STANFORD, California – The prospect of renewing her long rivalry with Serena Williams has provided Maria Sharapova with added incentive to win this week’s Stanford Classic.
The Russian and the American are both on comebacks from health problems and could meet in the quarter-finals at Stanford as they launch their U.S hard court seasons in California.
“I love playing against her,” Sharapova said. “We’ve had very, very tough matches against each other.
“I don’t have a great record against her and I would love to change that. There is no doubt I would love to play her this Summer at some point.”
The pair have played each other eight times, with Williams winning six and the Russian twice. Sharapova beat Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final but the American has won their last five in a row.
“Rivalries are exciting for me and for the sport,” Sharapova said.
“That’s what women’s tennis really needs and men’s tennis doesn’t lack. To be able to create those types of rivalries in the women’s game is important.”