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Sharapova Sends Verbal Volley Serena's Way

posted 22 Jun 2013, 15:17 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 22 Jun 2013, 15:18 ]

Two days before the start of Wimbledon and Maria Sharapova fires the first volley at her title rival Serena Williams by taking aim at the American's personal life.

 LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JUNE 22, 2013) (REUTERS) -  The dust has barely settled since their French Open final scrap but Maria Sharapova fired the first volley at Wimbledon title rival Serena Williams on Saturday (June 22), taking aim at the American's personal life.

Sharapova, who lost for the 13th time in a row to Williams when they clashed at Roland Garros a fortnight ago, could not resist when asked her opinion on her rival's controversial comments on a high-profile teenage rape case in Ohiopublished in Rolling Stone magazine.

"Obviously I have a tremendous amount of respect for Serena and what she's achieved on the court. You can never take anything away from that," 2004 Wimbledon champion Sharapova told reporters.

"I was definitely a little bit sad to hear about what she had to say about the whole case."

Williams has since apologised after quotes attributed to her suggested the victim had been drunk.

In the same article Williams also apparently referred to Sharapova's relationship with Bulgarian player Grigor Dimitrov.

Russian Sharapova responded on Saturday.

"As for myself or whether it was about somebody else nothing personal, we've talked to Serena many times and I know everyone tries to create rivalries between us here and there but at the end of the day we have a tremendous amount of respect for what we do on the court.

"But I just think she should be talking about her accomplishments, her achievements, rather than everything else that's just getting attention and controversy and if she wants to talk about something personal maybe she should talk about her relationship. Her boyfriend now is married and getting a divorce and has kids.

"She should talk about other things but not draw attention to other things, she has so much in her life and many positives and I think that's what it should be about."

Third seed Sharapova goes into the tournament not having played in any warm-up events, saying she preferred to get back on the practice court.

"The reason I don't play warm-up events is so many tournaments back to back and it's always nice to just get back to working, to playing and working on a few things here and there," Sharapova added. "Sometimes when you get in a groove of playing so many matches you lose that work ethic a bit."

Second seed Victoria Azarenka is hoping that she will do better than the last two years where the Belarussian has been beaten in the semi-finals by the eventual winner on both occasions.

"I think it's just a challenge really, it's to make that extra step," Azarenka said. "I lost twice to a champion after that and they were pretty close matches so it's just important to really take your opportunities, and first of all it's important to get there."

The championships start on Monday (June 24).