Serena and Dimitrov Reunited: Mind Games For Maria?

The love triangle of Grigor Dimitrov-Maria Sharapova-Serena Williams added a new twist today as Dimitrov and Serena practiced together on Ashe Stadium.

The practice combination comes one day after the draw ceremony which revealed the most intriguing first round match of the tournament, Williams will play her arch nemesis Sharapova.

The two bitter rivals have not played in years. They almost did in Roland Garros in 2018 however Serena withdrew from the tournament before the showdown.

Sharapova has won only two matches in their 22 meetings, with the last two coming in 2004 at Wimbledon and WTA Championships.

You have to wonder to what extent Serena manipulated the practice session with her former love interest Dimitrov – and what ulterior motives she may have in mind to unsettle Sharapova, who broke up with the Bulgarian beau at Wimbledon in 2015.

Is Serena the type to dig for any kind of private details about her rival and use them as an extra motivational edge?

The historic Williams vs Sharapova rivalry has just added a brand new chapter of intrigue and drama.

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  • catherine · August 23, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    Serena will wipe the court with Maria and Serena and Dimitrov and Maria have moved on in their loves lives long ago. No story.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 23, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Catherine, I am reasonably sure Serena picking Dimitrov to hit with today, the very next day after the draw is announced, instead of her hired hitting partner Jarmere Jenkins, is a psychological warfare move and not a coincidence.

  • catherine · August 23, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Well, they all sound like a bunch of schoolkids.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 23, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Tennis is like high school with all the different cliques and groups, trying to be cool, are cool, the studious, the nerds, the popular, the unpopular, the promiscuous, the chaste, the hard workers, the lazy.

  • Andrew Miller · August 23, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    She should have stuck to routine. Not like Dimitrov game resembles Sharpie whatsoever – JJ can mimick it. Who knows.

    Serena these days can’t be counted out to make the final but is no shoe in whatsoever on this topsy turvy WTA tour and a motivated Sharpie could make it interesting.

    I don’t think there’s an unmotivated Sharpie out there but why give an opponent extra motivation.


  • jg · August 23, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Brad Gilbert ragging on Sharapovas practice for Monday’s match against Serena just now saying she’s practicing in no mans land where she should be behind the baseline, she’s been pulverized in the past and probably will be Monday, preparation all wrong.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 23, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    Andrew, no doubt Serena used Dimitrov today as some kind of psyche jab on Maria. And share secrets with each other about Maria. Let’s see if it works.

  • Jeff · August 23, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    No doubt Scoop is right on the money with this one. Think about it – who do you think Grigor is rooting for in this match? Remember when she and Maria were at some tourney hanging out and she kid of gave him the cold shoulder.

    There is a huge psychological component to this match and always has been. Shazza is the one caught cheating while Serena has not – don’t forget that kind of spice too. But Scoop, Serena doesn’t need this to annihilate Maria – you and me both know this. This is just the icing on the cake, a little extra to drive the insecure Shazza crazy. Shazza won’t publicly take the bait but you know inside she is devastated at this coming humiliation. She is trying to distract attention with these IG glamour shots but anyone can see through that.

    My only concern is this isn’t a good match to grow the sport and I hope the younger players get their due. It is true that the tennis tour is a high school mentality, look at the hi-jinks and nonsense they promote on social media. You guys know that I prefer the professionalism of the Big 3 and even guys like Isner who take their draft seriously. Isner has achieved maybe as much if not more than the playboy Grigor.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 23, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    There are no coincidences Jeff. This is psychological warfare at the highest level of sophisticated, in-your-face taunting by Serena. We may not even know the depth of this hatred. Remember the shots Maria took at Serena in her book? This may be the first match since the Maria book if I remember correctly. This will be the catfight of all catfight matches. Even Osaka said everybody will be watching, even herself.

  • Andrew Miller · August 23, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    It doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t give Sharpie extra motivation. And as for the professionalism of the big three etc Djokovic used to be a prankster doing imitations. The crowd loved him and other players didn’t appreciate it. You can’t win!

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 23, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    Extra incentive for Maria now could make the difference. Serena could be so confident she feels she can stick it even more to Maria. Dimitrov and Serena should play mixed together.

  • Harold · August 23, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    What about Serena’s husband. SW is coached by an ex-lover, practicing with an ex-lover. Sharapova can say she’s moved on, SW is living in the past.

