Ex-Maria Sharapova coach shares thoughts on Sharapova-Serena Williams rivalry

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Ex-Maria Sharapova coach shares thoughts on Sharapova-Serena Williams rivalry

Michael Joyce revealed he felt Maria Sharapova had the most respect for Serena Wiliams but also noted that the Russian never acknowledged it to him directly. Joyce, who coached Sharapova between 2004 and 2011, guided the Russian to three of her five Grand Slam titles.

For many years, Sharapova was considered as one of the best players in the world. But beating Williams was almost impossible for Sharapova as the American won 20 of their 22 meetings. "I think ultimately, Maria probably had the most respect for Serena over any player," Joyce said on Tennis Channel's podcast, per Sportskeeda.

I'm just saying this based on what I think. She never said it, but I just feel like Maria always felt that no matter who she was playing, she always had a shot. Sloane Stephens might be beating her, but Maria always felt like if she hung in there and if she was tough, she could turn it around.

But there was a point with Serena where it was just like Serena's bringing her A game. I think Maria was pretty predictable in some ways about how she was playing and Serena went through that period for three to four years where she just blew her away."

Sharapova led the head-to-head versus Williams

There was a time when Sharapova actually led the head-to-head versus Williams.

When Williams and Sharapova met for the first time in Miami in 2004, the American claimed a straight-set win. Four months later at Wimbledon, Sharapova got her revenge as she beat Williams en route to winning her first Grand Slam title at 2004 Wimbledon.

Later that year, Sharapova and Williams met once again as the Russian beat the American at the Wta Finals. After winning two of their first three meetings, Sharapova lost each of their next 19 meetings. Sharapova is now enjoying her retirement days, while WIlliams is still active. Earlier this month, Sharapova welcomed her first baby.

Maria Sharapova Serena Williams