Maria Sharapova once hid in a shed to watch Serena Williams practice

2013 French Open Tennis Tournament Roland Garros Women's Final

I only just realized that Maria Sharapova’s memoir, Unstoppable, came out on the same day as Hillary Clinton’s memoir, What Happened. Hahahaha. Once again, Sharapova is only the second most interesting [whatever] of any given day. Anyway, there are more excerpts from Sharapova’s book, the juiciest parts of which we’ve already discussed. The biggest headlines thus far have been: A) Sharapova claims that a secondary source told her that Serena Williams called her a “little bitch” and B) Sharapova casts herself as the poor little defensively white girl to Serena’s “big, thick, intimidating” black woman. Very Smart Brothas referred to Maria as “checking every box on the Darth Becky sign-in sheet,” which is a very funny and very true statement. Now, all that being said, I read some additional excerpts and… you guys, I’m actually concerned about Sharapova’s mental health. I think that meldonium did something to her brain or something, because chica comes across as straight-up unhinged. Single White Meldonium: The Maria Sharapova Story.

The first time she saw Venus & Serena in person: Sharapova describes first seeing the Williams sisters in-person at the age of 12, and refusing to be starstruck like the rest of the onlookers. While many gathered to watch Serena and Venus at an open practice session at a Florida tennis academy, Sharapova did not want to give the sisters the satisfaction of seeing her in the stands – even though they would have had no idea who she was at that point. “I’d never put myself in the position of worshiping them, looking up, being a fan,” said Sharapova. Instead, Sharapova’s father found a clandestine spot for her to watch: inside a shed, hidden from view. “I could watch through a kind of knothold – just me alone, in the dark, seeing the next 20 years of my life,” she writes. “The image of the Williams sisters would eventually become iconic, and it was in the works even then. They are a force. Tall girls in tennis whites, with bright smiles and piercing, focused eyes.”

She refused to stand for Serena at Wimbledon: Sharapova next encountered Williams three years later at the 2002 Wimbledon Champions ball, when she felt compelled to sit as others stood as the champion made her entrance. “I wanted to get up, but my body just would not let me,” she writes. “It was as if I were stuck in that chair, staring at Serena through the crowd of people, with a single thought in my head: ‘I am going to get you.’”

The first time she played Serena: The two first played each other in Miami in 2004, with Sharapova describing Williams’ strong and “tall, really tall” stature, even though Sharapova is five inches taller than Williams. “It was like yes, finally,” Sharapova said. “It felt as if I’d been circling around her for years.” Sharapova describes playing Serena that first time (Sharapova lost to her): “I looked around the net and no way to get around it, she was just there! More there than other players, if that makes sense. It’s the whole thing – her presence, her confidence, her personality. She seemed much older than me in Miami. This was just before I turned 17. She was a grown woman, experienced, the best player in the world. It still feels that way. Even now, she can still make me feel like a little girl.”

Maria thinks they should be friends: “Serena and I should be friends: we love the same thing, we have the same passion,” said Sharapova. “Only a few people in the world know what we know – what it feels like in the dead center of this storm, the fear and anger that drive you, how it is to win and how it is to lose. But we are not friends – not at all.”

[From The NYT and Rolling Stone]

You know why Maria and Serena are not friends? Because Maria is cray. DID YOU READ THE PART ABOUT THE SHED? Maria didn’t want to, like, watch Venus and Serena’s practice session out in the open. So Maria HID IN A SHED. Maria watched them from a knothole and plotted!! What the ever-loving f–k? The thing is, I’m sure many women and girls have been intimidated by Serena over the years and I’m sure some of those women and girls don’t want to give Serena the satisfaction of showing Serena that she’s broken them. But Maria really takes it next-level, plotting this rivalry when she was 12 years old. She could have just thought “I hope I get to play her one day” or “wow, I have a lot to learn before I can beat her.” But she thought “let me go into a shed and watch Serena practice because I don’t want to give her the satisfaction of ‘worshipping’ her.” Again, this memoir says less about the Serena-Maria rivalry and more about Maria’s f–ked up attitudes about race, femininity, competition and sportsmanship.

Maria Sharapova signs copies of her new book 'Unstoppable: My Life So Far'

Maria Sharapova signs copies of her new book 'Unstoppable: My Life So Far'

Photos courtesy of WENN and Backgrid.

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135 Responses to “Maria Sharapova once hid in a shed to watch Serena Williams practice”

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  1. Snazzy says:

    Wow, what an entitled nut job

  2. Enough Already says:

    Just wow. I bet the view was dope though :/

    • INeedANap says:

      That whole story is bonkers.

