Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 5/8/13

Serena Williams responded to the criticism she faced from Sloane Stephens by saying she is a big fan of the up-and-coming player. In an interview with ESPN The Magazine, Stephens said her mentor-protege relationship with Williams had been overblown by the media, and that Williams essentially dropped her as a friend after losing to her at the Australian Open in January. Following her second-round match at the Madrid Open on Tuesday, Williams was asked about Stephens’ criticism. “I’m a big Sloane Stephens fan and always have been,” Williams said at a press conference after beating Lourdes Dominguez 6-2, 7-5, per the AFP. “I’ve always said that I think she can be the best in the world. I’ll always continue to think that and always be rooting for her. “I really just always wish her and anyone, really, especially from America the best. We don’t have that many American players, so it’s always exciting to see so many young players doing so well.” Williams certainly was playing nice with Stephens. That might be because the two supposedly spoke and hashed out their problems. Stephens tweeted to that effect: Guilty of being naive. Much respect 4 @serenawilliams , a champ & the GOAT. We spoke, we’re good. ONWARD! #lifelessons — Sloane Stephens (@sloanetweets) May 7, 2013 So Stephens came out roaring like a young lion in the interview, but she really backed off. Maybe she couldn’t handle the negative publicity that came as a result of her comments. H/T Beyond the Baseline

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

PLAYERS: Serena Williams
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Winners and losers from Monday Night Football in Week 6

Aaron Judge finally doesn’t strike out, crushes three-run home run

Pandora offers LeBron James premium subscription after funny comments

Eight things the college football polls got wrong for Week 8

Top storyline for each NBA team heading into the season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Derek Carr: Raiders' struggles 'my fault'

Ed Orgeron not too pumped to face former school Ole Miss

Nuggets to sign Richard Jefferson, waive Jameer Nelson

Dirk Koetter 'extremely' concerned about 2016 1st-rounder, Vernon Hargreaves

Former teammate on Andrew Luck: 'He's not close, in my mind'

Joe Maddon delivers classic quote about not pitching Wade Davis in Game 2

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

Tale of the tape: American League Championship Series

What's trending up, down so far in the NFL

Three Up, Three Down: Divisional Series brings both luck and heartbreak

The 'Adrian Peterson hopes to rise from the ashes in Phoenix' quiz

College football 2017 Week 7 predictions

Nikola Jokic: A throwback superstar for the modern era

NFL Week 6 predictions

The 'Help wanted: Supervising manager' quiz

Tennis News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

Tale of the tape: American League Championship Series

Three Up, Three Down: Divisional Series brings both luck and heartbreak

The 'Adrian Peterson hopes to rise from the ashes in Phoenix' quiz

What's trending up, down so far in the NFL

NFL Week 6 predictions

Nikola Jokic: A throwback superstar for the modern era

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker