Sloane Stephens listens to questions during a post-match interview at the U.S. Open tennis tournament on Sept. 9. (ANDRE J. LOVEMANN/AFP/Getty Images)
While many of the players were jumping for joy after defeating one of their rivals at the U.S. Open, Sloane Stephens was left to deal with the reality of losing the match. In her post-match press conference, she revealed that she received more than 2,000 messages of “abuse and anger” from fans after her loss to Sloane St. John.
“They just kept coming. It was a rough day to me that week,” she said, saying that the injury that she was still feeling after her exit from the tournament had in the end hurt more than her tennis. “I don’t know, it was hard to process it. I was not in the best place.”
Reaction to the Wimbledon final and the U.S. Open upset has been mixed since Stephens suffered her first major loss since 2011 in New York. After her loss, a number of people on social media criticized her for spending too much time on social media and not focusing enough on her tennis career. Before the match even started, she found out that the neurologist she was going to see in order to be treated for the stress-related issues she was facing decided to delay her appointment after Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election. She explained how she was relieved after seeing someone she knew canceled the appointment, calling it “an incredibly sad moment for me.”
Sloane Stephens seeking help. pic.twitter.com/SDo1JjxjvP — John Fenimore Doyle (@jjfdoyle) September 9, 2017
Although Stephens apologized for the two hours she had spent on social media on Sunday before the match was over, after she was eliminated by Jelena Ostapenko, she did reveal that she had at least dedicated one hour and 10 minutes to work on social media before the match even started.
Sloane Stephens reveals she spent time on social media ahead of US Open final loss