Maria Sharapova talks rivalry with Serena, how she'd like to bow out of the sport and more

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Maria Sharapova attends the premiere of 'Battle of the Sexes' in Los Angeles, California, on September 16, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX (Photo credit should read JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP/Getty Images)

Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova has left no stone unturned in her new memoir "Unstoppable: My Life So Far", the book that was meant to have been released in 2016 in line with her scheduled retirement from the game.

However, following the former World No.1's 15-month drugs ban suspension handed out in June 2016 - she had to put the writing plans on hold before she returned to the tour in April of this year with more motivation than ever.

In an interview with Don Riddell for CNN World Sport, the 30-year-old opens up about her battle back from the ban and her tough journey from humble beginnings in Russia to developing into the superstar she became with the support of her father Yuri Sharapov as they moved to the famed Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida.


Sharapova also goes into detail about her 2004 Wimbledon victory over Serena Williams, her lopsided rivalry with the American legend and how she used to watch the Williams sisters from a peephole in a shed so they wouldn't see her observing their game.

"They were already grand slam champions at the time and just a few years later it was really as if someone took me and put me in a television screen and put me up against Serena Williams," she recalls.

Before failing a drugs test in January 2016, Sharapova was planning on retiring from tennis. But with everything that has happened, she has decided to continue so she can bow out of the sport on her own terms.

"I don't know if it's a Grand Slam, I don't know if it's another victory, I don't know if it's a personal victory. I don't know," she told CNN World Sport.

"I think we know so many things. We know scheduling, we know events, but all I know is things that I've achieved. I know all those things. I know what I'm capable of. I know how much desire I have. And I still feel like I have a lot to bring."

Full video courtesy of CNN


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Andy Murray owns Nick Kyrgios in brilliant Instagram banter

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Let's hug it out: Murray and Kyrgios.

The Andy Murray-Nick Kyrgios banter was on full display on Monday when the Scot ex-world No. 1 came up with the perfect comeback to a comment Kyrgios had left on one of his Instagram photos.

No strangers to mocking each other publicly on social media, the two were at it again when Murray, who has been sidelined with a hip injury since Wimbledon, posted the following picture:

The following exchange then took place:

That defeat to Murray at Wimbledon was one of five losses in five meetings Kyrgios suffered against the Brit. The Aussie knew he had no comeback after that winner from Murray.

Of course this wasn’t the first time the pair had some fun on Instagram.

Murray wasn’t too impressed with Kyrgios’ dance moves in Cincinnati last month.

Let's keep it rolling 🙏🏽☝🏽🕺🏽#Last🎱

A post shared by ^Nicholas Kyrgios^ (@k1ngkyrg1os) on

Meanwhile, Kyrgios would not let this post from Murray slide:

Stay tuned to their accounts, surely there’s lots more to come.

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Laver Cup: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer ready to team up for Team Europe against Team World

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Best of frenemies: Nadal and Federer will be team-mates in Prague this weekend.

The inaugural Laver Cup will see a host of the world’s best male players take to the court at the O₂ arena in Prague, Czech Republic from September 22-24, 2017.

The brand new three-day tournament features a unique format that will bring some of the sport’s fiercest rivals together in a team environment.

Team Europe’s Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s rivalry is legendary, but at the Laver Cup they will cheer each other on from the sidelines and could pair up for one of the most eagerly-anticipated doubles match in tennis history.

Team World’s Jack Sock and Nick Kyrgios already share an off-court friendship, with Kyrgios recently joining Sock at his home in Kansas. This entertaining duo can’t wait to train together, support each other’s on-court battles from the player bench and potentially team up as an explosive doubles combination.

On paper, the teams seem to be lopsided with Team Europe featuring five of the world’s top-10, while Team World’s top-ranked player is No. 16 Sam Querrey. Rankings aside, the head-to-heads between both sides are quite telling with Kyrgios being the only Team World player that owns a positive combined head-to-head record against the members of Team Europe.

Here’s a look at the team line-ups and head-to-head figures:

Strategy and tactics from the team captains could also be a key to victory in the Laver Cup, with a unique line-up card exchange and scoring system:

• On Thursday, captains Björn Borg and John McEnroe will submit their lin-eup cards for Friday’s matches to the referee in a blind exchange, with match-ups revealed at a special on-court ceremony

• For days two and three, one captain will submit his card blind for the opposing captain to review before selecting his players

• Team Europe captain Borg will choose which day to seize the home advantage and submit his playing lineup after reviewing Team World’s selection

• Each match on Friday is worth one point, two points per match are up for grabs on Saturday, and three points for each match on the crucial deciding Sunday

• The first team to reach 13 points will win the inaugural Laver Cup, with a thrilling doubles decider played if the scores are tied at 12-all

“This is a unique scoring format that is totally new to tennis and will be exciting for both the players and fans,” Laver Cup Managing Director Steve Zacks explained. “I know every player is keen to be part of history and have their name engraved on the spectacular Laver Cup.”

Laver Cup fast facts

• The Laver Cup is a three-day tournament pitting a team of six of the best tennis players from Europe against six of their counterparts from the rest of the world

• For the first three years, Björn Borg will captain Team Europe and John McEnroe will lead Team World

• Thomas Enqvist will act as vice captain for Team Europe and Patrick McEnroe for Team World

• The tournament has been named in honor of Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, the only man to win two calendar-year Grand Slams, and one of the greatest players of all time

• The unique format of the tournament will showcase tennis superstars competing on the same team, playing singles, pairing up in doubles and cheering each other from the sidelines

• The inaugural Laver Cup will be held at the O2 arena in Prague, Czech Republic, from September 22-24, 2017

• The location will rotate between major cities in Europe and the rest of the world each year

• The 2018 edition of the Laver Cup will take place in the United States

• The Laver Cup will be staged annually two weeks after the US Open, except in summer Olympic years.

Federer mania: Roger Federer has already touched down in Prague.

Federer mania: Roger Federer has already touched down in Prague.

Playing format

• Each team will comprise six players and be led by a team captain

• The competition will be played over three days – Friday, Saturday and Sunday

• There will be five sessions, two on Friday and Saturday, and one on Sunday

• Four matches will be played daily, three singles and one doubles

• Both singles and doubles will be best-of-three sets with ad scoring, with the third set decided by a 10-point tiebreak in the event of split sets

• In the event of a tie after all 12 matches have been completed, a final overtime doubles match will be played as a regular set with ad scoring and a tiebreak

• Each player will play at least one singles match during the first two days

• No player will play singles more than twice during the three days

• At least four of the six players must play doubles

• Match-ups will be determined prior to each day of play through the exchange of lineup cards by the captains

• Each match win will be worth one point on Friday, two points on Saturday and three points on Sunday.

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