Sharapova discusses Connors split, Serena's comments, Dimitrov

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In a revealing interview with The New York Times, Maria Sharapova discusses the severity of her shoulder injury, her feelings about Serena Williams, her short stint with coach Jimmy Connors, and her relationship with boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov.

On her right shoulder injury, which eventually sidelined her after Wimbledon except for one match:

“I don’t know how I managed to get through Madrid. And then Rome, I was playing Sloane Stephens, and I finished the match, and I said: ‘There’s no way. My shoulder just kills. I’m serving, and I’m in a lot of pain.’

“I don’t know how I won that match. You can even go back and watch the video and see my face is totally white, because I know something is not right.”

On Connors, whom she dismissed after just a few weeks:

“Jimmy came in at the wrong time and in the wrong place,” she said. “I think when he came in post-Wimbledon, I don’t think any coach could have succeeded in the frame of mind I had at that time. Because I was going to practice, and I knew I couldn’t serve, and I knew that there was a good chance I might not play the U.S. Open. As an athlete, that’s tough to digest. I was not fun to be around, and it was a tough position for him.”

On the 22-year-old Dimitrov, whom she has been dating for more than a year:

“I had a challenging [2012] with going through a breakup [with her former fiancé Sasha Vujacic] while winning a Grand Slam,” she said. “So it’s nice. I’m in a nice place in my life definitely, and I think I’m much more grateful now for the things I have just because I feel I’ve experienced a lot, so if I’m able to come home and be happy with someone, it’s because I’ve learned from the past. It’s nice to see somebody that’s next to me that is building their own life and becoming their own individual, respecting me at what I’m doing, giving me my life but being a huge part of it. It’s a very difficult combination to find in any relationship, but I’ve been really blessed to have that.”

On why she brought up Serena Williams’ alleged romantic relationship with her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, in a Wimbledon press conference when she was defending herself about comments Williams allegedly made about her in Rolling Stone:

“The thing is, I didn’t say anything that was not true, so it’s not like some secret she told me that I gave out to the world. I said something that everyone knew, except no one expected me to say it," Sharapova said. "On the court, I have the utmost respect for her; I really do. [Off the court] it’s different…

"I’ve kept my mouth shut a lot of times in my career, you know, but I’m an open book really. The things I say at my press conferences, I don’t lie. I don’t pretend. I respect where respect is due. I speak bad of my game and of myself when I feel I deserve it. I’m very honest.”

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