Serena Williams clears air on if there is 'beef' between her, Maria Sharapova

For years, there were rumors of Williams and Sharapova not liking each other very much on tennis and personal level.

by Dzevad Mesic
Serena Williams clears air on if there is 'beef' between her, Maria Sharapova
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Serena Williams has shut down claims that there is and ever was a beef between her and Maria Sharapova as the American tennis legend claims everything that happened between them was nothing else but two great players being very competitive. 

For 15 years, Williams and Sharapova had one of the biggest rivalries on the WTA Tour despite the American heavily dominating their head-to-head. And a big part of so much hype surrounding their rivalry came from the fact that many believed that there was some kind of a feud between the two and that they didn't like each other at all.

Now with both Williams and Sharapova well-retired from tennis, the former 23-time Grand Slam champion was asked directly if there was a beef between her and the Russian tennis legend.

“Not anymore. I mean, was there ever beef? I guess. It was just competitive. She was winning. I was winning, you know, we both wanted to win, and I don't think it was personal. It was just, 'Do you want to win?'" Williams said on The Serena Collection.

What made the Williams and Sharapova rivalry so interesting?

In 2004, Sharapova was just a 17-year-old teenager when she upset Williams in the Wimbledon final for her first Wimbledon title. Later that year, Sharapova defeated Williams again at the WTA Finals. Sharapova's two early wins over Williams led to some talking about the Russian as someone who had the game to challenge and beat the American. 

Presumably, Williams heard everything that was being said at the time and used it as a big motivation to prove everyone wrong. Then very impressively, Williams won 19 consecutive matches versus Sharapova that were played between 2005 and 2019 to finish with a 20-2 head-to-head versus the Russian. 

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

In 2013, Williams and Sharapova also traded public jabs at each other as the Russian wasn't happy after believing that the American took shots at her private life in one of her interviews. 

Although Williams dominated Sharapova in their meetings for many years, their matches always drew lots of attention and ultimately were one of the most hyped on the Tour.

Serena Williams Maria Sharapova