Foot Fault!

Calling all the lines of professional tennis

Serena Williams vs Maria Sharapova, Yes? Yes. YES!!!

You have to hand it to both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams - they sure know how to build their own publicity. It all started two weeks ago when they were pictured posing and chatting together at the ESPY awards. Ever since then, discussions about the pair are yet to die down.

It was obviously quite a surprise to see the pair looking at such ease in the other’s company. We all remember the days when Serena famously branded Maria ‘overrated’ and would much rather have chopped a limb clean off than lose to the then-”great white hope” of women’s tennis. But Serena was quick to deny any hostily between the two;

“Just because I give 200% out there or just because I’m fighting and saying ‘come on’, I think sometimes the media want to make something out of nothing.”

And indeed, Serena has been positively gushing with compliments towards Maria ever since, practically listing every last trait of Marias she ‘admires’ at one point this week;

“I really like playing Maria and I really admire her because.. being injured and never giving up and developing the confidence that she has. Always just walking around and having so much aplomb, it’s good. I always admired that, its really cool.

“I loved her dress. It was McQueen and she looked amazing and her shoes were dynamite. I was like ‘Oh my God I love those shoes…’ They were beautiful. It was really cool. I loved what she had on.”

Maria similarly has good reason to dislike Serena. For Serena fighting back from match point down to defeat her in the Australian Open semis of 2005, for the two beatdowns of ’07 and for ending the greatest run of her career a year later. But during a conference call just a couple of days following their ESPY meet, Maria also had a lot to say about her rival-but-not-really-a-rival-because-you-actually-have-to-win-some-of-the-matches;

“To be honest, I love playing against her. We’ve had very, very tough matches against each other. You know, I don’t have a great record against her, and I would love to change that. There is no doubt I would love to play her this summer at some point.”

It’s interesting that some have gone as far as to brand this quote as trash talk, or at the very least something she should keep to herself considering Serena’s 6-0 record since 2004. I disagree with both. One of the great traits that makes Maria an incredible champion is that there’s no shying away from any challenge - she loves to play the best and she loves to beat the best, and there’s no doubting that Serena is the best. She got her wish.

The only question now is which superstar will come out on top? There is the unavoidable stat of Serena leading the head to head 6-2 with Maria not having won for 7 years. But it’s also true that this is only Serena’s third tournament back from a year-long layoff. She looked brilliant in her first round match, but the rust is still there. At Wimbledon, she really struggled when Bartoli took time away from her with her deep, peircing strokes and Maria undoubtedly hits an even heavier, bigger and deeper ball than the frenchwoman, so there’s a lot to think about there.

I think it will all come down to a) Maria’s serve and b) Serena’s return. At this point, those are their main liabilities, and how they play those weaknesses will dictate how the match pans out. Let’s just hope that these two can put on the show that a match-up of this calibur deserves. Serena pretty much summed it all up after her victory after Kirilenko last night;

“She’s probably going to look at me as the ultimate enemy out there as I will do the same with her [...] It’s nothing personal.”

So bring it. Both of you; just bring it.

(pictures: Reuters)

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One Response to Serena Williams vs Maria Sharapova, Yes? Yes. YES!!!

  1. Nico Roxa$ July 29, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    -This. HAHA. Anyway, I hope Masha wins.. or if she loses, I hope she puts up a great fight.

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