Serena Williams wins again at French Open, sets up Sharapova showdown

Serena Williams wins again at French Open, sets up Sharapova showdown”

Former world number one Sharapova booked her place in the fourth round at Roland Garros with a straight-sets defeat of Karolina Pliskova, setting up a clash with fellow great Williams after the 23-times Grand Slam champion dispatched Julia Goerges.

The French Open is just her third singles tournament since giving birth last September and first since a two-month hiatus following an terminated return in March.

She had some problems in her initial two outings in Paris, including in the second round, when she dropped the first set against 17th-seeded Ashleigh Barty before — as Williams herself put it — “Serena came out.”.

It has been missing for two-and-a-half years, since Williams extended her domination of Sharapova to 19-2 with an Australian Open quarter-final victory that proved more significant than anyone could have imagined at the time.

"I have cried in the locker room many times after a loss, and that's what I have seen a lot of people do". After the 2004 Wimbledon match with Maria (Sharapova), I had the opportunity to interview Donald Trump on his L.A. golf course, and he said that Maria's shoulders were incredibly alluring and then he came up with this incredibly analysis: That you were intimidated by her super model good looks. "I play everyone so hard because they play me really hard and I always have to be ready for it", said Williams, whose ranking of 451 is not fooling any of her opponents.

Sharapova is seeded for the first time at a Grand Slam since her suspension for using meldonium and is playing her first French Open since 2015 after being refused a wildcard by tournament organisers previous year.

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Williams is not back to being that player yet.

That Williams and Sharapova, five years apart in age, have never been the best of friends is stale.

While Sharapova has spoken in the past of her struggles against Williams, who she has beaten only twice on the WTA Tour, she is in confident mood after a fine start to her campaign in Paris.

"I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess kind of, queen from Wakanda", she said, channeling "Black Panther", the recent box office smash. "I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds, at Wimbledon", said Sharapova in her book.

She added, "I think what happens there should definitely maybe stay there and not necessarily talk about it in a not-so-positive way in a book".

"Quite frankly, she's probably a favorite in this match, for sure", Williams told reporters.

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She plays like one, too, though that's nothing new.

Other women moving into the fourth round included 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza, two-time French Open finalist Simona Halep, two-time major-title victor Angelique Kerber and reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens. "Numbers don't lie", said the Russian five-time Grand Slam champion. "If she can not manage to win a set in this match then you know it has nothing to do with the physical side".

Williams said she was stunned so much of Sharapova's book had focused on her.

"Whenever I play her, I go out there the way I play everyone else.

It was Serena whom I beat in the Wimbledon final to emerge on the global stage at seventeen, and it's Serena who's given me the hardest time since", Sharapova wrote.

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