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.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Is Serena Williams the most important modern athlete?
PLAYERS: Serena Williams
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Warriors say they will visit Washington, focus on diversity

Report: Knicks trade Carmelo Anthony to Thunder

Rob Manfred says Portland could get MLB expansion team

Colin Kaepernick’s mom has priceless response to Trump

Geno Auriemma offers to work for free amid UConn budget crisis

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cody Bellinger cracks great joke after Dodgers clinch

La Liga title race far from over as Barcelona and Real Madrid battle it out

Why the Miami Heat may begin losing relevance

Report: Jeter plans to fire multiple Marlins special assistants

Carmelo Anthony sets up YouCaring page to help people in Puerto Rico

Kyle Shanahan takes jab at controversial pass interference call

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors in 2018

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.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

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