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Williams-Sharapova spat in build-up to Wimbledon

  • Wimbledon-Tennis

    Maria Sharapova of Russia is watched by a coach during a training session at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Sunday, June 23, 2013. The Championships start Monday, with Serena Williams attempting to win the title for the sixth time. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Wimbledon-Tennis-1

    ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JUNE 22-23 - FILE - In this July 7, 2012 file photo, Serena Williams celebrates with the trophy after defeating Agnieszka Radwansk to win the women's final match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England. When Wimbledon starts Monday, June 24, 2013, she will be on a 31-match winning streak and an overwhelming favorite to win her second consecutive title. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Wimbledon-Tennis-2

    In this photo taken on Sunday, June 23, 2013 and made available by The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club Wimbledon, defending men's champion Roger Federer of Switzerland, gestures during a press conference at Wimbledon. The Championships start Monday, with defending men's champion Roger Federer of Switzerland attempting to win the title for the eighth time. (AP Photo/Jon Buckle/AELTC)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Wimbledon-Tennis-3

    Rafael Nadal of Spain adjusts his raquet during a training session at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Sunday, June 23, 2013. The Championships start Monday, with defending men's champion Roger Federer of Switzerland attempting to win the title for the eighth time. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Wimbledon-Tennis-4

    Andy Murray of Britain arrives for a training session at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Sunday, June 23, 2013. The Championships start Monday, with defending men's champion Roger Federer of Switzerland attempting to win the title for the eighth time. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Wimbledon-Tennis-5

    In this photo taken on Sunday, June 23, 2013 and made available by The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club Wimbledon, defending women's champion Serena Williams of the United States speaks to the media during a press conference at Wimbledon. The Championships start Monday, with Serena Williams attempting to win the title for the sixth time. (AP Photo/Jon Buckle/AELTC)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Wimbledon-Tennis-6

    In this photo taken on Sunday, June 23, 2013 and made available by The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club Wimbledon, defending women's champion Serena Williams of the United States speaks to the media during a press conference at Wimbledon. The Championships start Monday, with Serena Williams attempting to win the title for the sixth time. (AP Photo/Jon Buckle/AELTC)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

LONDON — Serena Williams says she offered an apology to Maria Sharapova two days before Sharapova took a verbal swipe at Williams over comments in a magazine article.

Speaking today at Wimbledon, where she’s the defending champion, Williams declined to directly respond to Sharapova’s broadside from 24 hours earlier. The back-and-forth began with a recent Rolling Stone story, in which the author surmised that something critical Williams said about an unnamed top-five player referred to Sharapova.

The No. 1-ranked Williams says she approached No. 3 Sharapova to smooth things over Thursday at a pre-tournament players’ party.

At a news conference Saturday, Sharapova said: “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.”

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