Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Maria Sharapova out to stop rot against old rival Serena Williams

Maria Sharapova out to stop rot against old rival Serena Williams

FROM feud to fizzer, the much-touted French Open showdown between bitter foes Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova is a non-event.

Romanian Halep, twice a runner-up at Roland Garros, started slowly but once she found her groove, there was nothing the 16th seed could do to avoid a one-sided defeat.

Williams was playing in her first grand slam since giving birth to her first child last September, dropping just one set on her way to reaching the last 16 in the French capital.

"I unfortunately have been having some issues with my pec, my pec muscle, and (it) has unfortunately been getting worse to the point where right now I can't actually serve". "But I know that these are the sacrifices you have to make to live out your dream".

Sharapova said: "I was looking forward to my match against Serena today and am disappointed that she had to withdraw".

Dressed in the black bodysuit with a red band around the waist she resembled a superhero - not just a supermum - and was playing as if she had never been away.

She stunned the world in 2004, when, as a 17-year-old kid, she defeated the favourite Serena Williams for the Wimbledon crown, and rocketed to superstardom.

Serena Williams is dropping out of the French Open with an injury. I don't know. I didn't know she looked up to me that much or was so involved in my career'.

"It's very hard because I love playing Maria".

"It didn't start before I got here".

"I'm pleased with my performance".

But once she returned to the stage where she hoisted the Suzanne Lenglen trophy in 2012 and 2014, the Russian showed she was could still be a destructive force as she left 2017 semi-finalist Pliskova running for the exit after 59 minutes.

"I'm beyond disappointed. I put everything on the court, all for this moment".

Sharapova, herself making a French Open comeback after missing the last two editions following a doping ban, will face Garbine Muguruza in the last eight. And while she's "pretty much had every injury in the book", this was the first time dealing with this particular malady.

Serena, however, completely denied that and said all the "quotes" she read, it was a "little bit disappointing". "So it's just, like, I think it would be more shocking if I wasn't in tears".

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