Russian is unimpressed by Williams' comments and jabs at her personal life.
Tennis: Maria Sharapova hits back at Serena Williams on Wimbledon eve
Williams, in an interview published in Rolling Stone magazine this week, made a veiled swipe at a rival player, and it was evident yesterday that Sharapova agrees with the article's author that she was the probable target.
Russian Sharapova, who landed the 2004 Wimbledon title and starts as the third seed in London this year, could not resist the temptation to return fire as what began with a loose comment from Williams looked in danger of becoming a full-blown locker-room feud between the best-known players in the women's game.
In the US magazine, Williams said of the unnamed player: "She begins every interview with 'I'm so happy. I'm so lucky' - it's so boring. 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."
The latter reference has been widely taken to be pointed at Grigor Dimitrov, the Bulgarian player who is dating Sharapova and had previously been close to Williams.
In turn, Williams is now said to be an item with her French coach, Patrick Mouratoglou. And the nature of that relationship came under scrutiny yesterday in Sharapova's news conference at Wimbledon. "We have a tremendous amount of respect for what we do on the court. I just think she should be talking about her accomplishments, her achievements, rather than everything else that's just getting attention and controversy," Sharapova said.
"If she wants to talk about something personal, maybe she should talk about her relationship and her boyfriend that was married and is getting a divorce and has kids. [She should] talk about other things, but not draw attention to other things. She has so much in her life, many positives, and I think that's what it should be about."
Mouratoglou and Williams have not spoken about the nature of their relationship, and there has been no confirmation that his marriage has ended.
Evidently irked by the comments from Williams, Sharapova's inability to keep a lid on her own feelings about the private life of the American, who will be returning to defend her fifth Wimbledon title over the next two weeks, might be perceived as double standards.
"I obviously have many opinions about different things in life," Sharapova said. "But what I do on the court and what I talk about in my press conference is strictly about my career. I'm sure people want to know more, but yet I try to keep my personal life private.
"If I speak to my friends, that's one thing. But I don't go out and try to create things that shouldn't be really talked about."