Serena Williams says Maria Sharapova showed ‘courage and heart’ in press conference


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Serena Williams owns a comfortable 19-2 head-to-head overall record against Maria Sharapova, but following the Russian superstar’s announcement that she has been provisionally suspended after failing a drug test after the Australian Open, the world’s best women’s tennis player was not in the mood for beating up on Sharapova anymore.

Sharapova revealed Monday that she had failed the screening after losing in the quarterfinals to Williams due to her use of the drug Meldonium, which was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list in January. The move to hold her own press conference and attempt to get ahead of the story was praised by many as her taking responsibility for a mistake that she claims was the result of not viewing WADA’s updated list.

In a Monday press conference held at Madison Square Garden aimed at promoting an upcoming exhibition, Williams answered several questions regarding her rival’s press conference and subsequent ban. Per USA Today, she said that she thought the 28-year old was courageous in the way she handled the announcement and is hoping “for the best for everybody in that situation.”

“I think most people were happy she was upfront 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,” Williams said. …

Williams’s comments are in line with the majority of the tennis community, which will no doubt anxiously await the International Tennis Federation’s investigative findings:

Sharapova could be face a ban of up to four years depending on what the ITF finds at the conclusion of its current investigation.