Williams won the Australian Open the following year while pregnant, and returned from maternity leave to the tour last March, married and with a baby girl she named Olympia.
But the head-to-head history is overwhelmingly in Williams favor: She has won 19 of 21 meetings, including 18 in a row. "She's never forgiven me for it".
"And then the book was a lot about me!"
"This is the first time I've come into an event with, really, not too many expectations, you know". I think it's normal.
"I hope now we can wear leggings alone!"
"There were a couple of rain delays so I wasn't able to [see her]. That's what this represents", she said after round one.
"I didn't have anything negative to say about Maria". "That's what I have seen a lot of people do".
"I feel like women should bring each other up".
Meanwhile, adding even more spice to Monday's duel in the dust at Court Philippe Chatrier is Williams's assertion that Sharapova is nearly obsessed by the American who is named more than 100 times in "Unstoppable".
"It's either play doubles or practice for two hours, so I'd rather play doubles", Serena told Christopher Clarey of the New York Times last week.
Sharapova is the sharper player and is coming off her best performance yet, but I'm not ready to say she's back and somebody I'm looking to bet on. Venus had already been bounced out of singles competition at the French Open in the first round.
Czech Pliskova made the semi-finals here previous year, and may fancy her chances against Sharapova, who had to fight hard to get past Richel Hogenkamp and Vekic in her first two matches.
"I think there is a lot of things in her game that she's done much better than I have ... numbers don't lie". I mean, the records don't certainly elaborate on that. It's never an easy match against a grand slam champion.
'Been able to put myself in this position of playing better tennis. So it works out great for me.
Earlier, Sharapova marked her first appearance on Court Philippe Chatrier in three years with a 6-2, 6-1 rout of Karolina Pliskova while 10-time champion Rafael Nadal defeated childhood friend Richard Gasquet for the 16th time.
A note to all: Don't ask an athlete if "good looks" is what it takes to win a match or game.
Williams tried to play down the tag of favourite, given her lengthy absence after giving birth.
"I think what happens there should definitely maybe stay there and not necessarily talk about it in a not-so-positive way in a book".
"Whenever I play her, I go out there the way I play everyone else".
Sharapova has only played Pliskova once before, winning in the 2015 Fed Cup final in straight sets, although the Czech Republic went on to lift the trophy. "She's been playing. for over a year now". I think, to some extent, we have driven each other. But the Russian, now ranked 30 in the world, utterly dominated the rest of the match against her passive opponent.