“That Was a Dream”: Serena Williams Recalls How She Surprised Maria Sharapova and Others at the French Open

Published 05/04/2021, 7:00 AM EDT
Serena Williams of the United States shakes hands with Maria Sharapova of Russia after defeating her in her Women’s Singles first round match during day one of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


Tennis ace Serena Williams is one of the most recognized names in the sporting world. She has been entertaining fans for over two decades, and the hunger in her to continue doing so still remains. During her career, the American star has registered wins against the biggest names in the game. 

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Recently, Serena Williams looked back and reflected on her French Open win over Maria Sharapova. After the match, Serena surprised everyone by giving her post-match-winning speech in French. It was her childhood dream to learn the elegant language and give her speech in French after winning the title at Roland Garros. 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 26: Serena Williams of the United States shakes hands with Maria Sharapova of Russia after defeating her in her Women’s Singles first round match during day one of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 26, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Serena stated, “That was a dream of mine since I was a kid to win the French Open and then to have my speech in French. I just happen to lose a lot in the French Open. I speak French and then I just never had an opportunity to win. I’ve won the French Open a few times before, but it was a long time in between before I won it again.”

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Serena Williams and her French connection

The American player revealed that even though she had won the French Open in the past, this time, her victory against the Russian powerhouse Maria Sharapova came after a long gap.

Serena had used French for speeches before, but it was during her 2013 final when people took notice of this. She has spent a considerable amount of time in France and even has a Frenchman as her coach.  

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 26: Maria Sharapova of Russia congratulates Serena Williams of the United States on winning their quarter final match during day nine of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Serena added, “It was on a bigger scale and I was always giving my speeches in French, but this time people noticed. It was a really good moment. I always wanted to learn French growing up… I have frequented France and stayed there for a long time, for a few years. A lot of my team is French and so I was like this is my moment, this is my moment to shine and I was really excited about it.”

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In the current season, Williams has competed at the Australian Open but lost in the semifinal. Since then, she has not featured in any event and intends to play the WTA Italian Open in Rome next week. 

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Rohan Kollare

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Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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