The most anticipated match of the tournament will be their 22nd head-to-head meeting; Williams has won 19 so far, including 18 in a row.
"I think there are a lot of things in her game that she's done much better than I have".
Even if Williams vs. Sharapova has not been competitive, it's still compelling.
It was in Melbourne that Sharapova tested positive for meldonium after which she served a 15-month doping ban. Since then, Williams has given birth to her first child, daughter Alexis Olympia, after enduring a life-threatening C-section delivery that kept her in the hospital for weeks with complications from blood clots.
Sharapova's Unstoppable: My Life So Far, released during her doping ban previous year, claimed Williams hated her following the Russian's surprise win at the Wimbledon final in 2004.
"Any time you play against Serena you know what you're up against". Williams, after the time off, came into the French at No. 451.
But that doesn't mean these two have been sending each other Christmas cards over the years.
The 36-year-old 23-time grand slam champion, playing in her first slam since the 2017 Australian Open after maternity leave, told a news conference in Paris she had a pectoral muscle injury.
Despite her well-documented fall-outs with Sharapova, Williams insisted she had been looking forward to the match. Both have been ranked No. 1.
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"But how much mental scar tissue, how much baggage does Maria Sharapova carry with her on court".
They make tens of millions of dollars more in endorsements than in prize money.
Williams handled the question like a pro, but being called "baby" and asked about her opponents looks and if she was intimidated by that is asinine.
I think, maybe, she looked up to me that much or was so involved in my career.' Analyzing the upcoming match, Serena added: 'Quite frankly, she's probably a favorite in this match (smiling), for sure. The episode began with a snippet of a magazine article in which the author surmised that something critical Williams said during a telephone conversation was a reference to Sharapova.
Former men's champion Mats Wilander also gives Sharapova the edge after watching her destroy sixth seed Karolina Pliskova - but says past bashings may still haunt her. There have been jabs exchanged through the media over perceived slights and real ones, with the most recent spat involving Sharapova's autobiography published past year.
Williams said she first sensed something was wrong in her otherwise confidence-building third-round win over Germany's Julia Goerges.
Sharapova has dropped one set at this year's French Open. Every match since went Williams' way.
Sharapova certainly would have preferred to beat Serena on the court, something she hasn't done since George W. Bush's first term, but she'll be thrilled with this result nonetheless. I'm not serving that often; I'm serving once every four games.I thought it was a ideal opportunity to see how I was. It's disappointing for me, the fans and the tournament that it's not going to happen.