For Serena, Friendship Is Off the Court, Not On

AP Photo

When I first spoke with Sloane Stephens about her relationship with Serena Williams, her voice lit up with joy. It was during last year's U.S. Open, just before she defeated Tatjana Malek in the second round. Back then Stephens said she and Williams talked all the time, and she referred to her as her "bestie."


Back then the two had never played against each other. Back then Stephens was an up-and-comer, not competition. But that was August 2012 BA -- Before Australia. Since then the two have played twice, once in Brisbane -- where Williams won in straight sets, but not before Stephens called Williams' on-the-court behavior "disrespectful" in a joking exchange with her coach -- and then of course the Open. Now -- it's on. Unfortunately it seems Stephens didn't...

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