    SW owns Sharapova, everywhere but the endorsement scorecard.

    Remember when Richard Williams said both girls will play 5 years, then move on to bigger things? VW is 39, SW is 37.. he got everything pretty much right, except that one

  • catherine · August 24, 2019 at 12:40 am

    This match will be total flop and then sanity will return and we can watch proper tennis without bothering about who was who’s ex-lover.

  • Jeff · August 24, 2019 at 12:58 am

    Andrew you so right that Djoker was a big joker but he was never a great champion when he was like that. Only when he became serious and got married and had that stability did he become the most dominant force in tennis.

    I am not saying I don’t like the pranks and tomfoolery but we all know tennis is the most cuththroat of sports. You can’t give your opponent an edge and that’s why being obsessed with social media or playing the dating game with the opposite-sex tour will never get you to the top.

    Mark my words. A guy like Taylor Fritz will make it to a Slam final despite being in an era with Felix, Tsitsipas, Zverev, Thiem. Fritz has a lot of stability and has stated he wants to be No. 1 in the world. He reached 25 in the world and will go higher once he cuts out his Fortnite obsession that is holding him back.

    This Serena-Pova showdown is another epic Open night. This is her time to plunge the knife for that book in front of a NY crowd braying for blood. If you thought they booed Naomi last year, you ain’t seen nothing yet when the Serena fans come out for this one. There isn’t a Serena fan who can get to NY on Monday who is going to miss this one.

  • Jeff · August 24, 2019 at 2:47 am

    Anyone watch the ESPN Serena piece? I think the one thing it showed is that Patrick is the worst. Why consent to this interview in the first place? Then he admitted to coaching and said he cares about Serena, obviously because they were lovers. The whole thing was really his fault.

    Also he had to know that Ramos is a hard-ass. Do you think he told Serena that before the final of the U.S. Open to warn her? Wouldn’t a good coach do that? He obviously didn’t.

    Patrick should have been fired for his incompetence but he is just too caught up in being the object of her affection to do his job. I don’t get why Serena fans don’t lobby for him to get canned. I believe he may be the biggest fraud in tennis history.

  • catherine · August 24, 2019 at 5:41 am

    Some Serena fans are slightly off the wall. The space they get and the noise they make. And the sheer hatred. One reason the USO is my unfavourite tournament. This so called showdown is completely fake. Maria will get soundly beaten and then we can all move on. Or Serena will lose and we can think about tennis again.

    Jeff, the NY crowd ‘braying’ ? You probably mean ‘baying’ but ‘braying’ will do just as well because I believe it’s the noise donkeys make.

    What have fans got to do with Serena’s coach ? She can make the decision herself.Patrick is just an attention-seeking guy who can’t let go. Have you read his autobiography ‘Coach’ ? It’s translated into English. Might give you an idea of the kind of person he is.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 24, 2019 at 6:07 am

    Speculation is Patrick pays Serena to serve her as her “coach.”

  • catherine · August 24, 2019 at 7:36 am

    Scoop – we’ve heard this before, several times. Still just speculation.

  • Dan Markowitz · August 24, 2019 at 8:11 am


    Have you read Patrick M’s book? You suggest you know a lot about him, but where does this knowledge come from? When I’m at tournaments, I see Patrick even at the Qualis. This suggests to me the guy is a hard-working dude. Look, there are going to be people, particularly other coaches who don’t like the fact that he seems to horde the good players like Serena and Coco, who say he has to pay Serena, but really their financial relationship doesn’t really matters.

    What matters is all the slams Serena has won with Patrick and the fact that she played in the Aussie O finals this year and Wimbledon at 38 and after the birth of a child. That’s pretty impressive so I’d have to think Patrick knows how to coach. It’s clear, Catherine, you’re not a fan of Serena or Gauff’s that’s ok, but give them and their coach their respect. They deserve it.

  • catherine · August 24, 2019 at 8:25 am

    Yes Dan I have read it, and actually I’m not that interested in Patrick so I think you should direct your ire at Jeff who is much more critical of Patrick than I am. I said nothing about Serena paying Patrick – that’s Scoop’s idea.

    It’s not me who calls Patrick a ‘fraud’.

    I do think his participation in the tv program was a mistake.