      And why does she refer to Serena as “tall”? Serena is half a foot shorter than Maria. More dog-whistling about the scary big black girl I guess. /s

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        It is all poorly disguised racism. She tries to walk back earlier racist comments with these ones, focusing on her *height* 🙄 & *presence*, but she cannot hide her disdain, saying things like that she refused to stand up to her and look up to here. She is the Meann Rimes of tennis. Ugh.

      • Lama Bean says:

        Definitely. This is just dog-screaming now. We are past whistling. “Intimidating” “Making me feel like a little girl” “Thick thighs”

      • jwoolman says:

        Maybe Serena was taller than Maria when Maria was 12 years old. Very likely so.

        In any case, note the real villain of the piece. Her father told his very young daughter to hide in a shed to watch someone practice. Imagine what else he was filling her head with. He wanted his daughter to win at all costs and didn’t want her feeling kindly toward competitors.

        The “little girl” quote now makes sense to me. She really was a little girl when all this started and her father molded her to hate and fear Serena and her sister. That’s why she flashes back to being a little girl.

        Some people just can’t get past such early molding by an intense parent.

  3. D says:

    She just comes across as a real bitch, like the stereotypical mean girl.

    • Minnieder says:

      She needs to stop talking.

    • milla says:

      Mean? Dunno. But insecure, thats the vibe im getting. Like obssesed with Willams sisters.

      I do believe she wants to be Serena’s friend. But Maria dated a guy from Serbia and lets just say she is a freak.

      • D says:

        I meant “mean girl” as in a category of girls/women who behave a certain way, not literally ‘mean’ and I think all “mean girls” are insecure. The Urban Dictionary definition of “mean girls”.
        How is Maria a freak and what does her having dated a guy from Serbia have to do with it?

      • argonaut says:

        serbian guy? she’s a freak? you’re gonna need to expand on that…

  4. rachel says:

    Lmao. She’s obsessed.

    • HadToChangeMyName says:

      She might be as obsessed with Serena as Trump is with Obama. :-/

      • Ange says:

        Insert Jennifer Lawrence ‘yup, uh huh’ gif here ^

      • JRenee says:

        OBama can’t stay out of the spotlight, yeah right. Trump is trying to erase anything done during the Obama administration.
        I’m sure he knows a lot more about the dirt that Mueller is investigating.

      • jwoolman says:

        Lee- Obama said he would maintain the traditional quiet about his successor unless the matter seemed too important to him, and he specifically mentioned the Dreamers situation. I think he considers that a personal promise and the Dreamers provided all their info (making them especially vulnerable) with the clear assumption that they would be able to safely live and work here. He’s kept to that and especially avoided any ad hominem comments about Trump. I don’t know how he’s managed to keep quiet for so many things, though, it’s been so outrageous. Will of iron, I guess. He also can see that others are speaking up so he doesn’t have to do it himself.

    • pascha says:

      The fact that Serena has achieved so much, is still strong in the game, and at a really happy time in her life at the moment…

      …while Dope-apova is stuck writing paragraphs about how she hid in a shed to spy on Serena’s superior skills (and sounding pretty damn bitter/racist to boot) will never not be hilarious to me.

    • Raina says:

      She looks like the Russian villain in every 8os movie…
      (I’m Russian)

  5. Artemis says:

    Becky should’ve stayed in the shed. Would have been less embarrassing.

    And of course she was hiding, other players are openly ambitious but she’s a sneaky a-hole who doesn’t want to admit she IS scared, starstruck and frustrated because that’s not what beautiful innocent blonde girls do. They are nice (and rake in loads of money pretending to be this stereotype). At least have a spine and openly admit the Williams sisters are your n°1 threat. It’s sad when she thinks being perceived as spineless and crazy is still better than being ambitious, athletic and straightforward.

    That said, her bad sportsmanship is equally rivaled by Serena so Serena cannot come at her for that…ever. Even the greatests have flaws.

    • Bridget says:

      Aside from the banned substances and the debacle following that, I’m not going to rail on Sharapova for the ‘bad sportsmanship’, because I think that we have unrealistic expectations for how women should behave, especially in these supercharged situations.

      The taking credit for Serena’s success? The weird comments about Serena’s body? That’s fair game.

    • jwoolman says:

      It’s a little hard to get too mad at a 12 year old for acting so junior-high… She really was junior-high age! And pushed to think and act that way by her father.

      I feel more sad for her than anything else. What an upbringing. At some point in our childhood we need someone to encourage us to be better than that, to grow beyond childish reactions and fears and prejudices. . My bet is she had no one, everybody just wanted her to be a winner and encouraged the worst rather than the best in pursuit of that goal.

