While speaking with Stephen Rodrick, Williams unfavorably talked about Sharapova and her boyfriend (Williams's ex) without saying her name. It was easy to deduce who she was talking about, though. The excerpt:
"There are people who live, breathe and dress tennis. I mean, seriously, give it a rest." Serena exits the car and the conversation moves on to a top-five player who is now in love. "She begins every interview with 'I'm so happy. I'm so lucky' – it's so boring," says Serena in a loud voice. "She's still not going to be invited to the cool parties. And, hey, if she wants to be with the guy with a black heart, go for it." (An educated guess is she's talking about Sharapova, who is now dating Grigor Dimitrov, one of Serena's rumored exes.)
That's cold. Sharapova's response, during today's pre-Wimbledon press conference, is colder:
"Obviously I have a tremendous amount of respect for Serena and what she's achieved on the court," Sharapova said. "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. Talk about other things, but not draw attention to other things. She has so much in her life, many positives, and I think that's what it should be about."
There's two types of excellent shit-talking in sports. Leagues full of extroverts like the NBA produce blunt chirping, such as Kevin Garnett (allegedly) saying Carmelo Anthony's wife tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios. But sports like tennis and golf usually—not always, hey John McEnroe—give calculated, passive-aggressive verbal spars like Sharapova's. The way she starts out with "Obviously..." makes it so much icier when she flings out Williams's personal life. Hopefully, this back-and-forth isn't done yet.
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