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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.