"Maria probably had the most respect for Serena Williams over any player" - says Sharapova's former coach

Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams had a heated rivalry but the former coach of the Russian explains the respect between the players.

Maria Sharapova broke out fairly young in the tennis world and she took Serena Williams by surprise. The player would go on to develop a heated rivalry especially after Sharapova beat Williams twice in their first there meetings. After that, Williams won 19 matches in a row with the rivalry finishing 20-2 for Serena Williams.

Maria's former coach Michael Joyce reflected on it recently saying:

"I think ultimately, Maria probably had the most respect for Serena over any player. I'm just saying this based on what I think. She never said it, but I just feel like Maria always felt that no matter who she was playing, she always had a shot. Sloane Stephens might be beating her, but Maria always felt like if she hung in there and if she was tough, she could turn it around."

He further said:

"But there was a point with Serena where it was just like Serena's bringing her A game. I think Maria was pretty predictable in some ways about how she was playing and Serena went through that period for three to four years where she just blew her away."

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