Serena Williams has now beaten her ‘rival’ Maria Sharapova twenty times

TENNIS : US Open 2019 - 26/08/2019

The US Open Day 1 was Monday. It felt like the whole day was building up to the first night match: Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova. I’m not sure if they’ve ever had to play each other first round before, and they had never – in all of the years of their “rivalry” – played each other at the US Open. Even though Pova returned from her doping suspension in 2017 and Serena returned from maternity leave in early 2018, this was actually the first they’ve played since January 2016 (shortly after which Pova tested positive for meldonium). They were supposed to meet at the French Open last year but Serena pulled out of the match. So… there was a lot of build-up and angst about this being a first-round match.

Do I think that the USTA rigged it so that these two would meet first round? Yes. I do. Pova’s ranking has plummeted because of several injuries and she’s struggled to win matches for the past year. Serena has had injuries too, but she’s still managed to retain a top-ten ranking, and she’s the eighth seed at the US Open.

Anyway, there was angst. I wasn’t worried though – as soon as the draw came out last week, I knew that as soon as Serena saw Pova in the first round, Serena would be super-motivated from the very start. And that’s exactly what happened – Serena was on fire, breaking Pova five times over two sets and wrapping up a 6-1, 6-1 victory in just shy of an hour. Pova wasn’t even playing that poorly (all things considered), but Serena just wouldn’t let her breathe. It was beautiful. What was not beautiful: Chris Evert’s nasty ESPN commentary, where she seemed to promote this idea that Pova and Serena are somehow equal, or that their achievements are somehow equal.

Put this in a museum! Love it. Serena has now beaten Maria Sharapova NINETEEN TIMES IN A ROW. Serena has beaten Pova 20 TIMES overall.

A few more things… I loved Serena’s little mini-catsuit, it was so cute and sleek. Serena’s husband Alexis Ohanian wore a vintage D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) shirt, because Alexis is a petty bitch and that’s why we love him. And after the match, in Serena’s press conference, she pulled an “I don’t know her” about Carlos Ramos, the umpire who inserted himself into last year’s US Open final.

TENNIS : US Open 2019  - USA - 26/08/2019

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Photos courtesy of Getty, Avalon Red.

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52 Responses to “Serena Williams has now beaten her ‘rival’ Maria Sharapova twenty times”

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  1. 1979 says:

    Well, it’s not exactly a rivalry is it? Given the number of times Serena has beaten her and all.

    • LeaTheFrench says:

      It’s definitely a rivalry…in Sharapova ‘s imagination.

      • Snappyfish says:

        I watched Backstory on ESPN about the USOpen controversy last year. Chris Evert was a shifty little bitch in that too. Funny as she has known the Williams girls for a v v long time & when they were coming up she reminded us all the time how close she was with them & now? She is comparing her to Sharapova as equals & in the ESPN piece saying she was playing the mother card & the race card. Chris Evert is cancelled. But then read about her & Greg Norman & you will see what a nasty piece of work she is.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      and if the W/L record were reversed, NO ONE would be saying they’re “rivals”.

      everyone would be talking about how Pova “dominates” Serena.

      and I LOVE the pettiness of the D.A.R.E. shirt. sick burn.

  2. Lisa says:

    I love Serena’s husband. That is all.

  3. LeaTheFrench says:

    Love Alexis’ shirt 😂

  4. CommentingBunny says:

    I used to wonder what Serena saw in him, but the more I see of him and them, the more I get it. That shirt is almost as funny as thinking there’s a rivalry between Serena and someone she’s beaten 20 times.

    • Millennial says:

      I think a lot of men in his position would try to diminish her. We’ve seen that time and again in power couples. So, even though it’s celebrating what should just be expected, I appreciate that he supports her success without the need to be the alpha in the relationship.

      • TQB says:

        He’s no slouch, either. He’s clearly comfortable enough in himself and his accomplishments that he does need to always shine brighter. See also how he’s battling sexist attitudes towards parenting and encouraging paternity leave. These two are the patriarchy’s worst nightmare.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      agree with both of you. he clearly adores her and is in awe of her accomplishments. love how he supports her.

  5. Peg says:

    Chris Evert, lives in her own world.
    Having affairs with friends’ husbands or partners.

  6. Nanea says:

    I don’t know what I liked more – the end result, or the Ramos diss.

    But Chris Evert stanning for Dopapova was beyond the pale.

    • Redgrl says:

      Well, Chris Evert once told Martina Navratilova to “go play with the men” so she’s always been a stupid b*tch.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        Probably because Martina often kicked Evert’s butt.

        def more of an actual rivalry than Williams/Pova, but overall, Navratilova was the victor more often than Evert.

  7. Erinn says:

    That shirt!!!!

    That is exactly what I would want from my spouse too haha. Petty? Sure. Funny? Heck yes.