  • Hartt · August 24, 2019 at 8:32 am

    Serena now owns Maria on the endorsement scorecard as well. According to a recent Forbes article, Serena made $25 million in endorsements in the year ending this past June, and Maria made $6 million, less than Kerber. It looks like you actually have to win some tennis matches to continue to get big endorsements.

  • Hartt · August 24, 2019 at 8:42 am

    I agree with Catherine. I’ll be happy when the Serena vs Maria match is over and we can get back to regular tennis. But I have to admit that I will watch the match, probably with the sound off. That is one of the reasons I am annoyed with Sharapova, I hate turning off the sound because I like hearing the sound of the balls.

  • catherine · August 24, 2019 at 10:24 am

    I’ve made a terrible mistake. I said Kerber had lost in the first round of all three GSs this year. Of course she lost at Wimbledon in her second match – beat T Maria in her first. So my humble apologies to Angie.

  • Dan Markowitz · August 24, 2019 at 6:34 pm


    Who are you pulling for and who do you think will win in the Shapo v Felix match.


    My point about Serena is you obviously don’t like her. I’ve vacillated between liking and being lukewarm about her, but to me she’s must-watch tv and if I had a good seat, must-watch live. The reason, yes she’s good, when she was young she was so raw and dynamic, but I like players who make tennis into theater like Serena and Mac and Connors and Kyrgios even, though I’d like to see more seriousness from him. And Serena although she’s a supreme diva, she’s also not afraid to show her emotions and with all these mannequins out there I like that.

  • Hartt · August 24, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    I am so torn about FAA and Denis. Generally I would root for Felix, but Denis is in desperate need of some more good results. I think FAA is more likely to win, but it could come down to whether Denis is “on” that day.

  • Jeff · August 24, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    I am sure Patrick is hard-working since he has to convince these people that he is a good coach. I think part of coaching is that he should help his player prepare for the match; Patrick clearly failed last year in not warning her bout Ramos. Also he committed the violation. So he failed badly last year and I am the only person pointing this out – and Scoop too.

    Also, Catherine is 100 percent right that Patrick is just out there seeking attention. This can’t be disputed.

    I don’t understand why he has so many apologists. He broke the rules and hasn’t apologized and just wished he hadn’t been caught. Yes the rule is stupid and rarely enforced but he created the situation that enraged Serena’s cringe-worthy fan base.

    Yes Serena is must-watch, particularly at the Open. Interestingly enough she didn’t talk about fighting for feminity when she fought with Asderaki at the Open. That’s a major oversight by her crazed feminist fan base. However, like the Fed fans, creating that atmosphere of mayhem is one of the charms of the tennis world and quite obviously Serena is must-watch TV.

  • Jeff · August 24, 2019 at 6:50 pm


    Not sure Angie will accept your apology this way. Maybe do it in person? Lol

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 24, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    ATP site Tsitsipas father as his coach, not Parick M.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 24, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Jeff, if Patrick’s coaching is so valuable why does Serena never ask for it in OCC and why did Serena reject and deny his coaching one year ago? It was as if she was saying to the world and Ramos that Patrick’s coaching means nothing to her, she doesn’t want or need it, he just sits in my box pretending to be my coach for the TV cameras.

  • catherine · August 25, 2019 at 1:12 am

    Dan – I really don’t like or dislike Serena in any personal way at all. I’ve never had those feelings about players, even in the days when I knew some of them. Of course I admit Serena’s greatness – who couldn’t ? I’m not too keen on some of her fans but I can avoid those quite easily.

    As you probably know I follow Kerber but again, not in a personal way, That would seem to me a bit incongruous – I’m interested in her progress, or lack of, but ‘like’ would be the wrong word. You have yourself mentioned in the past that you don’t like Angie, and the reasons for it, and that’s ok – we can’t like everyone. And not everyone shows their emotions openly – just personality differences.

  • catherine · August 25, 2019 at 1:27 am

    Jeff – I sincerely doubt that Kerber reads T-P or could care less what I write about her but I thought I should get my facts right just in case she loses v Kiki this week 🙂

    Angie is pretty choosy about who she meets personally I would imagine LOL.

  • catherine · August 25, 2019 at 1:32 am

    Goirgi failed again to win a title. The cutie lost to Magda Linette in 3 sets in the Bronx.

  • catherine · August 25, 2019 at 1:38 am

    Re social media – Magda Linette’s last tweet was in April so she’s obviously doing something right. The WTA won’t be to pleased at this sluggish twittering 🙂



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