US Open: Sloane Stephens reveals extent of online abuse after tournament exit

The 2017 champion lost to Angelique Kerber 5-7 6-2 6-3 in Friday’s third-round match, and was then subjected to what she estimates was more than 2,000 offensive or angry comments; Stephens then posted supportive messages she received from her team

Last Updated: 05/09/21 12:41pm


Sloane Stephens lost to Angelique Kerber 5-7 6-2 6-3 in Friday’s third-round match

American Sloane Stephens says the “hate is so exhausting and never ending” after receiving a torrent of racist and sexist abuse on social media after her US Open exit.

The 2017 champion lost to Angelique Kerber 5-7 6-2 6-3 in Friday’s third-round match, and was then subjected to what she estimates was more than 2,000 offensive or angry comments.

“It’s so hard to read messages like these, but I’ll post a few so you guys can see what it’s like after a loss,” the 28-year-old wrote in an Instagram story, before sharing some of the threats and abuse she received.

“This type of hate is so exhausting and never ending,” she added after showing three screengrabs.

“This isn’t talked about enough, but it really freaking sucks… I’m happy to have people in my corner who support me. I’m choosing positive vibes over negative ones.

“I choose to show you guys happiness on here, but it’s not always smiles and roses.”

Stephens, who has been ranked as high as world number three, then posted supportive messages she received from her team after the loss, the people she called “the only ones who matter”.

Stephens entered this year’s season-ending grand slam at Flushing Meadows ranked 66th despite reaching the last 16 at Roland Garros and the third round at Wimbledon.

Defying her unextraordinary singles record of 15 wins and 14 losses on the year, the American fought from behind on Monday afternoon in a third-set tiebreaker to see off Madison Keys before upsetting No 21 seed Coco Gauff in a night-session match in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) joined the wide-ranging social media boycott by sports organisations in a protest against online abuse.

Sky Sports News have approached Facebook, who own Instagram, for comment.

Hate won’t win

Jenson Button, Gary Lineker, Kelly Cates, Alan Shearer, Gary Neville, Micah Richards, Gabby Logan, Ebony-Rainford-Brent, Jamie Carragher, Jermaine Jenas, Jamie Redknapp and Nasser Hussain among BBC and Sky stars united against online hate

Jenson Button, Gary Lineker, Kelly Cates, Alan Shearer, Gary Neville, Micah Richards, Gabby Logan, Ebony-Rainford-Brent, Jamie Carragher, Jermaine Jenas, Jamie Redknapp and Nasser Hussain among BBC and Sky stars united against online hate

Jenson Button, Gary Lineker, Kelly Cates, Alan Shearer, Gary Neville, Micah Richards, Gabby Logan, Ebony-Rainford-Brent, Jamie Carragher, Jermaine Jenas, Jamie Redknapp and Nasser Hussain among BBC and Sky stars united against online hate

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