    • Mellie says:

      That is the best thing ever!! Hey, if you’re going to do that $hit then that’s what you get.

      • Erinn says:

        The more I see of him, the more I love them as a couple. He truly seems like her biggest fan in the best kind of way.

  8. hindulovegod says:

    Everything about Sharapova is an illusion, a media framing based in fantasy. Without her PED cocktail, she isn’t a top 50 player. She was part of the coordinated doping program highlighted in Icarus, but it’s rarely if ever mentioned. She is one of the least liked players on tour, while Williams is in her colleagues’ wedding parties. But still, Maria is painted as some willowy victim of the big bad mean Serena. It’s tired, it’s racist and I’m sick of it. Chris Evert is an unprofessional hack.

    • Mignionette says:

      ^^^THIS comment right here = fantastic.
      It is widely know amongst the Tennis fraternity that Sharapova is universally disliked or at best other female players are ambivalent towards her.

      For all the faux hatred and racism the press attempt to generate at Serena she is widely liked and at worst respected and admired for what herself and Venus have done for the women’s game. Without them female tennis players would still be earning 2/3rds of what the men earn.

      History will be the decider. In 20 years time (unless Sharapova can re-invent herself), she will be consigned to history largely forgotten.

    • Lama Bean says:


    • Mtec says:

      Well said. Agreed.

    • adastraperaspera says:

      Spot on!!

    • whatWHAT? says:


      you said it ALL.

    • TQB says:

      Say it loud and often!!! All of this.

    • kerwood says:

      Very well said. What kind of ‘rivalry’ is it when one person has beaten the other NINETEEN times? Only a rivalry between a Black woman and a White woman.

      Sharpova wouldn’t have a career if she wasn’t tall, thin and BLONDE. She wouldn’t stand out in a crowd of pretty girls but she’s relatively good looking for women’s tennis. She reminds me of that other Russian player (the one who dates Inglesias) who was one of the highest paid women in tennis even though she NEVER won a tournament.

      I’m not surprised about Chris Everet. She’s been a bitch since the beginning. But she’s not an exception, she’s the rule when it comes to the tennis establishment. Very few established tennis players were supportive of the Williams sisters, but it was even worse when it came from the women’s tennis community. Women that had fought for some sort of equality for themselves lined up to take shots at Venus and Serena. Navratilova said some pretty messed up things too.

      In fact, the Williams sisters have always received more support from the men than they have from the women. McEnroe acted the fool for a while but I remember a press conference when a reporter told Serena that McEnroe said that she would never be able to beat a male tennis player. Serena smiled and purred ‘you want a piece of me, John?’. It was like a lioness going after a scrawny weasel. McEnroe shut his mouth after that.

      Sharpova needs to retire and start repping for drug companies. She’d do well.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        yeah, I thought of Kournikova, too.

        pretty white and blond…she was the highest paid because of her endorsements, and her endorsements were STRICTLY because of how she looked.

        she only won 2 (TWO!) Grand Slams, and they were both doubles.

      • maya8 says:

        Sharapova would have a career because she won 5 or 6 grand slams. She probably wouldn’t have as many endorsements but she would still be rich. Career earnings are calculated from the tournaments played not from endorsements. And the other player is named Anna Kournikova and has won 2 slam doubles. Just because they’re both Russian doesn’t make them the same. And even if she hadn’t won anything she’s still an athlete and that’s an accomplishment in itself. As for the “relatively pretty” among women tennis players yeah sure, women athletes are ugly of course 🙄

    • sunny says:

      Excellent comment!

  9. dlc says:

    I’m so glad you covered this! I watched the match too and while the commentary annoyed me a little in talking up Sharpova, they had to act like there was suspense, right? The only thing I was worried about was Serena’s back acting up again. I didnt notice Alexis’s shirt last night, that is awesome!

  10. Rogue says:

    It’s hilarious how some try and make it a “rivalry” like it’s Federer and Nadal when out of 22 matches, Serena has beaten Maria 20 times. Maria hasn’t beaten Serena since 2004- so its completely one sided. But go off I guess

  11. gingersnaps says:

    This was so great to wake up to! And seeing Alexis cheer for Serena is a joy.
    I wish nothing but the best for both of them. Come on Serena! We’re cheering for you.
    Sharapova gets to coast by because of her whiteness but her achievements doesn’t even come close to Serena’s.

  12. Mtec says:

    Cue her white girl tears

  13. Beli says:

    Rivalry… ha! Sharapova hasn’t beaten Serena in what, 15 years? And that’s despite her doping.

    I loved Alexis’ shirt!! That’s the pettiness I need in a partner.

