Serena Williams says Maria Sharapova showed “courage” in confessing Monday that she failed a drug test, Reuters reports.
“As Maria said, she’s ready to take full responsibility and I think that showed a lot of courage and a lot of heart,” Williams told reporters before her Tuesday night match against Caroline Wozniacki in New York.
Sharapova announced Monday that she failed a drug test on Jan. 26, while competing at the Australian Open. Sharapova eventually fell to Williams in the tournament’s quarterfinal.
She was later informed by the International Tennis Federation that she tested positive for Meldonium, which was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances on Jan. 1. Sharapova said she had legally been taking the drug for 10 years.
The ITF announced that Sharapova, 28, will be provisionally suspended beginning on March 12.
Sharapova is the winner of five Grand Slam singles titles in her career, which is the third most among active players behind Williams and her sister Venus.
Williams has defeated Sharapova in 18 straight meetings.