    • Eisie says:

      Agreed about the bad sportsmanship on both sides. They both play with emphasis on intimidation to the opponent. Screams accompanying every shot, stare-downs, deliberate, mind boggling, interruptions of pace to bring the play to a standstill whilst they have everyone watch them prepare their serves. They try to play only power one-two punch games. Their ferocious mind sets are not a pleasant thing to watch. It’s a completely different game than the elegance and skills of the Federers and Djokovics type players

  6. Maria F. says:

    wow. She is obsessed with Serena. Much more than a professional sports competition would warrant. And again, you would think Maria is 5 feet and can hardly hold a racket.
    Did no editor catch this -(of course, they sell more books)?

    • Fiorucci says:

      ITs either honest or she’s creating a “crazy” narrative for shameless profit (which she does not need rich as she is.) im sure no editor missed it. I don’t understand her choice to discuss this as she’s so wealthy already why not enjoy privacy or focus on her business skills

  7. jess1632 says:

    Does she ever stop talking about Serena? The last few posts on her all have to do w her mentioning serena.

    • TQB says:

      Right? Did she really want to write Serena’s biography instead?

      • DangerMaus says:

        Or – this is the narrative that the media is running with. It’s got people clicking on links. These are quotes from a chapter in a book and I’d like to see what % of the book is focused on the rivalry.

        If Sharapova didn’t have anything about Serena in her book the spin would be “What is she afraid of?” “Why is she pretending like Serena doesn’t exist?” What a coward.”

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I don’t think the options were to talk about Serena in this way, or not talk about her at all. Come on, now. She could have talked about beating Serena as a goal, or how she felt accomplished when she finally beat her, etc. She was not forced to create this fictional character of Serena, presenting her like a vengeful ogre.

    • Caly says:

      The cover photo of her book should have been a collage of Serena’s pictures. One picture wouldn’t be enough.

  8. HelloSunshine says:

    She sounds like one of those girls everyone knew in high school that was skating by on her looks and was super insecure because she knew it. Maria entered into a sport where it’s obvious where she’s lacking in talent and can’t skate by on just her looks (for what it’s worth, I think Serena, Venus and Sloane are so gorgeous!), so now she’s lashing out. But every time I read the comments on a story about her book, it’s people making fun of her for being so bitter and angry at her racism, which makes me feel better about her standing in the world lol

    • Megan says:

      Maria has five grand slam wins so I’m pretty sure she is not lacking in talent. Her star is fading, in part because of a doping scandal, and she is cooking up a fake rivalry with Serena to get attention.

      • HelloSunshine says:

        Sorry, should’ve been more clear. Less talented than her target of obsession lol

      • TQB says:

        5. So, she’s good. But she’s not a legend of the sport or anything. She’s well known mostly because she’s tall, white, and blonde and advertisers love that.

      • Megan says:

        There are only six women who have won all four grand slams … Margaret Court, Chrissy Evert, Martina, Steffi Graff, Serena, and Maria. She was also one of the youngest players ever to be ranked #1. Even if you don’t like her, you can’t deny she is one of the greats.

      • naomipaige says:

        Yeah, but would she have those wins w/o doping??

      • Bridget says:

        She has 5. And she’s good. But the central issue is that Maria was PAID and sponsored like she was the above and beyond best, which is nowhere near accurate.

      • magnoliarose says:

        She will always have an asterisk because of the cheating. Her game is not my style neither is her attitude. But she does have talent, and she is an outstanding player.

      • katie says:

        She was doping.

    • Adrien says:

      She has talent and by no means mediocre as most of her critics describe her but she was easily checked by her rivals. No need to hide behind the bushes to watch her train. She didn’t step up her game and her rivals caught her flat footed.

      • HelloSunshine says:

        Megan: I would argue she’s not one of the greats but I’m definitely biased. Her racism and entitlement are off putting, to say the least. Also, can you count someone who has been proven to use drugs to get ahead as a great??

      • Megan says:

        There is nothing to argue. Her record speaks for itself. She is an a-hole, but that doesn’t make her wins any less real.

      • Lady D says:

        She got those wins while high on illegal substances. What kind of player is she without the chemical enhancements? Who knows what kind of player she could have been without narcotics.

      • Megan says:

        I have no idea if she was high on narcotics, but the substance that got her banned increases blood flow with the goal of promoting endurance.

  9. Nancy says:

    That headline was very Alex Forest until I read the article and saw that she was only 12. Serena can now proceed to unlock her rabbit’s cage.

  10. Louise177 says:

    Maria’s hatred and narcissism is disturbing. At 12 she didn’t want to give Serena the satisfaction of knowing she was watching her practice? Refusing to stand for her Serena? Maria is trying so hard to make Serena the villain but it’s her coming off as the total b!tch.

    • Caly says:

      Right! 12 is a bit too young for this “rivalry”. I think her parents and coaches instilled it in her, and she’s been ruining wild with it ever since.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I agree! She is trying to make Serena look bad, but she herself comes off so much worse. The not standing thing sounded so petty.

