By Tumaini Carayol
TPN: One more thing, Yesterday an interview was released and Sloane Stephens was trash‑talking Serena Williams. I’m sure you don’t care about that. Is there any animosity between the lower players and the top players? Have you ever had any bad experiences in the locker room or wherever?
Maria Sharapova: “No, I mean, I don’t really hide any feelings too much. I think everyone knows this is my job here. When I’m on the courts or when I’m on the court playing, I’m a competitor and I want to beat every single person whether they’re in the locker room or across the net.
“So I’m not the one to strike up a conversation about the weather and know that in the next few minutes I have to go and try to win a tennis match. I’m a pretty competitive girl. I say my hellos, but I’m not sending any players flowers as well.
“So it was nice to see that she spoke honestly about it. I think people have different perceptions of different athletes. It’s nice that someone spoke up about how they feel.”
Tumaini Carayol is in Madrid covering the Madrid Open for Tennis Panorama News. He is a contributing writer at On The Baseline, and writes about professional tennis at his site Foot Fault. Follow his tournament updates on @TennisNewsTPN and his personal twitter @TumCarayol.