  14. Shana says:

    I love everything about this post! Plus, I’m always glad to see Serena’s husband treat her as the queen she is

  15. Jess says:

    Serena is amazing and I love how Alexis seems like such a supportive partner. I didn’t get to watch the match but I saw the petty drama on Twitter that the Tennnis Channel (I think – or some other verified Tennis related account) created before the match when they posted about the Serena/Dopa match up, talked about the rivalry, and then used a photo of one of the only two times that Dopa beat Serena. It’s stuff like that – petty crap where white spaces just can’t concede that a person of color, especially a black woman, is the greatest and deserves all of the awards – that is so grinding on a daily basis.

  16. Nic919 says:

    Sharapova should have been banned for life. It’s ridiculous that she was let back in. Patrick McEnroe basically said that it was the drugs that helped her to compete and without them she is not at the same level. Chris Evert was annoying as hell trying to pretend this was a rivalry of any sort. You can’t beat someone 19 times in a row and pretend the other side is at the same level.

  17. Michael says:

    Saying Pova is a riva to Serena is like saying a nail is a rival to a hammer. Serena is the greatest tennis player of all time in my mind. Male or female. Has any player come from where she came from and dominated the competition like she has?

  18. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Rivalry. Lololol. A rival would imply that Sharapova is an equal to Serena. Chris Evert is trash and always has been. So of course she is a Pova stan. Birds of a feather.

  19. Tiffany says:

    Alexis, do not make me like you.

    And how can people not say Serena is GOAT. How???

  20. Tpoe says:

    Sharapova is and always has been overrated. The only “rivalry” talk between these two should be about who sells the most merchandise.

  21. TheOriginalMia says:

    All those saying this is a rivalry should look up the definition of rivalry. Beating someone 19, now 20, times in a row is a competition. It’s dominance. I wasn’t worried Serena would lose this match. I actually thought she’d use it as a warmup, but no…she came out guns blazing. Serena had better things to do than worry about Maria.

    Chris Evert makes me want to throw things at the tv. I have to block her out.

    Alex is great. I love his twitter. He loves, respects and stans for his wife. He also does his part in taking down the patriarchy. He supports start ups and paternity leave. He’s awesome. Serena chose well.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      I’m really glad that Serena didn’t “go easy” on Pova.

      she was like “no, I’m much better than you and I’m gonna show you how much better. give me an hour.”

  22. Sarah says:

    Sharapova and the way her career is covered by tennis media continue to baffle me. Obviously, a huge part of the overtly positive coverage – even after her suspension – comes from thin, blonde, white girl privilege but it can’t explain anything.
    To put it bluntly, Masha is not even the best white, blonde player Serena has affronted. Kim Clijsters has won the same number of Slams overall without ever testing positive. Justine Henin actually won more tournaments, was No.1 for far longer and when it comes to Serena Williams, actually did have a competitive, interesting rivalry with her (Serena leads 8-6).
    And to compare with the white men, people really acted like Nadal’s career was over when he lost several time in a row to Djokovic and it was just a 7-game loosing streak over less than one single season.
    Meanwhile Sharapova has not defeated Serena in more than a decade, not since before Brad Pitt and La Jolie met and people really want to act like there is rivalry there.
    When Serena retire, I can guarantee you that there are at least 10 players whose name are going to come up before Sharapova: Venus Williams, Roberta Vinci, Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters, Naomi Osaka, Lindsay Davenport, Amélie Mauresmo, etc…

    • Mignionette says:

      What I find most shocking is the way the US Tennis fraternity coddle Masha. At times it feels like a passive aggressive way of letting Serena know that she doesn’t belong and will never be one of them. Just like the time when the crowd cheered Sharapova to win over Serena at the US Open.

      Sharapova is aware of this passive aggressive form of racism towards Serena andactively plays on it to further her position. Kind of what Kate does to Meghan and white women do to WOC in a work situation. It is a truly low move and I am glad she was caught doping as some kind of karma.

      A large number of the US Tennis fraternity incl Chris & Navratilova need to hang their head in shame for the way they have treated the Williams sisters and especially for weaponizing the likes of a drug cheat like Sharapova against Serena.

  23. Rice says:

    I joined Mr. Rice in the middle of watching that (Netflix?) documentary about the Williams sisters. They deserve all of the glory after having to fight against racial abuse, mockery, and humiliation that had to endure when they first started out. Even though I only got to see a few minutes, I got a full rage-on.

  24. BC says:

    Yay! Go Serena. This made my day (ive had a crappy one). Her husband’s tee and her reply about the Umpire hahaha, and her totally annihilating Sharapova, im here for it all. I love her and i wish her continued good health. She deserves it for all the hate she gets from the tennis fraternity. I just want her to keep proving them wrong on court❤

  25. Lala11_7 says:

    You beat somebody 19 times in a row…

    They’re not your rival…

    They’re practice partner….

  26. Samantha says:

    Serena’s outfit is just a big NO.