Sharapova hits out at Williams

ESPN staff
June 22, 2013
Maria Sharapova was defeated by Serena Williams in the French Open final last month © AP

Maria Sharapova has launched a stinging attack on rival Serena Williams ahead of Wimbledon.

Defending champion Williams was forced into an apology after controversial comments made in Rolling Stone magazine about a rape case in Ohio.

The American also appeared to criticise Sharapova in the article, while the Russian also spoke about a reported relationship between Williams and her French coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

"I was sad to hear what she had to say about the whole case," Sharapova said.

"I just think she should be talking about her accomplishments, her achievements, rather than everything else that's just getting attention and controversy.

"If she wants to talk about something personal, maybe she should talk about her relationship and her boyfriend that was married and is getting a divorce and has kids.

"She has so much in her life, many positives, and I think that's what it should be about."

Sharapova insists she prefers to keep private matters to herself and only discusses her career with the media.

"I obviously have many opinions about different things in life," she added.

"But what I do on the court and what I talk about in my press conference is strictly about my career. I'm sure people want to know more, but yet I try to keep my personal life private.

"If I speak to my friends, that's one thing. But I don't go out and try to create things that shouldn't be really talked about."

No. 1 seed Williams, a 16-time Grand Slam winner, begins her bid for a sixth Wimbledon title against Mandy Minella on Tuesday, while third seed Sharapova will open her campaign for a second triumph in SW19 against Kristina Mladenovic.

The pair are on separate sides of the draw, so cannot meet each other until the final at the earliest.

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