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Instead, what Sharapova and Williams have is a feud.

And it’s a feud that has captivated tennis fans and sportswriters even when the women’s matches have not.

When any player displays the kind of dominance that Williams did, they tend to evolve the overall narrative of tennis.

Maria Sharapova is an entertaining tennis player — but more so off the court than on.Williams, who had beaten Sharapova at a tournament in Miami earlier that year, was playing Wimbledon while recovering from injury.Sharapova ultimately faced Williams in the championship, which saw Sharapova in the zone and Williams looking a little rusty after some time off; Sharapova came away with a dominating win and a boatload of expectations.From 2002 to 2003, when Sharapova was just coming onto the scene, that player was Serena Williams.Williams had just come off what’s known as the “Serena Slam,” a term she coined herself after she won four consecutive Grand Slam tournaments but not within the same calendar year (the term riffs on “Grand Slam,” which a player achieves when she consecutively sweeps the four annual grand slam tournaments — the Australian Open in January, the French Open in May, Wimbledon in July, and the US Open in August/September — in a single calendar year).

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