Maria Sharapova Remembers the Day She Beat Serena Williams
By Rachelle Corpuz | June 23, 2014 11:06 AM EST
Maria Sharapova stunned Serena Williams in the finals of Wimbledon Championships in 2004 to win her first-ever Grand Slam title. Ten years later, Sharapova remembers the day that she defeated two-time defending Serena Williams, creating one of the epic rivalries in the history of tennis.
Maria Sharapova of Russia poses with her trophy in the dressing room after winning the women's singles final match against Simona Halep of Romania during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 7, 2014.
Sharapova's 2004 Wimbledon victory made her the third-youngest woman to win the title. She was only 17 then and she was only the second Russian female athlete to win a Grand Slam title. Sharapova's win in what believed to be one of the greatest Wimbledon shocking defeats. She devastated Williams and put a stop at the American's hopes of a third straight Wimbledon title. Sharapova also vaulted into the top 10 of the world rankings as a result of the victory. Even Sharapova's agent Max Eisenbud wasn't so expectant that the Russian tennis darling would win the title then.
Sharapova told Telegraph Sport that she never felt "intimidated" by Williams. Despite Williams accolades in the sporting world of tennis and being the defending champion for two consecutive years (2002 and 2003), Sharapova said that Williams didn't pose a threat to her. Her spirit was never broken and she didn't lose her courage, though she was the challenger.
"I don't remember going into that final being intimidated by what she had presented," Sharapova said. "I was a very fearless competitor."
Sharapova further uttered that she doesn't normally think of that day when she beat Williams, but when she does, she still gets fascinated by her victory. "I still sometimes feels like, 'Oh, that moment actually happened!'" The 27-year-old athlete said winning Wimbledon at a very young age was something that was so "inspiring and unexpected."
"It's nice not to look at it too often, because when you do look back, it's still fresh."
Meanwhile, Sharapova and Williams are both participants in the 2014 Wimbledon tournament. They are drawn in the same bracket, which means that the duo could meet in a classic quarterfinal match. Sharapova is the fifth seed. She will start her tournament against British Samantha Murray.
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