  11. Margo S. says:

    What an effing loser. Sharapova sounds like a terrible person. Just a bad person.

  12. Aiobhan Targaryen says:

    Yikes. If you didn’t write that this was a real excerpt from this book and not some 90s tv movie of the week called “Dying to Serve” or “Ace of Death” or something like that I would not believe it. This is embarassing and scary at the same time.

    Did no one read this and think she came off as a tad bit unhinged and creepy? She is borderline obsessed with Serena and Venus-mainly Serena. Her editors must hate her to have let that paragraph stay in the book. I wonder if the rest of the book is like this.

    • TQB says:

      Would 100% watch Dying to Serve and Ace of Death, btw.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I thought I was reading the script for an episode of Criminal Minds. That was beyond creepy.

      I can only imagine her editor(s) rubbing their hands with glee. Does she have a ghostwriter? Because that person deserves all the awards.

  13. pwal says:

    She is a (enunciated like Lavar Ball to Kristine Leahy) HATER.

  14. trollontheloose says:

    she could have been the Tonya Harding of Tennis through this jealousy and obsession. She just make herself pitiful.

  15. Ninks says:

    “Unstoppable: except for the 19 times Serena stopped me.”

    She absolutely believes that Serena is as obsessed with her as she is with Serena, which is endlessly hilarious to me.

    I love that you illustrate every Sharapova article with at least one picture of her holding the runner up trophy and standing beside a beaming Serena.

  16. agnes says:

    She really needs Serena to stay kind of interesting, doesn’t she? This constant name-dropping is so embarassing.

  17. Annie says:

    She sounds racist, entitled and filled with “issues”. Then again, her father was the one to find her that shed to hide in so what does that tell you?!

    • AnnaKist says:

      Annie, that’s what I thought, too. Still, writing all this about someone she “didn’t want to give the satisfaction to” for all these years, is now doing exactly that. She’s pitiful.

  18. Nicole says:

    At 12 she had these thoughts?! Gosh that is disturbing on many levels. It also reeks of racism. Most athletes will tell you that they’ve watched the greats before they became one themselves. That’s normal and typical. She sounds insane

    • AnnaKist says:

      I agree, Nicole, especially since the article said that Serena wouldn’t even have known who she was, presuming she even noticed her, since I get the impression that the Williams girls were focused on one thing, and one thing only, while on any court. That mental strength is a big part of their success.

    • SoulSPA says:

      Totally, totally agree with you Nicole. I have nothing to add. Kudos.

  19. Retty says:

    She’s like a bloody stalker! Should we be ringing the police?

  20. Talie says:

    I know people hate her, but I saw her on The View and my impression was that she really does admire Serena and some of her comments are misunderstood. Not saying she’s Ms. Perfect, but I do think some of the reactions to her book have been overblown.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      Well then she should’ve had a better publisher. She surely approved every single word and I saw that View clip, her English is cannot be the issue. The reactions are pretty proportional to the crazy and the racism so if that’s not her … well why publish something like this?

  21. pwal says:

    This chick will never be great because she isn’t open enough to acknowledge and learn from it.

  22. Megan says:

    I’m calling bullsh*t on this story. Sheds only have knotholes in movies.

    • Fiorucci says:

      I was thinking that too! It’s too perfect. She is a business woman so embellishments would not be surprising (following the controversy Kardashian model)

  23. Indiana Joanna says:

    Marketing Maria has been a lot more successful for her than her tennis game. Instead of writing her bio book after her doping scandal, she should have been out practicing on the courts.

    And yikes, she is so crazy obsessed with Venus and Serena. The only thing I remember Serena ever saying about her was that Maria was overrated. She was right.

  24. Magdalene says:

    Her obsession with Serena seems to go beyond the single white female obsession. There is also something so calculated and cynical about the way she uses all the racial and racist trope to describe her encounters with her. Yikes.
    Serena should have bodyguards

  25. It'sJustBlanche says:

    I’m a little confused: what’s with the whole “I’m a tiny girl” routine? Every picture I see this woman, she’s the biggest woman there. She’s actually bigger than most of the men. She’s definitely bigger than the Williams sisters.

    • Fiorucci says:

      Well she’s 5 inches taller, is that what you mean by bigger? Other than height she’s not bigger, you can see in the photos here

      • Maggie says:

        She’s taller and she has broad shoulders. Her body type let’s me know she has to work hard to stay slim. She could easily bulk up just like Serena but she doesn’t want to work on strength because then people would see she is actually bigger than Serena.

