Williams-Sharapova spat in build-up to Wimbledon


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)


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.”