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?
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jags coach says Blake Bortles’ starting job is in jeopardy

Report: New Marlins owners will seriously consider trading Stanton

Report: Raiders CB Sean Smith charged with felony assault

Red Sox owner wants to rename Yawkey Way

NFLPA leader: Lockout or strike in 2021 a ‘virtual certainty’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ex-Cav: LeBron James-Kyrie Irving relationship can be fixed

Le’Veon Bell reportedly will return before regular season

Report: Aaron Donald has not ruled out skipping all of 2017

Multiple brawls erupt during 49ers, Broncos joint practice

Goodell: Josh Gordon reinstatement not under consideration

Report: Ric Flair’s drinking problem contributed to health issues

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NFL shifts blame for Zeke suspension to police and NFLPA

Box Score 8/17: Interleague games bring the fireworks

The 'Forget Calvin, bring back Jerry' quiz

The top 20 left-handed pitchers of all-time

Box Score 8/16: There is no stopping the Dodgers

The '27 up, 27 down' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Charles Oakley slams the phone — and his opponents — down

The Cardinals have their season back by the unlikeliest of means

The BIG3 in L.A.: The reverse Danny Almonte comes to Staples Center

Box Score 8/15: Stanton's power surge has no end in sight

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 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NFL shifts blame for Zeke suspension to police and NFLPA

The 'Forget Calvin, bring back Jerry' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Charles Oakley slams the phone — and his opponents — down

The '27 up, 27 down' quiz

The Cardinals have their season back by the unlikeliest of means

The 'For Sale this fall: All of the awards' quiz

The BIG3 in L.A.: The reverse Danny Almonte comes to Staples Center

Getaway Day: It's an all-inclusive Wild Card party

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