  26. JustJen says:

    After reading that her father found her a shed to hide in, it really makes me wonder about her family. I’m old enough to remember the cold war and the tremendous pressure that Soviet athletes endured. If she was 12, of course she was nervous. I’d be interested in reading about her parents and life growing up BEFORE she hit the tennis circuit.

    • magnoliarose says:

      Her father is partly to blame for her attitude. He was already hyping her and talking trash before she even hit the court and continually built up her ego instead of helping her as a human being.

  27. BJ says:

    I am confused why she calls Serena “tall” multiple times.Serena is not particularly tall.I have never heard a taller person refer to a person who is shorter than them as tall so much.I can understand when you are 12 maybe seeing them as tall, but in 2004?
    Why does she act like she is petite waif and Serena is the Incredible Hulk?

    • Fiorucci says:

      S is tall, im her height and often the tallest woman(5’9)
      Maria is extremely tall and taller than Serena though so it’s interesting that she notices S being tall. Maria is narrower and a lot slimmer though, you can see that in these pics

      • A says:

        @Fiorucci, from my perspective, Maria has broader shoulders. She doesn’t have the bulk, especially not in the arms, that Serena has, but that’s about it. She’s not a whole lot narrower and slimmer than Serena, and if she put on some muscle, she’d easily outsize her any day. But to my eye, the height and the shoulders make her seem a LOT larger and intimidating than Serena Williams.

      • Fiorucci says:

        A her shoulders def don’t look small in the pic but Serena’s are still larger unless it’s something about the pic. I think Maria’s shoulders look broad because her head and neck are small ish

      • A says:

        @Fiorucci, well then which is it? She’s either small or she isn’t. And to my eye, Sharapova definitely doesn’t have a smaller figure than Serena. If we have to continually split hairs about her size in this way to justify her comments, then that says something about the nature of the comments.

        There are plenty of people in this world who can make you “feel” small in a metaphorical way, I don’t doubt that. But Maria Sharapova continually invokes Serena Williams’ size, specifically, to stress that point. She makes her physicality and the space she takes up, as a person, to exaggerate how little and small and skinny she is in comparison. The language and the manner of the comparison as well as the implications thereof are all entirely rooted in racism and racist language, so much so that even a black woman who is physically smaller than a white woman is made out to be such an enormous, weighty, intimidating presence.

        Sharapova is 6’2 to Serena William’s 5’9. Her shoulders, her skinny head & neck, her arms have little to no bearing on the fact that she is as much of an intimidating presence, if not more so than Serena. There are skinny women out there who are petite, who might be able to get away with the comparison. Sharapova is not one of them. And the fact that she continues to try and cast herself as such is reprehensible.

      • Fiorucci says:

        Yes I agree that it’s odd for her to say she’s intimidated by the size of Serena. I do think that Serena is physically bigger in many ways (not sure why everyone is saying Maria is so much bigger with the photos showing she is not right here) but since Maria is a whole 5 inches taller intimidating doesn’t make sense to me. I never got very into team sports so I don’t know how female athletes get intimidated. I’m 5’9 and don’t get intimidated by women of any size for any reason, some personalities do intimidate me though, at least in the past (work, mommy community). Could it be it’s Serenas confidence that is intimidating? I wouldn’t be surprised if she was making up a bunch of semi offensive “shocking” BS to sell these books, aka trolling

  28. IlsaLund says:

    Maria sounds cray cray. She seems obsessed. Also Maria is 30 and Serena is 35. Venus is 37. That’s not a large age gap. The way Sharapova speaks you’d think the Williams sisters were a decade older.

    • hindulovegod says:

      It’s a poorly kept secret that Sharapova is 33, not 30. She was “11” for several years at Bollettieri’s camp to further the ingenue angle.

      • I'mScaredAsHell says:

        So that’s even worse. She’s only 2 years younger than Serena and acting like Serena is some older big bad bully who intimidates poor sweet innocent Maria. Bitch please…

  29. HK9 says:

    She’s straight up cray. No one in their right mind would have put that part in about watching her in a shed….she’s not right. That’s just a big honey bunch of NO.

  30. Nibbi says:

    anyone feel like this line could be yet another racist dog-whistley trope, or am i just imagining things cuz i think this girl is so obnoxious and ‘racist opportunist’ is all i can see of her now?

    “Tall girls in tennis whites, with bright smiles and piercing, focused eyes.”

    Focusing on the white/ light parts as standing out from the “dark.’ I dunno. Maybe it really is just that i don’t like her and i’m becoming insanely sensitive/ paranoid about racist intimations.

    • Fiorucci says:

      Yeah they are black, hence the contrast with all the mentioned white coloured things, but those physical attributes/descriptions are relatively positive , she mainly sounds obsessed, but not critical

    • Spring says:

      I wondered the same thing. I didn’t know what to make of that odd statement.

