Monday, 18 June, 2018

Maria Sharapova hits back at Serena Williams in book row

Maria Sharapova Maria Sharapova hits back at Serena Williams for '100 percent hearsay' comment about her autobiography
Frederick Owens | 09 June, 2018, 18:24

- The American won her maiden Slam at the US Open previous year, beating close friend Madison Keys in the final. And when I broke her first game, I felt more confident and I felt I have the game in my hands.

Following her 70-minute defeat to Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-1 in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros on Wednesday, the Russian spent a portion of her press conference addressing criticism made by her rival about her autobiography, in which Williams claimed the book was "100 percent hearsay".

On Saturday, Sloane Stephens and Simona Halep will compete for the women's title.

The Romanian underlined that pedigree with a straight-sets scorching of Spaniard Muguruza-who is herself a daunting figure on clay.

Halep has been beaten in all of her previous Major final appearances, including at Roland Garros past year by Jelena Ostapenko. He was also able to raise his level when in danger, saving three break points in the eighth game of the third set with great shot-making, and four more in the final set.

After Williams withdrew from their scheduled fourth-round meeting at the French Open, Sharapova responded to Williams' criticism.

"It's always hard to play someone from your country, and such a good friend, so I'm pleased to get through that", said Stephens.

While Sharapova defends her inclusion of Williams due to the role she has played in the five-time Grand Slam champion's career, Williams was still disappointed.

"I have another chance to be in the final and hope to do better than past year". "It's very hard. I think more when I do play Madi, it's just - on the court it's very competitive".

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"She was the aggressive one", Sharapova said.

George Bellshaw, Metro: "Halep arguably adapts best to players with big, heavy strokes". Halep does not possess the power of Keys, and Stephens has shown she is one of the best movers in the game. Whereas Halep has an unenviable record at the sharp end of majors. "It's pretty boring. I wish there was something exciting to tell you, but it's really not".

Backed by fans who loudly chanted her first name between games, Halep went ahead 3-0 with the help of only one victor.

She had never made it past the fourth round on the red clay of Paris until now.

"Kind of a weird day", Muguruza said.

Muguruza has not dropped a set in this year's tournament and dominated Sharapova with booming groundstrokes and superb returning that earned six breaks.

Just like she wowed the tennis world with her summer a year ago, Stephens is enjoying a strong spring that started with her winning the title in Miami.

The American pair have contrasting styles, with Stephens' game based on her athleticism and ability to get many balls back, while also turning defence into offence fairly quickly.

In fact, her next match win after the US Open did not come until Acapulco in February.

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