Maria Sharapova Slams Serena Williams Over Rolling Stone Article, Questions Her Dating Choices
by Tom Gainey | June 22nd, 2013, 12:53 pm

Maria Sharapova took exception to comments made by Serena Williams in a recent article in Rolling Stone in which the 5-time Wimbledon champion said a certain player is “still not going to be invited to the cool parties. And hey, if she wants to be with the guy with a black heart, go for it.”

While Serena didn’t name names it sounded like she was referring to Sharapova who now dates Grigor Dimitrov, a player linked to Serena last year.

When asked today at Wimbledon, Sharapova fired back at her rival specifically attacking Serena for dating a married guy with kids, namely coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

“If she wants to talk about something personal, maybe she should talk about her relationship and her boyfriend that was married and is getting a divorce and has kids,” Sharapova said about Serena’s Rolling Stone quote.

“What I do on the court and what I talk about in my press conference is strictly about my career. I’m sure people want to know more, but yet I try to keep my personal life private,” Sharapova added. “Nobody really cares about what I have to say, my opinions. If I speak to my friends, that’s one thing. But I don’t go out and try to create things that shouldn’t be really talked about.”

Mouratoglou has been coaching Serena since the start of the French Open last year, during which time the two have been linked romantically though neither has confirmed the relationship.

Later, Mouratoglou responded telling the Guardian, “I don’t think anything about it [about what Sharapova said]. My role is to think about tennis and to help Serena be the best she can be and do what she wants to achieve. I’m just here for tennis.”

Sounds like he’s not denying the romance!

If the Serena-Sharapova rivalry is one-sided on the court, off the court it’s now Sharapova with lead. Let’s see how Serena responds.

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43 Comments for Maria Sharapova Slams Serena Williams Over Rolling Stone Article, Questions Her Dating Choices

KRIS Says:

Maria’s classless bitch!!! players who have little talent should shut up & stop biting on journalistic bait …where does Serena make references to Serena?

KRIS Says:

sorry! that should read “where does Serena make references to Maria?”

skeezer Says:


the DA Says:

She’s right. Serena shouldn’t be dishing in front of a reporter with a mic switched on. Junior error.

@KRIS – in the Rolling Stone article. Serena hit the first volley, Maria is simply smacking it back.

jane Says:

the DA, I agree. I think Serena kind of opened that can of worms. BTW, it’s implied that Serena broke up her coach’s marriage, but is that true?

Lots of hype in the press now!

Giles Says:

C’mon Serena, squash her and then eat her sweets.

nadalista Says:

Slow tennis news day…………

thark Says:

This is really disappointing stuff that is becoming all too common in women’s tennis. The passive-aggressiveness (and the just-plain-aggressiveness) seem to be getting worse by the day. One really gets the feeling that there is no camaraderie left on the WTA. The standard approach seems to be exactly what Maria employs here: start by being pseudo-above-the-fray and then land your own set of punches. It really seems like the culture has changed – I have a hard time imagining these types of exchanges between Steffi and Monica back in the day.

The level of tennis on the men’s tour is at an all-time high, and they are still able to conduct themselves with mutual respect whenever they are in the spotlight. Take a page from the ATP playbook, ladies: off-the-court tension is bound to happen, but keep it between the parties that are involved. The correct answer to baiting questions from the press is “I’m here to talk about tennis, I have no comment about that.”

Get your act together – young girls who love tennis need some legitimate role models…

Ben Pronin Says:

Watching the video, Sharapova appears to be taking the high road with everything she says until this particular quote. It’s sandwiched in between good stuff. But, again, bam!

jane Says:

thark, I think you make good points: perhaps Sharapova should’ve not taken the bait, although Serena should’ve been more careful in the first place – there’s been a lot of bad press about that “Rolling Stone” interview. No doubt some things were taken out of context though; the press are always searching for an “angle” to their stories. Indeed that’s what Andy mentioned explicitly and the others implicitly after Gulbis made his comments about the top four ATP players being boring in interviews. Perhaps they are guarded and PC because otherwise an innocent or off hand remark can get made into a big story.

Susan Says:

Maria is a class act but Serena should not bash someone Maria is dating when being a devoted Jehovah witness lol I don’t believe she should talk going with a married man with children. Only my opinion but Serena cleanup your own life before you talk about others. You are both great tennis greats so grow up. Maria has a valid arugment! You go girl! Maria that is …… And I am not prejudice. I AMA lack women too Serena.

Ben Pronin Says:

Serena said Dimitrov has a black heart. How dare she? I’m with Sharapova on this one.

thark Says:

@jane – they should be guarded. And players at that level need good coaching about how to handle the press and other off-court aspects of their prominent position in society. If you go for a job interview, the advice to “be yourself” is probably not as good as advice to “put your best foot forward,” even though both are variations on the idea of being yourself.

Watch someone like Rafa in action. His responses are not pure reflex, they are as trained as a lefty topspin forehand in an otherwise right-handed man. Not only does he deftly sidestep any negative comments about other players, but he also manages not to engage in discussions about future matchups (e.g. discussing a possible final against Nole when he is only in the 3rd round of a tourney). This conditioned caution has made him and Fed some of the most beloved players in the history of the game, and it isn’t just something they were born with.

