Maria Sharapova is responding to Serena Williams‘ claim that remarks the tennis star made about her in her autobiography are “100 percent hearsay.”
In Sharapova’s book “Unstoppable,” she alleges Williams “hated” her for overhearing the 23-time Grand Slam winner sob after losing at the 2004 Wimbledon.
“I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds, at Wimbledon,” the Daily Mail reported Sharapova wrote. “I think she hated me for taking something that she believed belonged to her.… But mostly, I think she hated me for hearing her cry. She’s never forgiven me for it.”
When asked June 3 about the remarks ahead of bowing out of the French Open because of an injury, Williams said she was surprised that so much of the book was about her.
“I have cried in the locker room many times after a loss, and that’s what I have seen a lot of people do. I think it’s normal,” Williams said according to Field Level Media. “It’s a Wimbledon final, you know. So it’s just, like, I think it would be more shocking if I wasn’t in tears.”
“I think the book was 100 percent hearsay, at least all the stuff I read and the quotes that I read, which was a little bit disappointing,” she added.
Among the 21 matches, Williams and Sharapova have played, Williams has beaten her 18 consecutive times and 19 times in 21 matches. Sharapova hasn’t defeated Williams since 2004.
But in response to Williams’ comments, Sharapova maintained she didn’t put any gossip in her book.
“When you’re writing an autobiography, I don’t think there is any reason to write anything that’s not true,” Sharapova told reporters after a quarter-final loss at the Open according to AFP. “I think it would be strange for me not to include someone that I have competed against for so many years.
She noted that many sports autobiographies don’t even address rivalries.
“And I think we played many matches,” Sharapova said of Williams. “Some of those matches were very defining for me. It would be very strange, I think, if I didn’t write anything about her. I think everyone would ask me questions, as well.”