Two of the biggest female sports stars in the world renew their rivalry – if you can call it that – Thursday at Wimbledon semifinals. World No. 1 Serena Williams and rival Maria Sharapova first met over 13 years ago in Miami. Serena won that encounter but Sharapova won the next two, at the Wimbledon final and at the 2014 WTA Championships.
However, Sharapova hasn’t won since, losing to Serena an incredible 16 straight times, most recently at the Australian Open final this year and twice on Centre Court Wimbledon in 2010 and against at the 2012 Olympics.
“I love playing Maria,” Serena said. “I think she brings out the best in me. I think I bring out the best in her. I thought we had a wonderful final in Australia. It was very entertaining. She played really well. For me, I don’t feel like I have any pressure going into this match. We both actually lost early last year. We both are kind of enjoying this moment and one of us will be in the final.”
Added Sharapova, “I think it’s always a new match. I haven’t had great success against her. I would love to change that around. That’s how I look at it.”
Serena has won her last 26 Grand Slam matches as she eyes a second Serena Slam and a potential calendar Slam in New York.
In the early semifinal, 2012 finalist Agnieszka Radwanska meets the surprising Spaniard Garbine Muguruza. The hard-hitting Muguruza beat Radwanska twice already this year and after wins over Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki, she sounds ready to pull another upset.
“I’m surprised that my first semifinals is on grass,” Muguruza said. ‘But I think I’m playing really good. I think the surface helps me.”
Radwanska, who had struggled earlier in the year under then-coach Martina Navratilova, has found her form against at Wimbledon where she has reached the semifinals for a third time.
“I had a lot of good matches before Wimbledon, in Nottingham, especially Eastbourne, as well,” she said. “I think I will play good match against top players. That is always helping. I think I will have a lot more confident after those weeks on the grass. Here we go.”
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