comments_image Comments

'Few friends' Sharapova calls truce in Serena spat

Russia's Maria Sharapova celebrates winning a point at Wimbledon on June 24, 2013
Russia's Maria Sharapova celebrates winning a point against France's Kristina Mladenovic during their women's first round match on day one of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament at the All England Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on Jun

Maria Sharapova tried to draw a line under her feud with Serena Williams on Monday as the Russian admitted she has made few friends on tour.

The two leading lights of the women's game were at each other's throats in the Wimbledon build-up, attacking one another over their love lives.

But Sharapova decided enough was enough as she attempted to bury the hatchet.

"I've said everything that I wanted to say about the issue. Wimbledon started. This is my work. This is my job. I'd really appreciate it if we move on," she said.

"Our job is to go out on the court and work and try to win matches and nothing else. That's the most important thing to me in my life right now."

While Sharapova can hardly be considered the best of friends with world number one Williams, the third seed admitted she has few friends at all on the tour.

"I'm not really friendly or close to many players," the 26-year-old said.

"I have a lot of friends away from the courts, in all different parts of the world -- and actually in England, that's why it's been nice to be here for the last couple of weeks. Hasn't really felt like I've been away from home too much.

"But I wouldn't say I'm really close to a lot of players.

"Just because you're in the same sport doesn't mean that you have to be friends with everyone.

"You're categorised: you're a tennis player, so you're going to get along with tennis players.

"Every person has different interests. I have friends that have completely different jobs and interests, and I've met them in very different parts of my life.

"Everyone just thinks because we're tennis players we should be the greatest of friends. But ultimately tennis is just a very small part of what we do. There's so many other things that we're interested in."

Sharapova denied deliberately keeping herself to herself on the tour to makes it harder for her opponents to work out her game.

"I don't think there are really any secrets out there," she said.

Sharapova was given a stern test by France's up-and-coming Kristina Mladenovic on Monday but the 2004 Wimbledon champion eventually triumphed in a 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 win on Centre Court.

She faces world Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito, the world number 131, in the second round. The 20-year-old, like Sharapova, has a reputation for being loud on the court.

"She's someone that's coming up and has a big game. Also probably really good on grass," the Russian said.

Larcher de Brito beat Melanie Oudin of the United States in the first round.

Mladenovic, the Wimbledon 2009 girls' runner-up, is on a career-high world ranking of 37 and showed why she is tipped as one to watch for the future.

"I just have to handle whatever is across the net, whoever's playing me on that side of the draw," Sharapova said.

"Some opponents maybe have a better game for grass, so sometimes maybe you prefer playing them in different tournaments."

Today's Top Stories