Skip to main content

Serena: I apologized to Maria over Rolling Stone article

updated 4:17 PM EDT, Mon October 7, 2013
Serena Williams addresses the media ahead of the start of the Wimbledon Championships.
Serena Williams addresses the media ahead of the start of the Wimbledon Championships.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Serena Williams reacts to Maria Sharapova's stinging attack
  • World No.1 says she apologized to the Russian earlier this week
  • Williams opens Wimbledon title defense against Mandy Minella

(CNN) -- Serena Williams refused to get drawn into a pre-Wimbledon war of words with Maria Sharapova Sunday -- claiming she had apologized to her Russian rival for comments made about her personal life.

Sharapova used her press conference Saturday to lambast Williams over an article which appeared in Rolling Stone magazine.

It included a veiled reference to Sharapova's relationship with Bulgarian player Grigor Dimitrov and also contained a controversial passage about the rape of a 16-year-old girl by two high school American football players in Ohio.

Williams wins 2nd French Open title
Serena Williams' rise to greatness
How do you beat Serena Williams?
The story behind Sharapova's success
Maria Sharapova's greatest hits

Read: Sharapova sideswipe at Serena

"If she wants to talk about something personal, maybe she should talk about her relationship and her boyfriend that was married and is getting a divorce and has kids," Sharapova told reporters.

The 31-year-old American is romantically linked with her French coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

Sharapova also questioned the wisdom of the World No.1's comments on the rape, for which Williams was later forced to apologize, saying she found them "sad.".

But Williams, who opens her Wimbledon title defense against Luxembourg's Mandy Minella Tuesday, said she had reached out an olive branch to Sharapova at the WTA players' party in London last week.

"I feel like Maria, unfortunately, was inadvertently brought into a situation she should have never been brought into," Serena said.

Read: Serena Williams clarifies comments over rape

"I personally talked to Maria at the player party. I said; 'Look, I want to personally apologize to you if you are offended by being brought into my situation. I want to take this moment to just pour myself, be open, say I'm very sorry for this whole situation'."

Despite a grilling from the media, Williams refused to get drawn into a row over Sharapova's stinging attack, while repeatedly apologizing for the Rolling Stone article.

"It definitely hasn't been easy. And I feel like I really wanted to say, I apologize for everything that was said in that article," she said.

She also conceded the controversy may be a distraction as she bids for a sixth Wimbledon title and 17th grand slam crown.

Her 16th came when she beat Sharapova for the 13th straight time in beating the defending champion at the French Open.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
updated 2:00 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
updated 7:07 AM EDT, Fri March 21, 2014
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Wed March 5, 2014
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face after losing his men's final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 14 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
updated 9:48 PM EST, Sat February 1, 2014
Li Na outperformed Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open, but can she now surpass the Russian as the world's richest female athlete?
Roger Federer may have lost again to Rafael Nadal in the business end of a grand slam, but he can take some heart from yet another record says CNN's Will Edmonds.
updated 8:58 AM EST, Tue January 21, 2014
Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg, Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker -- today's tennis stars are teaming up with past legends of the game.
updated 1:59 PM EST, Wed January 15, 2014
Can't stand the heat of the first tennis grand slam of 2014? Then you clearly haven't been doing enough Bikram yoga.
After nearly a decade without any real change at the top of men's tennis, CNN's Will Edmonds looks at next generation of future stars.
updated 8:14 AM EST, Thu January 9, 2014
Ana Ivanovic is still seeking to rediscover the form that took her to the top of the rankings -- but she has found a new lease of life.
updated 6:42 AM EST, Mon January 6, 2014
As a teen sensation, Bernard Tomic had the tennis world at his feet -- but he's in danger of blowing it, says Australian great Pat Rafter.
ADVERTISEMENT