: Aug 20, 2017 16:32 IST

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