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Sloane Stephens blasts Serena Williams

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Sloan Stephens has seen her relationship with Serena Williams fall apart since the Australian Open. (GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

Sloan Stephens has seen her relationship with Serena Williams fall apart since the Australian Open. (Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images)

In an interview in the May 13 issue of ESPN The Magazine, Sloane Stephens reveals that her relationship with Serena Williams has completely deteriorated since Stephens beat Williams at the Australian Open in January.

Here’s a snippet from Marin Cogan’s story:

“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,” Stephens says emphatically. “And that should tell everyone something, how she went from saying all these nice things about me to unfollowing me on Twitter.”

Her mom tries to slow her down, but Sloane is insistent. “Like, seriously! People should know. They think she’s so friendly and she’s so this and she’s so that — no, that’s not reality! You don’t unfollow someone on Twitter, delete them off of BlackBerry Messenger. I mean, what for? Why?”

Stephens also responds to this cryptic tweet that Williams sent two days after their quarterfinal match:

Screen Shot 2013-05-04 at 4.54.11 PM

“I was like, ‘You really don’t think I know that that’s about me?’” Stephens tells the magazine.

Needless to say, it seems like Stephens had some things to get off her chest about the media’s portrayal of her relationship with Williams and she didn’t hold back.

In the interview (which was conducted in late March), Stephens debunks the myth that she and Williams have shared a close bond. Though both played a part in allowing that narrative to spin out of control during the Australian Open, Stephens now says that contrary to popular belief, Williams was never her favorite player.

“I’ve always said Kim Clijsters is my favorite player, so it’s kind of weird,” she says.

In fact, Stephens describes an incident when she was 12 and first saw Williams play, in Delray Beach, Fla., at a Fed Cup tie (ironically, the two were Fed Cup teammates two weeks ago in Delray Beach), that left her with a bad impression of Serena and her sister Venus.

“I waited all day [for an autograph],” she explains. “They walked by three times and never signed our posters.”

Stephens adds of the poster: “I hung it up [in my room] for a while. I was, like, devastated because they didn’t sign it, whatever, and then after that I was over it. I found a new player to like because I didn’t like them anymore.”

The story is particularly enlightening given how much was made of that Serena poster in the lead-up to their Australian Open match. Asked about the poster during her post-win interview with Rennae Stubbs, Stephens joked, “I think I’ll put a poster up of myself now.”

Stephens also eviscerated any shred of truth behind the overblown mentor-protege angle that many media outlets ran with when the two faced off in January, first in Brisbane and then in Melbourne:

“For the first 16 years of my life, she said one word to me and was never involved in my tennis whatsoever,” says Stephens. “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…”

I offer: “They want the next great American player.”

Stephens says: “They want another Serena.”

  • Published On May 04, 2013
  • 392 comments
    youngliz
    youngliz

    Karsten Braasch v the Williams Sisters ..  He demolished them both and even smoked between switch overs.  His warm up was a round of golf in the morning.  Women's tennis should never be compared to men's tennis.  It's annoying hearing commentators make references between the women and the men.  Comparing any man to a woman in tennis is an absolute insult.  I'm just throwing it out there because of all the annoying posts about how great the William's sisters seem to be to the idiots who like them.  

    Jonjoe1959
    Jonjoe1959

    Sloane Stephens will never rise until she "Publicly Amends" for the shameful remarks made about Serena and Venus Williams. Out of all of the pro-women tennis players, she saw fit to insult only the Williams Sisters to try and gain Favor from the Press. Until she truthfully recognize the error in her mind, heart and soul, she'll never rise. The sad part unfortunately, is that she and her camp don't truely understand that Sloane Stephens is not a "White-Tennis Player"The people who defends Sloane Stephens comments about the Williams Sisters do so by saying how Honest Sloane Stephens was. Well, they're right, she was Honest.   "Honestly  Ignorant

    DanielleUzuegbu
    DanielleUzuegbu

    And plus both of them are in the wrong for this one. Why can't they just say their apologizes, stop the feud and move on in life cause one day it's gonna affect their game playing like seriously there grown ups start acting like it. And I don't even want anybody commenting on this message cause you know it's right.

    Martinluther011
    Martinluther011

    Looking for a job can be a hard task and trying to find one that you dream about at night can be an even harder task. So when you do get the chance to be interviewed for a position that is right up your street, it is something you do not want to blow. There are many ways in which one may scupper their chances to attain their dream job.

    http://www.snagyourdreamjob.com/simple-guide-to-matching-suits-shoes/

    Blahh
    Blahh

    Sloane Stephens is awesome! And even if Serena was injured, if you look at their past history playing together. You know Stephens could have won no matter what! 

