Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, arguably two of the greatest female tennis players of all time, offered completely different reactions to their emotional opponents after their Australian Open matches.
Williams was seen comforting her opponent, Tatjana Maria, after running away with the win in her opening-round match Tuesday. The two women met at the net to shake hands and hug.
Williams offered Maria, a fellow mother, some words of encouragement as they walked to their respective sides of the court.
This was the 37-year-old Williams’ first match at the Australian Open since winning the 2017 title while pregnant. She looked her dominant self after overpowering the German tennis player, 6-0, 6-2, in Melbourne.
Williams is pursuing an eighth Australian Open title and 24th Grand Slam singles trophy overall, which would equal Margaret Court – whose career spanned the amateur and professional eras – for the most in tennis history.
Unlike Williams, Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova didn’t offer any sympathy to her opponent, British player Harriet Dart, on Monday. Sharapova ended up beating Dart, 6-0, 6-0, in their first match. Dart was seen becoming emotional after the match. Sharapova said she didn’t have time for empathy.
“I mean, there is no time for that, I'm sorry to say...when you're playing the first round of a Grand Slam,'' Sharapova said, according to ESPN. "I think I was just focused on not having a letdown.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.