Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, two of women’s tennis biggest names will be participating in French Open 2018, and it has got fans super excited. After a gap of two long years, both tennis stars are going to feature in a grand slam together. The last time fans saw both of them in a major tournament was in Australian Open 2016 where Serena beat Sharapova in quarterfinals. Post that grand slam, Maria got embroiled in doping controversy while Serena had been out of the tennis circuit after delivering a baby girl, a daughter named Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. Finally, 2018 French Open taking place at the Stade Roland Garros brings back these two top female tennis sensations, and in fact, the women’s singles draw, and seedings are such that there is a possibility of Serena Williams vs Maria Sharapova clash in Round of 16. Even before the two have a face-off, Sharapova and Serena are the most talked-about female tennis players as per Google Trends!
— GoogleTrends (@GoogleTrends) May 22, 2018
French Open 2018, year’s second grand slam is all set to commence on May 27. The seedings and draw were announced on Thursday, and it is women’s singles that have caught everyone’s attention. Serena who left the tour to give birth as World No. 1 has not been handed a seeding by the organisers. The American tennis player currently ranked No. 453 will be playing in Roland Garros under the WTA’s protected or “special” ranking rule.
Maria Sharapova Lends her Support to Serena Williams
It was up to the organisers to hand a seeding to Serena who was on maternity leave, but they chose not to. This move has not gone down too well with fellow female tennis players on WTA tour. Surprisingly, it is Serena’s biggest rival (both, on and off the tennis court) Maria Sharapova who voiced her concern on the issue.
“I would like to see that [rule] change,” said Maria Sharapova at the Italian Open last week, where she lost to Simona Halep in the semi-finals. “It’s such an incredible effort for a woman to come back from physically, emotionally. … There’s just another whole dimension to the travel, to the experiences, to the emotions to the physicality of every single day.
“Tennis is such a selfish sport but I think when there’s a child in your life you lose a little bit of that, because there’s something that’s so much more important,” added Sharapova, who has lost three Grand Slam finals to Williams. “So, yeah, I definitely think that would be a nice change.”
Maria Sharapova vs Serena Williams R16 Clash on the Cards?
With the French Open 2018 seeds announced, an unseeded Serena Williams will begin her campaign against 70th-ranked Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, the Russian tennis star, Sharapova has earned a seeding for the first time since her return to the professional tennis post meldonium-doping ban. The 31-year-old is seeded 28th and is in fact in the same quarter as that of Serena. If the two ladies make past the first three rounds, tennis fans will get to witness a mouth-watering pre-quarters clash between Masha and Serena.
Sharapova-Serena Star Power Against ‘Ranked’ Players on WTA Tour
The top five seeds in women’s singles are –  Simona Halep of Romania,  Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark,  Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain,  Elina Svitolina of Ukraine and  Jeļena Ostapenko of Latvia. The 20-year-old Ostapenko will enter Roland Garros as the defending champion. Barring Halep, the other four have won grand slam titles but are they still the names that are creating a buzz on the internet or draw spectators to the venue, we doubt?
We come back to the two names who light up the women’s tennis with their charismatic presence. Two-time champion Maria (in 2012 and 2014) and three-time champion Serena Williams (in 2002, 2013 and 2015) have been the biggest crowd pullers irrespective of which part of the world they’re playing. With the amount of buzz generated even before they have stepped on the court, one can imagine the situation when Serena vs Sharapova actually takes place in French Open 2018!