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?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Predators fans throw catfish on ice to celebrate Stanley Cup berth

WATCH: Draymond Green tries just a little to hard to sell foul

Eddie George fires up Predators fans before Game 4 vs Ducks

Viktor Arvidsson had bloody ‘R’ on forehead after hit

Danny Ainge’s son running for congressional seat in Utah

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Wall’s retweet saves fan from taking final exam

WATCH: Cubs pull off two miraculous defensive plays in a row

To raise money for charity, a wrestling fan has Cody Rhodes slam him on thumbtacks

Gregg Popovich on Steve Kerr’s health issues: ‘It’s just a crap situation’

CJ McCollum clearly interested in having Paul Millsap join Blazers

Injuries are depriving us from watching the Spurs thrive in the clutch

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Box Score 5/19: Heartbreak in OT

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 Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

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