Joyce: Yuri Sharapov afraid of Maria playing Serena

by: Matt Cronin May 23, 2013

AP Photo

Michael Joyce, the former coach of Maria Sharapova, tells Tennis-Journal that the Russian's father and still occasional coach Yuri was always afraid of his daughter playing Serena Williams. Sharapova hasn't beaten Williams since 2004 and recently lost to her in the final of Madrid.

“Yuri has told me a million times that Maria can’t win a Grand Slam unless Serena loses, so I’m sure that rubs off on her,” Joyce said. “Wimbledon 2004 was kind of fluke: Serena was tight as drum. Yuri has always been afraid of Williams."

Joyce, who now coaches American teen Jessie Pegula, added that Sharapova needs to play smarter against Serena. He said one of the reasons why Sharapova doesn't try to read Serena’s tendencies is because “she’s stubborn. She has been few years and she doesn’t to like listen to anyone. It’s tough to get someone to listen when she wins 95 percent of her matches.”

More Stories

Roger Federer "completely on track” for January tour return

The Swiss does wonder, however, if he’ll feel pressure after this career-long layoff.

Del Potro defeats Sock to end 33-month title drought at Stockholm Open

The former U.S. Open champion won 7-5, 6-1.

Chicago Cubs’ pennant-clinching win best part of Madison Keys’ day

The historic achievement was a necessary pick-me-up for the American in Singapore.