Serena: Sharapova ‘showed a lot of courage’ in drug confession

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Serena: Sharapova ‘showed a lot of courage’ in drug confession
Serena Williams gives high marks to her Russian rival for being 'up front and very honest' in addressing her failed drug test

MANILA, Philippines – Twenty-one time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams showed support for rival player Maria Sharapova, saying the Russian player had “showed a lot of courage” in addressing the public after she failed a doping test at this year’s Australian Open.

“I think most people were surprised and shocked by Maria,” said Williams, who has a 19-2 career singles record against Sharapova, at a press conference in New York City to promote her exhibition match against Caroline Wozniacki.

“But at the same time I think most people were happy that she was up front and very honest and showed a lot of courage to admit to what she had done and what she had neglected to look at in terms of the list at the end of the year.”

Sharapova, 28, has been “provisionally suspended” by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) after testing positive for meldonium, a substance which was added to the list of banned substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency this year.

“She’s always showed courage in everything that she’s done. And this is no different,” Williams said.

Not everyone in the tennis world is as understanding. Jennifer Capriati, a 3-time Grand Slam champ, said on Twitter that “every title should be stripped.”

Sharapova faces up to a 4-year ITF ban, though her attorney feels her punishment will be less.  –

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