Rising tennis star Sloane Stephens beat Serena Williams at the Australian Open, and Stephens told Marin Cogan for ESPN The Magazine that Williams has not spoken to her since.
Williams even unfollowed Stephens on Twitter. She told ESPN (via Beyond the Baseline):
“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. And that should tell everyone something, how she went from saying all these nice things about me to unfollowing me on Twitter.”
Immediately after Williams lost to Stephens in the semis in Australia, she was a poor sport and completely destroyed her racket:
Stephens also told ESPN that this cryptic tweet from Williams soon after their match at the Aussie Open was surely referencing her:
I made you.— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) January 26, 2013
There were many reports when Stephens first came on the scene that she and Williams had a close bond and the the elder tennis star was Stephens mentor. But in the magazine, Stephens explains that’s not true and that ever since the Williams sisters didn’t sign a poster for her when she was a young tennis fan that Kim Clijsters has been her favourite player, not Serena.
Basically, Stephens said Williams has had absolutely zero influence on her life as a tennis player:
“For the first 16 years of my life, she said one word to me and was never involved in my tennis whatsoever.I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal that she’s not involved now. If you mentor someone, that means you speak to them, that means you help them, that means you know about their life, that means you care about them. Are any of those things true at this moment? No, so therefore…”
There’s definitely a Williams-Stephens rivalry brewing. Let’s hope they meet at the French Open at the end of May.
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