    JayWWhite
    JayWWhite

    Competing can sometimes get a little messy, and that's the nature of it.  Sloane, needs to "MAN" (woman) up. Who cares is you like K Clijsters.  Serena is the better player with out your blessing.  How about you focus on getting better and win some tournaments, before you talk.

    Betty1
    Betty1

    Bigots got a bone from Sloane.  I like it.  Stephens is a one match wonder and a crab.  She beat an older Serena.  A younger Serena would have eaten her lunch and she knows it.  Sloane could beat all the white girls on tour and no big deal.  But when you beat the best, it matters.  Serena is right, she made her.

    MusikaVanhu
    MusikaVanhu

    Ha ha ha!

    Sloane Stephens tossed the bigots a bone; and look at them go. lol

    What the yet-to-be-mature Sloane will learn, is that she is next on the bigots' menu.  They are just licking their choppers.  lol

    In time, Sloane will recognize her folly; she is bright enough.

    When you haven't even won one tournament; you aren't in a position to publicly critique one of the greatest champion to ever play the game.  You just don't have that standing.

    Every once in a while, a relatively 'nobody' can beat a champion or bagel her a set; but as they say, 'one swallow does not make a summer'.

    Those with a few tournament titles know to shut the f&%$# up.  So if you are running off at the mouth, it means that you haven't won anything of real/lasting significance.

    ConorByrnex
    ConorByrnex

    Stephens is so right. Serena is a bitch. End of

    Ironbazodee
    Ironbazodee

    Hey Sloane, you played in the Fed Cup meeting in 2013 and as I recall, since I was present, you didn't sign any autographs either.  Why call out someone on something that you yourself have done.  You are up and coming and very talented, but I guess if you think that Serena is not a good person then you aren't either, since you did the same damn thing.

    Leon S
    Leon S

    she kept it ONE HUNNET!!!!

    Cyrus
    Cyrus

    I don't understand what the big deal is about Stephens expressing what she thinks and how she feels. At least she was honest! In all the years I've been watching women's tennis I have never seen Serena take the high road. Physically threatening people, yelling at judges- it's so interesting how she has 2 different personas- nice and sweet before and after matches, and threatening to shove rackets down people's throats if she doesn't get her way. Shes never even apologized for any of her outbursts. Stephens was asked a question and she answered it, honestly, and didn't wait until her manager or publicist made something up for her to say. "I made you"- I'm sure Serena funded all of Stephens' coaching, travel, etc over the years, and I'm sure Serena coached her as well. What a ridiculous thing to say. Serena "made" her because she lost to her, and now people know who she is. I've always seen Serena have an intimidating, negative attitude, and it's not becoming on her. One can be confident and humble- look at Derrick rose as an example. There is nothing humble about Serena. Clearly sloane wanted to set the record straight on their relationship, and she did.

    bucknasty
    bucknasty

    Call it coincided call it confidence, but when great athletes step on the court, field or the ring,,,,,, M.J. Larry Bird, Ali, Joe Montana, Etc. They felt like they were going to win every game, match whatever. I call it confidence. Every time Serena steps on the court, shes not going there to compete shes going there to win

    cujofprince
    cujofprince

    Maybe Sloane should win a couple of Grand Slam before she starts developing a sense of entitlements. If Sloane read up on the history of tennis, she will know that no one gave Venus or Serena and thing when they first arrival on scene. They both came in with the same sense of entitlement and were straightened out my the Hingis, the Steffi Grafs and the Lindsay Daveports of the game. Why should Sloane be treated any different? If you want to be mentored, you have to go seek that mentor out,, not the other way around! Sloane needs to grow up and show some respect to those who paved the way for her to make all the money she is going to be making some day soon. No one in her sport is going to come drooling over her like the media has been.

    hottoddy
    hottoddy

    Sloane was just blown out of the first round (yet again) of a major tournament.  If this is what "nice" gets you, I'd rather be Serena.  Grow the eff  up!

    William67
    William67

    Why would Serena mentor someone that would become her competitor?  If this girls wants a mentor than find someone who isnt still playing the game on this level.   