      I was also struck by how her dad found her a shed to hide in alone, as if openly watching to learn were something shameful — rather than publicly, supportively sitting in the stands with her, even if just for a little while. Her self-absorbed reaction as a 12-yr-old was perfectly understandable, but to write about it now with such a lack of self-awareness is sad. I wish her every happiness and hope she’ll find a way to embrace her experience, learn from it, and move on.

  31. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Women’s singles are historically cutthroat and catty unfortunately. I played with the dinosaurs and made it to state rankings, but singles are so ridiculously competitive in all things tennis…right down to equipment and attire (which I always eye-rolled). But the constant Serena musings are damaging. I can’t imagine any PR affiliation subscribing to this, and if it is innocent and funny remembrances, the cuteness and admirations are being lost in translation.

  32. Reef says:

    I’ll give her credit. After that 2012 Olympic Finals @sswhooping, Serena gave her, the fact she could show her face again and compete in the tennis world is impressive. Serena had her in tears during the match. I’ve never seen anything like that.

    • diana says:

      My God that match was incredible. A masterclass. I watch it for kicks every now and then. It’s like what…35 minutes?

    • Diana B says:

      I was rewatching that today and couldn’t help but notice how different the volume of the cheering was for each of them. The very few times the doping gal made a point there was screaming and ecstatic clapping while every poing Serena made was met with polite clapping. Serena must have tremendous mental strength to be able to block petty sh!t like that and keep on winning like a boss.

  33. Naddie says:

    If this is not fake to sell, she must check her head asap.

  34. Tiffany says:

    Somewhere, the editor of this book has their blinds closed in their office and is quickly getting their resume together. Wow.

  35. KittyCucumber says:

    Nibbi – I thought that too! It reminded me of a shocking moment years ago when a guy who was friends with my then boyfriend referred to black people in a club as ‘White Teeth’. Horrible, racist scumbag.

    I’m actually shocked that a) Maria is so obviously racist b) She doesn’t care or doesn’t realise c) None of the book’s editors picked up on this or thought to change it.

  36. Fiorucci says:

    It’s a cute jacket. Just my opinion but she doesn’t look as pretty as normal in these pics. She looks a lot cuter in the pic with the ponytail/ red jacket

  37. Starryfish says:

    Maria knows that her career is much less noteworthy without its place in relation to some BS rivalry with Serena. The fact that it was Serena that she played when she won that first slam is 75% of the reason people paid attention in the first place. Young champions aren’t actually all that rare in women’s tennis, but she benefited from the tennis establishment’s willingness to embrace a more stereotypically “appropriate” champion than the Williams sisters. The dominance of the Williams sisters was something the tennis world put up with because they simply wouldn’t stop winning, but most of the establishment, marketers etc. hated it and were thrilled when Maria broke through. It gave them an angle to talk about the Williams sisters that they could handle, a supposed rivalry that was never borne out by the numbers. It’s the same thing at play when it comes to shilling this book, without the Serena angle there’s a lot less for people to care about. Once again, Maria is milking it all the way to the bank.

    • Bridget says:

      It didn’t help that the Williams sisters themselves didn’t provide much of a rivalry. The early Finals between Venus and Serena were notoriously lackluster matches. Those two have always had each other’s back, which is awesome as sisters, but not as interesting for marketing.

  38. Lucy says:

    Is the whole book about Serena?

  39. nicegirl says:

    Scary Sharapova, right?

  40. bonobochick says:

    Maria is pathological about Serena being her enemy. It’s definitely bizarre and also a little scary.

  41. Frosty says:

    She’s really low class.

  42. Radley says:

    Was it the overwhelming jealousy that drove her to doping? Envy often leads to one’s own undoing. Trump is about to learn that lesson too.

  43. Onemoretime says:

    Stalker much! She spent her whole career envious of Serena, that’s sad, pathic and insane. I highly doubt anybody told her Serna called her a little b*tch, it’s all in her sick little mind. Get some help & get some soon!

  44. Joannie says:

    I think she comes off as in “awe” of Serena. Not racist or creepy. She’s knows Serena is a powerhouse. Maria is being very honest and I think Serena would be flattered to know she had that affect. Not everything is about race!! She’s obviously intimidated because Serena is a big muscular woman and very talented.

    • Bridget says:

      Not everything is about race, but this is. 1) you cannot discuss Williams’ physique and not discuss the way others have talked about her. Like she’s a man. Not feminine. Too dark. Too muscular. And there is no shadow of a doubt that Sharapova knows this. But 2) what makes it bad is the contrast. The way Sharapova makes it sound, she’s a frail waif scared by the big bad monster. Maria Sharapova is well above 6′ tall. She would literally look down on Serena.

