Talk about bad blood! Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova made sure to keep their distance at Nike’s star-studded Street Tennis event on Aug. 24, proving that they’re still every bit the bitter rivals. Where’s the love ladies?
They remain bitter rivals both on and off the tennis court, and on Aug. 24, neither Serena Williams, 33, nor Maria Sharapova, 28, were willing to surrender as they joined nine of their fellow tennis stars at the relaunch of Nike’s Street Tennis event in New York City. While they may have been in the same place at the same time, the tennis pros were sure to keep a safe distance from each other and you better believe fans took notice!
Just in time for the start of the U.S. Open Serena and Maria joined eight of their fellow tennis stars of the past, present and future — Roger Federer, 34, Rafael Nadal, 29, Eugenie Bouchard, 21, Madison Keys, 20, Nick Kyrgios, 20, John McEnroe, 56, Pete Sampras, 44, and Andre Agassi, 45 — at a special “NYC Street Tennis” event hosted by Nike in New York’s Greenwich Village. Sadly, not even a hot summer night could thaw the iciness between the reigning Wimbledon champ and the world’s number two ranked female tennis player. The pair kept a noticeable distance from each other throughout the event, which included a friendly rally game between the two and a number of photo ops. In the photos, Maria took her position front and center sitting on the hood of an old-school taxi cab, while Serena stood further in the background, remaining only partially visible behind the cab’s open door — an interesting move considering she’s been on a major winning streak as of late.
Naturally, fans picked up on the obvious tension and shared their thoughts on social media. Although, it was perhaps Maria who summed up the awkward run-in best with her maybe not-so-subtle tweet:
— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) August 25, 2015
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova stay icy at Nike tennis event
— Donovan Boyer (@starsmadil) August 25, 2015
— franzy (@franzygog) August 25, 2015
— Carly Ledbetter (@ledbettercarly) August 25, 2015
— Heather Lukhard (@HLukhard) August 25, 2015
— CelebCelery (@CelebCelery) August 25, 2015
— RedheadPRGirl (@RedheadPRGirl) August 25, 2015
Spot the 21-time Grand Slam winner (she's the one at the back behind Sharapova, Keys and Bouchard) http://t.co/9cijVPKkho
— Mike Dickson (@Mike_Dickson_DM) August 25, 2015
— Most Popular News (@RyanAdityaWiwah) August 25, 2015
— fe (@florenciaedg) August 25, 2015
As you might recall, Maria and Serena have been locked in a bitter rivalry both on and off the court for years now. The drama started when Serena was allegedly dumped by tennis heart-throb Grigor Dimitrov, 24, for Maria several years back. The Russian pro and Grigor have since called it quits, ending their nearly two-year relationship in July 2015, but it appears that the bad blood lives on. There’s also the fact that Maria hasn’t beaten Serena since her Wimbledon upset in 2004, and most recently has lost to her in both the 2015 Wimbledon Grand Slam tournament and the at the Australian Open. Let’s face it, that would cause a little tension for us too. The two are now expected to go head-to-head again later this month when the 2015 U.S. Open kicks off on Aug. 31 and you can bet we’ll be watching!
What do YOU think HollywoodLifers — are you excited to see Serena and Maria in the 2015 U.S. Open?
— Alyssa Montemurro