Maria Sharapova reveals why playing Serena Williams is so important to her

Posted June 04, 2018

It will the first time the two have faced off since the American´s win in the 2016 Australian Open quarter-finals - Sharapova´s last match before serving a 15-month doping ban.

"For once, I have nothing to lose", 36-year-old Williams said after her 6-3, 6-4 victory over 11-seed Julia Goerges on Saturday.

She had some problems in her initial two outings in Paris, including in the second round, when she dropped the first set against 17th-seeded Ashleigh Barty before — as Williams herself put it — “Serena came out.”.

"This is the first time I've come into an event with, really, not too many expectations, you know".

"I always look forward to coming out on the court and competing against the best player", the five-time grand slam victor said. I just started. I'm trying to get my bearings and trying to feel out where I am and see where I can go.

After the deluge of words that accompanied the most anticipated collision of this French Open there is a gathering conviction here that Maria Sharapova will emerge from her fourth-round match on Monday celebrating her first win over Serena Williams in 19 matches, leavened only by the obligatory nod of consolation.

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About the forthcoming match, Williams said Sharapova has the advantage because she's been on the comeback trail longer and she has such a good history at the French Open.

Five games after she broke for a 3-1 lead with a blazing crosscourt victor, Williams belted the furry yellow ball with so much fury into Goerges's half of the court that it rebounded high into the stands.

Up next for Williams will be the most high-profile match and high-profile opponent since her return: Maria Sharapova.

Czech Pliskova made the semi-finals here previous year, and may fancy her chances against Sharapova, who had to fight hard to get past Richel Hogenkamp and Vekic in her first two matches. I can't say I have been intimidated by anyone.

"I think the name Williams carries a lot of weight at Grand Slams", Goerges told SID, an AFP subsidiary.

A lot of things in her game that she's done much better than I have. You know, I was, like, "oh, okay". Sharapova earned probably the biggest win since her return, and she did so by winning 67 percent of her total service points and breaking five times.

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"It was Serena whom I beat in the Wimbledon final to emerge on the worldwide stage at seventeen, and it's Serena who's given me the hardest time since", Sharapova wrote.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion eased to a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory on Chatrier.

While at the French Open, she was asked an awkward question by Bill Simons of Inside Tennis, including one involving President Donald Trump. Former champion Garbine Muguruza reached the last 16 for the fifth successive year with a comfortable 6-0, 6-2 win over Australia's Sam Stosur.

Against Pliskova at Court Philippe Chatrier, Sharapova held an 18-5 edge in winners and broke the 2016 U.S. Open runner-up in five of her seven service games. It's a Wimbledon final, you know? She next plays 16th-seeded Elise Mertens, who won 6-3, 6-1 against No. 24 Daria Gavrilova.

Williams said she was stunned so much of Sharapova's book had focused on her. If anything, I feel like we should encourage each other, and the success of one female should be the inspiration to another, and I have said that a thousand times.

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