Her distinctive sound — which she says she has made while playing since the age of four — has been memorably described as a ‘climactic shriek of the blue movie variety’.
The noise, made when she hits every stroke, can reach 101 decibels, the equivalent of an aeroplane landing.
Richard decided when they were toddlers that she and older sister Venus would be tennis stars.
Nick Bollettieri, who taught both Williams and Sharapova at his academy in Florida, said: ‘They’re great girls but they’re completely different, in as much as Maria was always business, always tough as nails, even when she was nine or ten.‘Serena is also driven on the court, brought up to be a brilliant competitor and a wonderful person.
This is the greatest rivalry in women’s tennis — a feud which flows as powerfully off the court as on it.She also had a short fling with film producer Charlie Ebersol. Perhaps true to her reputation as an icy bore, Sharapova has a ‘thing’ for modern architecture and her homes in Manhattan Beach, Florida, and Ojai, California, are ‘modern and elegant with clean lines’.There was terrible embarrassment when it was reported that Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine had compared Sharapova with a ‘dead frog’ in bed, saying that she was a huge disappointment as a lover. They were said by the German magazine Bild to be expecting a baby together last summer, but by the autumn Serena was posting heartbroken comments on Twitter such as: ‘Some people will always choose a terrible choice even though they have a rainbow in front of them. Although I think a baby would be great, but there’s a time and place for everything.’Not that Serena confines her romantic conquests to the world of tennis. Sharapova loves designers such as Stella Mc Cartney and Sarah Burton at Alexander Mc Queen, but has a style which is generally understated. Holidays are generally taken somewhere desperately expensive in the South Pacific.Bound at the top of the game by an obvious mutual antipathy are Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, who face each other in a highly-charged semi-final at Wimbledon today.
Williams, 33, is the more physically powerful, with a ferocious temper and the mindset of a battling champion.The depths of enmity between her and Serena Williams became apparent when Williams gave an interview in 2013 to Rolling Stone magazine.