Serena Williams' husband sledges Maria Sharapova during US Open clash

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Serena Williams’ husband has caused a stir at the US Open with what appears to be a thinly-veiled swipe at Maria Sharapova.

Alexis Ohanian was in attendance on Monday as Serena blitzed Sharapova 6-1, 6-1 in just 59 minutes.

‘LOOKS UNREAL’: Tennis fans in frenzy over Serena's US Open outfit

‘SHE IS ALL OF US’: Female fan caught in cheeky act at US Open

It was Serena’s 19th-straight win over her long-time rival, and would have been particularly sweet considering their history.

Speaking of history, Ohanian appeared to reference Sharapova’s with the T-shirt he was wearing.

Alexis Ohanian's shirt appeared to be a dig at Maria Sharapova. Image: ESPN

Ohanian wore a shirt with ‘D.A.R.E’ on the front - short for Drug Abuse Resistance Education.

Many took it as a dig at Sharapova, who was infamously banned from tennis in 2016 after testing positive to a banned substance.

Some found it funny, however a number of fans thought it was disrespectful.

More of the same for Sharapova

Sharapova slipped back into an all-too-familiar routine on Monday as the Russian came up short for the 20th time in 22 matches against Serena.

A stone-faced Sharapova was left to ponder the drubbing that proved once again Williams has all the answers when the pair meet on court.

"I thought she served really well. Found her spots really well. Didn't feel like we got into too many long rallies," said Sharapova.

"I think the 1-2 punch. She won a majority of those points."

Prior to Monday match, Williams led Sharapova 19-2 in head-to-head meetings. They last met in the 2016 Australian Open quarter-finals where the American emerged with a 6-4 6-1 win.

They were due to meet at last year's French Open but Williams withdrew due to injury.

Sharapova has not taken a set off Williams since the Miami Open in 2013.

Serena Williams took down Maria Sharapova. (Image: KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

The 32-year-old Russian, who was banned for 15 months for taking the banned drug meldonium in 2016, struggled with injuries earlier this year, including persistent shoulder problems that have plagued her in the past.

The five times Grand Slam champion underwent a small surgical procedure for her right shoulder that caused her to miss the Miami Open.

"I missed a lot of this year with my shoulder. Just getting the routines back and being back in the draws is, you know, it's tough to talk about after a defeat, but it's a long road," Sharapova said.

"It's facing an opponent that's at her stature is extremely difficult in the first round of a slam, coming in with the fact that I haven't played that much."

There is no love lost between the two, with Sharapova including Williams in her autobiography in anecdotes that the American described as "hearsay."

"Sport is very much result-oriented. There's stories behind the results," said Sharapova. "There's phases you have to get through in order to get to where you want to go.

"This is a very different chapter in my career. It's not an easy road. It's never been."

Williams next faces fellow American Catherine McNally, after the wildcard beat Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky 6-4 6-1.

with agencies