- Maria Sharapova has not beaten Serena Williams since 2004.
- The Russian star has lost 18 on the trot to the 23-time Grand Slam champion.
Three-time champion Serena Williams takes on her fierce rival Maria Sharapova in what is expected to be a blockbuster French Open fourth-round match in Paris on Monday, June 4.
When is the match and how to watch it live in India
The much-anticipated fourth-round match between Williams and Sharapova will not start before 2:30 pm local time, 6 pm IST and 1:30 pm BST.
Star Sports Select 1 and Star Sports Select 1 HD will provide live television coverage of the match in India. The live stream will be available on Hotstar and Jio TV.
Sharapova vs Williams - French Open 2018 preview
Amid much hype and pre-match buzz, former champions Sharapova and Williams are set to meet after two years at Philippe Chatrier, which is expected to be packed to the rafters on Monday. The upcoming tie can be safely dubbed as the biggest match of the WTA so far, despite it being only a fourth-round match.
Sharapova was handed a 6-4, 6-1 thrashing by Williams when the two superstars last met at Australian Open in 2016. A lot has changed ever since. While the Russian, winner of two French Open titles, faced a 15-month drug ban, the 23-time Grand Slam champion took time off from the sport due to pregnancy.
Williams has not had a lot of match practice since the birth of her daughter in September last year. In fact, the 36-year-old has played only four matches since winning the Australian Open crown in 2017.
Nonetheless, the former world number one has looked dangerous so far in the ongoing tournament and is looking set to complete a remarkable comeback in Paris. The powerful American star has not dropped a set yet and has demolished the likes of Kristyna Pliskova, 17th seed Ashleigh Barty and 11th seed Julia Goerges.
Williams has never lost a match to Sharapova since 2004 and has won 18 on the row. However, she conceded the Russian superstar has the edge going into Monday's tie, which will be their 22nd career meeting.
"She [Sharapova] is probably a favourite in this match, for sure. She's been playing for over a year now. I just started. But I think this will be another test. I think this is just one of her best surfaces, and she always does really, really well here," Williams said.
On the other hand, Sharapova, who is featuring in her first French Open tournament since 2015, sent a warning bell to her rivals by demolishing world number six Karolina Pliskova in straight sets on Saturday.
Sharapova would have probably forgotten how to beat Williams after 18 straight defeats to the American. However, Monday's tie presents her the biggest opportunity to put one across her arch-rival, given the latter's lack of match practice.
Expect some spiky exchanges, a show of emotions as tennis fans are gearing up to witness yet another chapter of the famed rivalry between two of the most marketable superstars of tennis.
French Open 2018 - Global TV listings and live stream
UK: ITV4, Eurosport; Live stream: Eurosport Player
US: ESPN2, NBC; Live stream: Tennis Channel
Australia: Fox Sports 3; Live stream: Foxtel Go
France: France TV Sport 234
Pan-European: Eurosport International
Japan: WOWOW, TV Tokyo
China: CCTV 5
Middle East: beIN SportsAfrica: SuperSport