Even though Wimbledon play has begun, the fire off-court from two of the sport’s stars has yet to stop.
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova have been going back and forth making comments to the media, and now Williams says she personally apologized to her opponent two days before Sharapova retaliated.
“She was inadvertently brought into the situation by assumptions made by the reporter,” Williams said. “I personally talked to Maria at the player party, incidentally. I said, ‘Look, I want to personally apologize to you if you are offended by being brought into my situations. I want to take this moment to just pour myself, be open, say I’m very sorry for this whole situation.’”
The trouble began with a Rolling Stone article in which Williams talked about a tennis player whom many took to be Sharapova.
“There are people who live, breathe and dress tennis,” Williams said in the article. “I mean, seriously, give it a rest. She begins every interview with ‘I’m so happy. I’m so lucky’ — it’s so boring. She’s still not going to be invited to the cool parties. And, hey, if she wants to be with the guy with a black heart, go for it.”
While no name was mentioned, the Rolling Stone article included a parenthetical clue, saying, “An educated guess is she’s talking about Sharapova, who is now dating Grigor Dimitrov, one of Serena’s rumored exes.” This caused Sharapova to respond later in the week.
“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 said.
Williams is now saying that she told Sharapova ahead of time that the comments were not about her.
If the apology did come before Sharapova’s comments, Wimbledon just got a little more heated — especially if the two go head-to-head on the court instead of in the press room.