Maria Sharapova has opened up about the first time she faced tennis rival Serena Williams and how the American made her feel like 'a little girl'.

Sharapova and Serena first faced off on court in Miami, 13 years ago. Williams won in straight sets but Sharapova bounced back in their next meeting, the 2004 Wimbledon final.

"The first time I played against Serena was just a few months before I beat her at Wimbledon. I was blown away by her competitiveness, her physicality, her ability. She made me feel like a little girl - there are still times when she makes me feel like that," she told Net-A-Porter.com.

The pair have clashed 21 times on the WTA Tour with Serena winning the last 18 meetings.

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The duo last played each other at the 2016 Australian Open quarterfinals and it might be a while before tennis fans see them face off again with Williams currently awaiting the birth of her first child.

"People have talked about our relationship so much; we're always put on these lists of who's more marketable and who makes more money. Even though we've had our battles on and off the court, I believe both of us have an amazing amount of respect for each other. I wish we were linked more than ranked, that's the way that I see it."

Sharapova, who entered the US Open as a wildcard, will face American Sofia Kenin in the third round tomorrow and is a strong chance to capture her second US Open crown with a number of top seeds falling in the opening week.