Williams v Sharapova – Five of their best matches ahead of French Open clash

Serena Williams will look to extend her winning streak over Maria Sharapova when the pair meet at the French Open.

Published : Jun 03, 2018 23:22 IST

It will be like turning back time at the French Open on Monday when Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova renew their rivalry on the red dirt.

Both women have dropped out of the limelight in recent months - albeit for different reasons - but the draw at Roland Garros has pitted them against each other for a 22nd time.

Williams has already declared Sharapova the favourite for the fourth-round meeting, while the Russian is ready to end her miserable run against the 23-time grand slam champion.

Sharapova has lost the last 18 matches against her long-term rival, a streak that stretches all the way back to 2004 - her breakthrough year on the WTA Tour.

Here we look at five of the best meetings between the pair as they prepare to lock horns for the first time in over two years.


2004 Wimbledon – Final – Sharapova bt Williams 6-1 6-4

After losing her first meeting with Williams in Miami, Sharapova got revenge at Wimbledon, denying the then six-time grand slam champion a third straight title at the All England Club.

Sharapova was aggressive from the outset on the iconic Centre Court, punishing a slow start from her opponent to claim her first major trophy.

In her recent book Sharapova claimed this win gave Williams determination to go on her sensational run in head-to-head meetings, a claim the American dismissed on Saturday.


2005 Australian Open – Semi-final – Williams bt Sharapova 2-6 7-5 8-6

The following year – after Sharapova had beaten Williams at the WTA Tour Championship tournament – the two met in the last four in Melbourne.

Early on it looked as though Sharapova's streak would continue but Williams battled back after saving three match points, the American upping her game in the decider.

It was a thriller, one of their best clashes, and one fans at Roland Garros will hope is repeated on Monday.


2007 Australian Open – Final – Williams bt Sharapova 6-1 6-2

Back at the Australian Open after struggling with injury in 2006, Williams was the underdog against top seed Sharapova, but you would not have known it.

Sharapova claimed the US Open months before but her wait for a Melbourne crown would go on as Williams blasted her way to victory in just over an hour.

She only dropped three games in a stunning display, one she described as one her greatest achievements.


2010 Wimbledon - Fourth round – Williams bt Sharapova 7-6 (11-9) 6-4

A rare early meeting at a grand slam for the pair came in London in 2010, Sharapova having slipped lower down the rankings due to a shoulder injury.

Having come through the first set tie-break, with Williams letting out a huge "Yes!" when taking it 11-9 with an ace, the American's unbeaten run continued with ease.

Sharapova was far from the level of the now dominant Williams – who would go on to claim her second consecutive Wimbledon title.


2012 Olympics – Final – Williams bt Sharapova 6-0 6-1

At the Olympic Games in London there was an even more comprehensive victory for Williams, bringing her a first singles gold medal and third overall.

It only took Williams 45 minutes to brush aside her old foe at Wimbledon, and it was almost a double bagel after leading 6-0 3-0 in the second set.

"I didn't think I would be this happy," Williams said after the win. "I've never played better."

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