      Maria may not be verbalizimg it specifically, but the subtext is VERY clear: Sweet blond angelic Maria Sharapova was scared by big mean (and dark) Serena Williams.

      • Joannie says:

        I didnt see it that way at all. She comes off as star struck to me. I have heard people say Serena looks like a man. That doesnt mean Maria thinks that. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt instead of making her out to be crazy. They are both very accomplished athletes.

      • Bridget says:

        She’s using the same language that’s consistently hurled against Serena (that she would absolutely know about), while trying to paint herself as a naive waif. Which she is not. It’s the same thing she tried to do when she got busted for doping. So either she’s completely oblivious and kind of an idiot, or she’s making some very pointed comments. Which would you prefer?

        And those two detest each other. They have for years.

  45. Tryannosarahs says:

    If her dad found the shed for her to hide it, it kind of makes me wonder if she just had crazy, success oriented stage parent/s who made her… this.

  46. A says:

    Sharapova sounds like such a dumbass. Ngl, when I read her stuff for the first time, I figured that Serena must have been taller than her even though I hated the caricature she was painting. But then I saw the pictures and homegirl is actually taller than Serena Williams. Hands down, I’d be much more intimidated by Sharapova, not least of which by the fact that she always has this look on her face like she’s coming for your throat.

    Then there’s the fact that she was creeping on Serena during practice and thinking, “i’m going to get you.” I’m sorry but, what?!? In what universe is this not creepy?! How did her editors let this go? I’m not Serena, and I doubt she’s afraid of this chick, but if someone said they were “coming for me” even in retrospect, even in the context of a sporting non-rivalry, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel somewhat threatened. That’s how this comes off to me. As threatening. Sharapova’s literally standing in the shadows like a Gollum cosplay hissing at Serena and thinking she’s gonna get her. All when she’s 12.

    And also, the whole “she can still make me feel like a little girl.” Girl, you make your own damn self feel like a little girl. Not Serena. If you’re threatened by her, that’s YOUR problem. Not hers. All of this just comes off as being incredibly creepy and obsessed on Maria Sharapova’s part.

    • jwoolman says:

      Feel obliged to point out that for most of the time Maria was using that drug, it was legal for athletes. She was “caught” using the drug soon after it was put on the forbidden list. Before that, no problem.

      Heck, Vitamin E is a performance-enhancing drug. Can definitely greatly improve your lung capacity, as I accidentally found out myself. But it’s been proven in clinical research.

  47. I’m not a sports fan so had no idea who this doper Maria Shaparova was- other than a doper who got caught. She only wishes she was as famous as the fabulous Williams sisters. Can’t believe she has more endorsements… idiots making those decisions… average non sports fan doesn’t know about or care about her.

  48. Calla Lily says:

    The fact that she didn’t want to be seen admiring them comes across as extremely racist to me. I’m sorry; I don’t know any other way to interpret that. She didn’t want to appear to be in awe of people she perceived to be “beneath” her.

    • Joannie says:

      That’s very judgemental on your part. So admiring someone of a different color is racist? She sees Serena as beneath her? You are twisting her words to suit your own narrative. See how that works?

      • Hunter says:

        I think Lily is referring specifically to her motive behind her thinking, not that the thinking itself is indicative of racism. Maria’s “admiration”/obsession of Serena is in spite of herself. Context.

      • HK9 says:

        Most people don’t hide in a shed when admiring someone.

  49. Electric Tuba says:

    Crazy, party of one. Crazy? Party of one? Your table is ready. Please, have a seat 💺.

  50. Loganski says:

    Why are we giving this woman the time of day? It was a real treat watching tennis while she was serving her suspension….that grunting is so annoying. I think she’s just a mean spirited person and incredibly jealous of Serena. I’d like her to just go away.

  51. Amelie says:

    I was mostly ignoring Shaparova shilling her book but now I’m just like, can you please stop oversharing? It makes sense to mention Serena a few times in relation to her career since she beat Serena that one time early on and that was a big moment. But seriously this girl had an irrational dislike of the Williams sisters even before she started playing tennis. Spying on Serena through the shed–ok whatever, she was 12 and 12 year olds do weird things. But admitting to not standing up when Serena won and I don’t know, she almost comes across as a closet racist but that might just be me! She and Serena will definitely not ever be friends now thanks to this stupid book.

  52. Hunter says:

    I’m late to the party and I’ve not read the comments yet, so forgive me if I duplicate here, but to me she comes across as creepily obsessed, seething with envy and painfully insecure from an early age. And I agree with the assessment of some significant mental deficit. Add to that her obvious racist and elitist attitude and it’s amazing to me that anyone close to her would allow her to make such an idiot of herself with this book.

