2018 French Open: It’s been a

Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams. Picture: Screenshot/Twitter

2018 French Open: It’s been a while since Maria last beat Serena

14 years and counting.

2018 French Open: It’s been a

Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams. Picture: Screenshot/Twitter

Maria Sharapova faces Serena Williams in the French Open fourth round on Monday, desperate to end a miserable 18-match losing streak to the American dating back to 2004.

The Russian has only managed to take three sets off Williams during that run, with Serena winning their last seven meetings in straight sets.

Picture: Screenshot/Twitter

Read: Serena Williams slams Sharapova’s book as rubbish

Ahead of their first clash in over two years, AFP Sports looks at the main world events of 2004:


— At the Oscars, Lord of the Rings wins Best Picture, Sean Penn is Best Actor for Mystic River while the Best Actress award goes to Charlize Theron for Monster.

— Mark Zuckerburg creates Facebook with room-mates in California.


— Terror attacks carried out by jihadists, linked to Al Qaeda, on four Madrid commuter trains kill 191 people and injure hundreds more.

— Four contractors working for the US army ambushed and killed in Fallujah as the Iraqi city is convulsed by an insurgency.


— Pictures emerge of American soldiers allegedly abusing Iraqi detainees in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison.


— Former US President Ronald Reagan dies after a long fight with Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 93.


— Hollywood legend Marlon Brando dies at the age of 80 in Los Angeles.


— Summer Olympics take place in Athens.


— More than 300 people, over half of them children, die at a school siege in Beslan in Russia. The school had been seized by Chechen militants.


— Superman star Christopher Reeve dies at 52, nine years after being paralysed in a fall from his horse.


— George W Bush wins a second term as US President, beating challenger John Kerry.

— Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat dies in Paris at the age of 75.

Watch: Sharapova fall to her knees as she wins Wimbledon

But Sharapova can take some solace in the fact that she’s not alone — here are five memorable losing streaks from the world of sport:

The Curse of the Billy Goat

— Perhaps the most infamous drought was the Chicago Cubs’ wait for an MLB title after the Curse of the Billy Goat in 1945. After being asked to leave Wrigley Field because of the smell of his pet goat, Billy Sianis supposedly said that the team would “win no more”. The Cubs had to wait until 2016 to end the drought — having lost four consecutive National League Championship series since losing the 1945 World Series — going on to add a first World Series crown since 1908 to boot.

Bangladesh’s tough test

— Bangladesh were granted Test cricket status in 2000, becoming the 10th top-level nation, but embarked on a record-breaking 21-match losing streak between 2001-2003. The team were widely-criticised by both pundits from other countries and their own fans, before finally stopping the rot against Zimbabwe. Habibul Bashar’s men didn’t do much to earn their second Test draw, though, with rain for three days saving their blushes.

207 defeats in a row

— The Caltech college men’s basketball team suffered 207 consecutive losses from 1996 to 2007. The California-based outfit from an exclusive school of only 1,000 students also lost 310 straight conference games. Their plight became a documentary called ‘Quantum Hoops’, with the tagline ‘before they change the world, they need to win one game’.

Benevento whipping boys

— Italian Serie A new boys Benevento had a horrific start to last season in their debut top-flight campaign, losing 14 consecutive matches. The way they ended their run may end up better remembered than their previous struggles, though, as goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli’s flying injury-time header earned them a 2-2 draw with AC Milan.

Gasquet’s 16 against Nadal

— Back to tennis, and Richard Gasquet saw his wait for a Tour-level win over childhood friend and old junior rival Rafael Nadal extended to 16 matches in the French Open third round on Saturday. The ruthless Spaniard has had the better of his French rival since turning professional, with Nadal now having won 28 consecutive sets against his fellow 31-year-old since 2008.

France’s Richard Gasquet and Rafael Nadal of Spain way back in 2005. Picture: Screenshot/Twitter