In an interview that hasn’t even been published yet in ESPN the Magazine, Sloane Stephens offers up a candid interview in which she has less than kind words for fellow American tennis star and current world number one Serena Williams. The interview is set to be released in the May 13 edition of the magazine but parts of Stephens statements have already been released.
“She’s not said one word to me, not spoken to me, not said hi, not looked my way, not been in the same room with me since I played her in Australia,” Stephens says emphatically. “And that should tell everyone something, how she went from saying all these nice things about me to unfollowing me on Twitter.”
Her mom tries to slow her down, but Sloane is insistent. “Like, seriously! People should know. They think she’s so friendly and she’s so this and she’s so that — no, that’s not reality! You don’t unfollow someone on Twitter, delete them off of BlackBerry Messenger. I mean, what for? Why?”
A little refresher on the back-story between the pair. Stephens currently ranked 17th in the world defeated Williams in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open earlier this year. It was an embarrassment for Williams coming into 2013 playing some of the best tennis of her career and expected to pick up another Grand Slam championship.
Stephens since then has had a mediocre spring but has been embraced as the future of American women’s tennis. The fact that she is an African-American player has only increased the comparisons to Williams.
The 20-year-old also rejects the notion in the article that Williams was her favorite player when she was growing up.
“I’ve always said Kim Clijsters is my favorite player, so it’s kind of weird,” she says. Stephens also noted how she was snubbed at a tournament when she was 12 years old while waiting three hours for an autograph from the Williams sisters.
It now seems that Stephens has had a bit of a change of heart. With an early exit at the Madrid Open she had some time to think about if publicly trashing one of the greatest female tennis players of all time was the best move- even if there is some truth to her comments. Stephens posted this yesterday on her Twitter account:
Williams for her part has had nothing but glowing remarks for her Fed Cup teammate in an interview she gave after a recent match in Madrid this week.
“I’m a big Sloane Stephens fan and always have been. I’ve always said that I think she can be the best in the world. I’ll always continue to think that and always be rooting for her. So I really just always wish her — and anyone, really, especially from America — the best. We don’t have that many American players, so it’s always exciting to see so many young players doing so well.”
The two will have an opportunity to prove that this is water under the bridge when they both next compete in Rome next week.