  53. Sylvia says:

    Wow, this chick is more pressed than a panini! And yes, the majority of what she says about Serena contains some racist dog-whistle. The language she uses isn’t even all that coded. She seems to have made a conscious choice to capitalize on the ugly stereotypes a lot of people have about black women being scary and more aggressive vs how they see white women — especially blondes — as more innocent (a study just this summer found white adults see black girls as young as five as being “less innocent, more adult” than white girls). Like, it doesn’t even seem accidental or subconscious on her part.

    Meanwhile, Serena remains unbothered, just living her life of excellence, basking in the loving glow of marriage and new motherhood. Winning again.

    • loveotterly says:

      I was unaware of this coded language. To give her the benefit of the doubt, do you think she is unaware because she isn’t American?

      • A says:

        @loveotterly, no. I don’t think so. American media is distributed world wide, and along with it comes the requisite anti-blackness. Not to mention, anti-blackness in this form has been a fixture internationally for centuries at this point, and the fact that she’s from Russia doesn’t make her immune to that.

      • magnoliarose says:

        She grew up in America mostly. She knows better.

  54. loveotterly says:

    I thought it was kind of self deprecating. She’s clearly in awe of her. I must be missing something because Serena IS very muscular and if I were a player I would be intimidated. This woman is a little weird but I don’t get all the hate.

  55. Erica_V says:

    Serena – you in danger girl!

    Seriously tho – this chick is a straight up an obsessed fan. Serena should get a restraining order against her as it’s clear Maria is unhinged and fixated on the Williams sisters.

  56. perplexed says:

    At times she does sound in awe of Serena. She seems to admire her, but maybe can’t outright admit it. Maybe she really does wish she was friends with Serena.

  57. Bellagio DuPont says:

    I honestly to gawd mean no offense to any Russians out there, but to put this craziness in context, I can say from experience that they tend to have some rather… shall I put this….questionable practices in terms of training their athletes…..

    I was invited along with my fencing team to a tournament at one of the prominent fencing clubs in St. Petersburg a few years ago. The tournament was preceded by a week of intensive personal training with their professional fencing trainers……in that trip, I got to understand why Russians are so competitive at everything. We were quite literally put through the mill in ways I just can never imagine happening in London.

    I was physically and verbally abused by my personal coach. It’s difficult to describe the drills to none-fencers, but suffice it to say that by half way through the week, about 80% of the team from London had recorded formal complaints of abuse from the Russian coaches.

    It’s actually quite funny to me now, looking back, we were such flower petals. My Russian coach kept telling me that when he saw that he was assigned to a woman of colour, he was very excited because he expected me to be the fastest female fencer he’d ever seen (I AM fast!), but on the contrary, I was slow, sluggish and stupid. He encouraged me to drop Sabre (which is the most athletic form of fencing) to take up Epee (which is slower) as I was such a massive disappointment to him. All day, everyday, for the six days, verbal abuse. (He apparently called me a dog on Russian as well, according to my friend).

    Combined this with regular, deliberate, heavy blows he delivered to my mask for not responding quick enough to lightening fast signals…….it was really hard not to feel like this WAS abusive treatment.

    So, given the atmosphere, I can imagine feeling compelled to dope or do some other crazy shit like hiding in a shed, just to gain some sort of competitive advantage, no matter how marginal.

    In summary, the Russians don’t mess about.

  58. Annetommy says:

    Not a big fan of either Serena or Maria, but the representation of them as being at the opposite poles of heroine and villain(ess) is overly simplistic. Both are ultra – competitive, ambitious, driven, and sometimes aggressive. Maria was either deceitful or very stupid to take a banned substance, although it was legal for the vast majority of the time that she took it. Serena hasn’t done that. And Serena has won a lot more titles. And gets less sponsorship. But they have an awful lot in common, which is hardly surprising as those traits would be shared by many sportspeople, and depicting them as everything good or bad in the sport doesn’t really make sense. Blaming Maria for maximising her earnings makes no sense either: it’s the system that values her attributes more than Serena’s that’s offensive, not Maria being white and slim and blonde. Tiger Woods got massive sponsorship, as I assume Michael Jordan does / did (not my sport) so gender as well as ethnicity is the mix. It will be interesting to see what happens to the newly crowned US Open champ Sloane Stephens, who is a woman of colour and absolutely stunning. I hope she gets the attention and sponsorship her achievement deserves, but we will see.

  59. adastraperaspera says:

    “I’d never put myself in the position of worshiping [black women tennis players], looking up, being a fan [of any black female athletes, ever, at all],” said [totally racist, Single White Female stalker] Sharapova.

  60. ValiantlyVarnished says:

    I honestly didn’t think I coukd dislike anyone as much as I dislike Taylor Swift but Maria is giving her a run for her money.