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During a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone, Williams mocked a top-five player who many assumed was Sharapova, given that, at the time, she was enjoying the honeymoon phase of her relationship with Dimitrov.
(The pair would split two years later.) “She begins every interview with ‘I’m so happy.
Wozniacki sniffed, “As athletes, we always make sure there’s nothing in it that could put us in a bad situation.” Petra Kvitová seconded that opinion, telling the Desert Sun newspaper, “We should all know what we are putting into our body.” Said Victoria Azarenka, “A lot of players are upset and disappointed.” Sharapova’s longtime rival, Williams, gave the closest thing to a pat on the back, saying, “[It] showed a lot of courage to admit to what she had done and what she had neglected to look at.” But perhaps the most damning commentary came from the woman long known as tennis’ sweetheart — 18-time Grand Slam champ and ESPN analyst Chris Evert.
“It’s hard to tell [the reaction from players] because Maria Sharapova has always isolated herself from the rest of the tennis world, from the players.
And Dick Pound, former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, said that there had been a “fairly high prevalence of [meldonium] use in tennis.” But if there was any sympathy from Sharapova’s fellow pros, it wasn’t to be found in print.Reports of a vicious rivalry between the two have swirled for years.After all, Sharapova began dating Dimitrov in 2013 — just after Serena reportedly ended a relationship with the handsome Bulgarian.“That is definitely not the case with Maria.” In some ways, the coach adds, these powerful women really haven’t progressed beyond being teenagers.“These girls have been touring since they were 12, 13, 14 years old — their formative years — and they continue to travel in this same bubble. They live in a vacuum, so there are elements of jealousy when a girl rises in the ranks.” And schadenfreude when she stumbles.