I understand where Gulbis is coming from – it gets old to hear top players constantly insisting that they aren’t the favorite, or pointing out the incredible challenge that awaits them in a qualifier that they are expected to beat handily, but they are practicing this type of behavior for a reason. They know that 1. losing that simplistic humility can degenerate quickly into the sort of drivel that Serena and Maria are dishing, and 2. off-court distractions (of any kind) can have a larger-than-life effect on your tennis. In short, their stereotyped responses are a way of saying that they are putting the tennis first, talk second.

mem Says:

where did serena actually call sharapova out by name? for all we know she could have been referring to caroline, viki, any girl in the top 5. point is, unless someone specifically points to you, you need to reframe from responding to assumptions. even if serena was taking a swipe at maria (and it wasn’t spelled out in the article), maria sure did stoop low to throw around serena’s alleged relationship with a married man. that was classless and unnecessary. after all, if dimetrov is the root of this word war,then, i guess it can be said that maria has picked up serena’s leftovers.

truth is, maria is a sneaky, overrated tall blue eyed blonde who has been chosen by many to be the “face” of the wta. the things she is saying about serena are the issues of her heart. issues that have been waiting to be revealed. in other words, she seized the opportunity to say things about serena that she has wanted to say all along. sure, serena is not a saint, but maria is no angel either!

Giles Says:

^^^ And she is a cradle snatcher!

JM Says:

Wimbledon needs a bit of drama! It’s fine as long as they don’t actually fight physically. Maria wouldn’t stand a chance against Serena if they do a fist fight. Anyway, I’d love to see the final between the two. I know it’s is one-sided now. With this tension, we might be able to see a good match between the two!

jane Says:

thark, all good points. I think both Novak and Andy have learned the same, perhaps through the school of hard knocks. ;)

As for Gulbis, on the one hand, I agree that what he says isn’t unfounded, and sometimes it is boring to hear all the PC repetition answers we sometimes hear, but on the other hand, he hasn’t really walked a mile in their shoes, wherein they do some many more press conferences and how almost each and every thing they say is latch upon for a story angle.


mem, it’s true that Serena doesn’t say it explicitly, but the interviewer in the Rolling Stone article writes that it was presumably Sharapova to whom she was referring. It’s just too bad the interviewing heard the cheeky comments in the first place, not to mention the comments about the rape case. It’s blown up into quite the fracas! :/

jane Says:

^ sorry for all the typos!

Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Meeeow catfights at dawn,i dont think Serena has ever forgiven Maria for that defeat at Wimbledon in 2004,and has been making her pay for it ever since,but making it personal with trash talking is below the belt,and Maria retaliating makes her just as bad,who knows though maybe it will fire Maria up into beating Serena the next time they face off.

mem Says:


yes, it’s just too bad! they both need to stick to skinning each other like a rabbit on the court instead of engaging in a personal word war. although the drama makes for great headlines and blog discussions, unfortunately, it can also be seen as classless from two elite players who a lot people look up too. maybe it will serve as a lesson learned, maybe not. anyway, what’s done is done!

Danny Morris Says:


Anna Says:

Serena going to all the cool parties really doesn’t impress me. I think it was one of those parties that ended up causing her a lot of grief and about a years worth of tennis. As far as Dimitrov goes, it sounds like Serena has a little residual bitterness she’s hanging on to. Maria would have done much better to find a little humour in Serena’s remarks. It’s hard to do though when the lady who’s handing you a beatdown on the court tournament in and tournament out is also trashing you to the press.

Micky Says:

If the guy was planning the devorce before serena came in, I wouldn’t mind….

Damm, I’d definately love to go out with serena baby:)

Micky Says:

If the guy was planning the devorce before serena came in, I wouldn’t mind….

Damm, I’d definately love to go out with serena, baby:)

Bora Says:

It’s shame that woman’s tennis become so born that Serena and Maria have to trough bad words to each other, so that we maybe started to watch theirs matches :)

laslo Says:

Serena used to taunt Safina all the time. She always thanks jehova but seems to be a hypocrite inthe morals department. I think she has a cruel streak.

TennisAviator Says:

Serena is living proof that great tennis players don’t always make good or even intelligent human beings. ‘Cool parties’? Is she 12?

Maria should have taken the high road though!

Am I the only one, but when I heard the whole ‘black heart’ thing, I was thinking Redfoo & Vika!

I think there is a potential three-way fight on hand…

Margot Says:

Not the right place but nowhere else:
A really nice interview with Graf. She sounds such a well balanced, happy individual. Made a positive read.

sienna Says:

Graf got really good after monica was stabbed in her back.
I say that The probably would not have won so many slams after the stabbing. She was mentally not strong enough to beat Monica. Who had her number on every slam.

So she is now regarded as the greatest but monica would have won everything in sight.
So sad.

the DA Says:

@ Margot – Thanks for that. Such a humble person and role model for all. I was a huge Steffi fan, still am.

Denver Says:

Micky Says:
“Damm, I’d definately love to go out with serena, baby:)”

Really ??
Are you sooo desperate ?

