What Maria Sharapova told Serena Williams when they first met last year has been made public.

Serena Williams was urged by Maria Sharapova to make one more appearance and leave on her own terms. Around this time last year, Sharapova and Williams crossed paths. At the time, the American was sidelined due to a leg injury incurred at Wimbledon in 2021.

Williams only participated in four events this summer as her career came to an end at the US Open this year. According to Erik Gudris of ESPN, Sharapova commented, “It was fantastic to see Serena’s run and the glory and the gracious tenacity as she carried through to the end of her career.”

Erik Gudris (@ATNtennis) September 8, 2022 “It was great to see Serena’s run and the glory and the gracious tenacity as she carried through to the finish of her career.”

I informed Williams that she was superior to this generation, said Sharapova.

We discussed it at the Net during this time last year, and I told them, “No offense to this generation, but you are so much better and you deserve to go out there. So I’m delighted that she had an opportunity here,” Sharapova added.

I’m delighted that she had a chance here because we talked about it at the net last year during this time of year and I said, “No offense to this generation, but you are so much better and you deserve to go out there.” — Maria Sharapova on ESPN.

Williams certainly made a splash during her farewell tournament, defeating second-seeded Anett Kontaveit and Danka Kovinic in straight sets in the US Open first round.

Williams‘ former opponent, Sharapova, declared her retirement in 2020. Sharapova didn’t have much success against Williams as she won just two of their 20 meetings. In the third round, Williams fought really hard but fell to Ajla Tomljanovic in three sets.

Michael Joyce, Sharapova’s former coach, discussed the rivalry between Sharapova and Williams earlier this year. Interestingly, Sharapova had a 2-1 head-to-head record against Williams after the 2004 season but went on to lose the following 19 encounters with Williams.

Joyce stated earlier this year on the Tennis Channel podcast that “I think eventually, Maria probably had the most regard for Serena over any player. I’m just stating this based on what I think. Maria never expressed it, but I get the impression that she always believed she had a chance no matter who she was facing.