Serena Williams is a tennis icon and is probably the greatest female tennis player of all time. She has won 23 grand slam and is hunting for a record equaling 24th major. “The GOAT: Serena” is a podcast where some light is thrown on Serena’s achievements.
In the podcast’s latest episode, former players Chanda Rubin and Zina Garrison spoke to Mary Carillo and Patrick Mouratoglou about her biggest rivals. While Serena’s sister, Venus Williams is regarded as her biggest rival, the American had a solid rivalry against Maria Sharapova too.
Carillo spoke about the Serena-Maria rivalry and how Serena hasn’t yet gotten over the 2004 Wimbledon final loss to Sharapova. She considers beating Williams in the final to be Sharapova’s biggest mistake.
“The worst thing Maria Sharapova could have done was to win Wimbledon at age 17 against that woman who was trying to win her third straight,” Mary Carillo said. “That was Maria’s biggest mistake. At the time she had no pressure, had great poise and was going for her shots. I don’t think Serena has still gotten over it.”
“And then she (Sharapova) beat her (Williams) at the year-end championships and that was it. That rivalry was big because Maria Sharapova was big. She was beautiful, she had contracts, there was an arrogance to her. She was a legit World No.1, later in her career she even won a couple of French Opens,” she added.
Since then, Serena has absolutely dominated Sharapova. She leads the H2H 20-2. It is probably the most dominating H2H record in tennis history involving two top players. After the 2004 Wimbledon win, Sharapova has only one victory over Serena, that to courtesy a pre match walkover.
‘The 2012 Olympics was where she played some of the best tennis of her career’: Patrick Mouratoglou on Serena
In the same episode of the podcast, Serena’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou spoke about the time when she played the best tennis of her career. He said that the 2012 London Olympics was the time when Serena was at her peak.
“The 2012 Olympics was where she played some of the best tennis of her career; she crushed everybody,” Mouratoglou said. “At Roland Garros she got out in the first round but she won Wimbledon and that gave her a lot of confidence. It paid off at the Olympics where she was untouchable. The best match was the final against Sharapova.”
Serena thrashed Maria Sharapova in straight sets 6-0, 6-1 in the gold-medal match. This was the same time around which Sharapova too was in her peak, which speaks volumes of Serena’s dominance.