To begin with I would like to go out with a female and of course a human being.

Nadalista Says:

^^And you have to come to a tennis blog to tell the whole world what you are? Jeez……

nadalista Says:

Thank goodness for an adult view on this sorry matter:

” In all seriousness, wow. The proverbial gauntlet has been thrown. Sharapova’s response to Serena opining about a sad situation, saying that she should keep those thoughts to herself, is to not at all keep her own opinions to herself. Instead, she launches a hyper-personal attack on Serena’s coach and is-he-or-isn’t-he boyfriend, Patrick Mouratoglou, that seeks to shed light (in a negative way) on his own family matters. In saying that Serena should avoid controversy, Sharapova shamelessly has courted it herself, has prolonged the life of this sorrowful, nearly week-long tale. It’s only going to be perpetuated into the first week of actual main-draw play at Wimbledon, which is most unfortunate.

One has to think that Sharapova chose to get more combative with her response in part because of that article, in which Serena criticizes another WTA top-5 player for taking up with a boyfriend with a “black heart.” Serena was once rumored to be seeing Grigor Dimitrov, now Sharapova’s arm candy.

Memo to Sharapova: It may only get worse for you. You haven’t beaten Serena in nine years, and what all of this ballyhoo amounts to appears to be little more than sour grapes. Should you both make the Wimbledon singles final, you and Serena, it will be most interesting to see how you comport yourselves. And I sincerely doubt that you forget the last time you two champions met on grass, in the 2012 Olympic final. You won but one game.

In short, this budding war of words is beneath two great winners who, between them, share scads of talent and 20 Grand Slam singles titles. Serena would be wise to avoid taking the bait, just as she did weeks ago when Sloane Stephens’s derisive comments arrived on the scene. As Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim said then, “Come at The Queen, you best not miss.”

Vvx Says:

It seems Serena had already apologized to Sharapova about the Rolling Stone interview last Thursday at the players’ party.

If that is true, it is very bad form for Sharapova to stir it all up again at a press conference.

To be honest, apology or no apology, I don’t think this is a smart move. The last time they met on grass, Sharapova only won one game out of thirteen.

Motivating Serena to rub your nose in it even harder doesn’t seem to me like a very good move to me.

Brando Says:

Girlfight? Please no! Always the most awkward of things to witness. In this case: Serena is a great, great champion no doubt. Could end up being the best ever one day. But from afar: methinks she needs to get a grip on what she says in public. She’s in the wrong here, and IMO bears a real grudge against Sharapova. Why? It’s tough to say, but it’s definitely something I feel most sense themselves regarding Serena’s feelings towards Shazza. Maria? She really should not have taken the bait but then again: who can blame her for firing back when being needlessly knocked at in public? I can understand her for firing back.

Danny Morris Says:

I think anyone looking for rolemodels in the sports and show-biz are too naive to understand how things work.

It is exactly these kind of fans who make fools out of themselves by treating sportsmen like lance armstrong and tiger woods like role models and act surprised when the truth comes out. These people are humans we know nothing on a personal front. Stop judging them for not being role models and look for your parents or friends who you know very well and learn from them.

Serena and Sharapova are just regular human beings who are terrific at placing a tennis ball in a box. That is all we know. If you are a dimwit who gobbles up stuff media throws at you and buys into the humble/classy stuff, the joke is on you.

As I said, if your parents/teachers/elders you know personally did not inspire you and serve as rolemodels, you go around looking for a rolemodel in the wrong places.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Danny Morris completely agree,myself and Wogboy had this discussion a few weeks ago,the whole media celebrity circus culture gets way out of hand alot of the time,and the sad thing is impessionable youngsters look up to these people and want to copy them,when they should really follow their own destinys and their own identities,roll models should be mothers,fathers,brothers,sister,not sportsmen or woman,or TV personalities.

RZ Says:

I think it’s funny that in the same conversation that Shriekapova says “What I do on the court and what I talk about in my press conference is strictly about my career,” she brings up Serena’s relationship with her coach. Passive agressive as always…

Paradox Says:

Danny Morris preaching looks like Bin Laden preaching world peace.This Danny Morris posts so many rubbish and now he is preaching!.What a hypocrisy.

Danny Morris Says:

Sean/Ben/Tom Gainey:

Can you please keep these rafa trolls in check? The other day STEVE27 made a racist post on Serbia and now this clown paradox has his head up his azz with his post at 11:37.

I can play that game too and if I do take the road rafa trolls are taking and start abusing them and their families, to quote Jason bourne ” there is no measure to how fast and how hard I will bring this fight to their doorstep.”


Good luck to your fave. I hope we will have a fedal in the quarters and I hope Roger is not too gassed out like he was in the olympics final or in the IW quarter final or is not shanking like the Rome final. Even if Roger plays like he did in 2009 AO final or 2012 AO semi, we will have a mini-classic like those two matches.

Danny Morris Says:


I have an article that my friend and I authored on Federer. Is there anyway I can have it published through tennis-x?

Is there an application process to apply to be a blogger on tennis-x?

Thanks, in advance, for your responses.

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