Serena Williams ‘done with’ grunting issue

The American top seed faces a semi-final against old rival Maria Sharapova

The grunting issue isn't done with. It brought out the diva in Serena Williams after her quarter-final win over Victoria Azarenka. She was asked if it was disrespectful that the fans were laughing at them for shrieking but not at the men. Diva Serena kicked in.

“I’m done with controversy. I can’t. I’m tired. I have to do ice bath. If you have any other questions, I’m cool, but, you know, I’m done with that,” swooned the player. She has been around enough to know where that conversation was headed.

The animosity between Williams and her semi-final opponent Maria Sharapova has spilled off-court, particularly after Williams unloaded in a 2013 interview about a top-five player she didn't like.

Swapped insults

“She’s still not going to be invited to the cool parties. And, hey, if she wants to be with the guy with a black heart, go for it,” she told

Rolling Stone

, referring to Sharapova’s partner Grigor Dimitrov. The Russian fired back with reference to Williams’ boyfriend and her French coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

“If Serena wants to talk about something personal, she should talk about her relationship and her boyfriend, who is married, who is getting a divorce and has kids,” she said. Ouch.

But it's not really that which makes Williams' meeting so potentially hurtful to Sharapova. The last time the Russian beat the American was on hard court in 2004. Since then there have been 14 meetings and Williams has won all of them, although, just one in 2010 at Wimbledon.

Strictly off-court

Their rivalry is much talked about but the freight of numbers stacked on Williams’ side suggests it is strictly off-court. That’s the glam side of the draw with Garbine Muguruza facing Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska in what appears to be a more even match-up of the players, each of them with two wins each in their four previous meetings.

The 20th ranked Muguruza is the first woman from Spain to reach a Wimbledon semi-final since Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario in 1997.

Her opponent, Agnieszka ranked 13, is a canny player who will use her opponent’s physical strength to redirect the ball and mix up the game.

Neither player has won a Grand Slam before, although the Polish player made the Wimbledon final in 2012 where she lost to Serena Williams.

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times