Maria Sharapova reveals what she told Serena Williams when they met last year

Maria Sharapova reveals she encouraged Serena Williams to return for one final time and go out on her own terms. When Sharapova and Williams met around this time a year ago, the American was out of action as she was recovering from a leg injury sustained at 2021 Wimbledon.

This summer, Williams returned for just four events as her career came to an end at this year’s US Open. “It was amazing to see Serena’s run and the glory and the gracious tenacity as she carried through to the end of her career,” Sharapova said on ESPN, per Erik Gudris.

Sharapova: I told Williams she’s better than this generation

“We spoke about it at the net last year during this time of year and I said no disrespect to this generation but you are so much better and you need to go out there, so I’m glad that she had a chance here,” Sharapova said.

In her final tournament, Williams definitely created some noise. In the US Open first round, Williams claimed a straight-set win over Danka Kovinic. Then, Williams defeated second-seeded Anett Kontaveit.

In the third round, Williams fought extremely hard but lost to Ajla Tomljanovic in three sets. Williams’ ex-rival, Sharapova, announced her retirement in 2020. Sharapova didn’t enjoy much success versus Williams as she won just two of their 20 meetings.

Interestingly, Sharapova had a 2-1 head-to-head versus Williams after the 2004 season. But then lost the next 19 meetings versus Williams. Earlier this year, Sharapova’s ex-coach Michael Joyce reflected on the Sharapova and Williams rivalry.

“I think ultimately, Maria probably had the most respect for Serena over any player,” Joyce said earlier this year on Tennis Channel’s podcast. “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.”

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