Sharapova beat Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final. But Williams has won their past 13 matches in a row, including in the French Open final two weeks ago.
At Wimbledon, where play begins Monday, Williams is the defending champion and seeded No. 1. Sharapova is seeded No. 3. They only could face each other in the final.
Williams is scheduled to hold a pre-tournament news conference at Wimbledon on Sunday.
The Rolling Stone article, which was about 4,000 words, drew widespread attention mostly for a one-paragraph reference to the Steubenville rape case. Williams is quoted as saying the teenage victim “shouldn’t have put herself in that position.”
Two players from the Steubenville, Ohio, high school football team were convicted in March of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl; one of the boys was ordered to serve an additional year for photographing the girl naked. The case gained widespread attention in part because of the callousness with which other students used social media to gossip about it.
A day after the story was posted, Williams issued a statement in which she said she was “reaching out to the girl’s family to let her know that I am deeply sorry for what was written.”
Williams’ statement continued: “What was written — what I supposedly said — is insensitive and hurtful, and I by no means would say or insinuate that she was at all to blame.”
Said Sharapova on Saturday: “I was definitely sad to hear what she had to say about the whole case.”