Serena Williams says she apologized to Maria Sharapova at the Wimbledon player party on Thursday for “inadvertently” bringing her “into a situation she should have never been brought into” when the American criticized another Top 5 player in an interview with Rolling Stone.
Williams had been quoted as saying that unidentified player was in love, and, "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."
Sharapova -- who is dating fellow player Grigor Dimitrov, who is said to have had a prior, undefined relationship with Williams -- thought those comments were directed at her. In her press conference on Saturday, she said that if Williams “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. Talk about other things, but not draw attention to other things. She has so much in her life, many positives, and I think that's what it should be about."
Sharapova was referring to Williams' coach of one year, Patrick Mouratoglou, who has been rumored to be dating Serena.
Serena said she approached Sharapova at the party and said, “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.”
A source in the Sharapova camp confirmed that Serena did apologize, but said she didn't recall whom she was talking about during the interview, which could have been the reason why Sharapova decided to still criticize Serena two days later.
Williams added that she does tend to stand behind what she says, but added that she’s “the first person to apologize. I'm the first person to reach out to individuals and people if I feel that something may have hurt them or something may have been misconstrued.”
Serena did take the blame for not realizing that what she said during her time with the reporter would go on the record. She added that she has the “the most respect” for Sharapova both on and off the court.
“That's another reason why, being a woman, I wanted to reach out to her and say, ‘Look, this is this, this is this, sorry…. Well, we always have great conversations, so I believe that she definitely did accept [my apology],” Serena said.