     

    And also, I like how Serena never admits how someone beat her.  She always blames it on herself and what she did wrong.  This is her way of staying mentally strong.  Once you admit someone beat you on their own accord then you are admitting someone is better than you.  She blames herself saying I am the best and I let myself get me beat.  

    brodney199
    brodney199

    @Blahh so why did Sloane lose to the Great One at the USO 6-4 6-1 should've actually been 6-2 6-1  ...just stop hyping this untitled big mouth pusher with average talent, ugh!

    The difference between Serena and Sloane is that one has 17 grand slams and another just a nasty big mouth which represents the hateful media.

    ShawnKornblith
    ShawnKornblith

     @Betty1 Serena should have been kicked out of tennis years ago for threatening a line judge at the US OPEN with physical violence. But, just like other sports 'stars' they are immune from penalty due to need to protect the sport. Heck, college and pro football teams would hardly have enough players to field a team if punishment fit the crime. 

    MusikaVanhu
    MusikaVanhu

     @Betty1 

    Serena IS NOT 'old'!

    31 IS NOT 'old'.

    Please note that Serena continues to beat soundly all the girls who have Sloane for supper?

    Another Australian injury gave Sloane the victory and a nice pay check.

     

    Fortunately for Sloane, she went and publicly apologize for her churlish behavior; otherwise her mom knew what was in store for her mouthy daughter -- a Sharapova-type beat down.

    miraclem29
    miraclem29

     @Betty1, actually, Serena was INJURED when Sloane "beat" her in that Australian Open. The entire world had seen Serena fall and roll her ankle early in the tournament. And maybe Serena was talking to a BOYFRIEND or friend or some such.  Why would Sloane ASSume it was about her?!

     

    geegii95
    geegii95

    ConorByrnex You are a hater....but you are right.....Serena is a BITCH:  B-Better then the rest-   I- Intangible, you cant touch her- T-Tough, can not be beat, she beats herself- C-Courageous, dont care about crappy comments from idiots (did i forget to tell you Conor, the village called for you...yeah they are missing their idiot - H- Happy....all the way to the bank!

    miraclem29
    miraclem29

     @ConorByrnex, Au contraire, mon frere. OTHER players  called Serena "friendly!"  Serena is the youngest in her family and as such, normally has a wonderful sense of humor. Sloane though, has come along after Serena's beloved sister's death, after the evil of the infamous U.S. Open with the rabidly racist/or paid off umpire of the Jennifer Capriati match, after Justine "The Hand" Henin's antics and the demonism of the French Open crowd, after the stalkers, etc.  Serena is more circumspect and cautious now. Serena can still be fun, though -- witness how hilarious she and Federer are together in their "Hit for Haiti" charity mixed-doubles match with Clijsters and Rafa.

     

     Btw, years ago another female tennis pro was diagnosed with cancer. A year after her diagnosis she publicly stated that Serena Williams had been sending her uplifting cards, gifts, and letters to buouy her spirits during that time. Serena is no "bitch." She is a devoutly spiritual person who had a couple of lapses on a tennis court. Compare that with John McEnroe, who spent his ENTIRE CAREER like a two year-old avoiding naptime. LOL 

     

    miraclem29
    miraclem29

     @Ironbazodee, She's learned that pro tennis players need their HANDS -- and as such they ration their use for such things.  Popular players could get carpel tunnel syndrome if they signed an autograph for EVERYONE who wanted them at some events -- and if the players are sustaining wrist injuries -- they could exacerbate them with signing autograph after autograph ad nauseam. Sloane needed to THINK before opening her mouth. Seriously.

     

    geegii95
    geegii95

    I do not see any talent in Sloan... I would really like to see more Madison Keys. Sloan is just a regular tennis player with a basic game who's young and can chase down balls, after years go by, she will fade out like Melanie Oudin, Wozinaki, Safina and many others. You have put more pressure on yourself...now everyone will be watching you not go further than the 2nd or 3rd round.... During the Fed Cup you were so dissapointing and the Williams Sisters had your back. Sloan,   I bet you regret opening that mouth because you have lost a lot of fans.  Sloan, Never make comments when you are angry, never send text or emails when you are angry, you will regret it.  Grow up and listen to mommy, she knows best.  I use to like you, now I dont. Is Serena nice? Is she Fake? Who cares, I am there to watch the game, Serena is awesome, i look forward to your day on court with an un-injured Serena.

    miraclem29
    miraclem29

     @Cyrus, the point is Sloane was NOT honest. Serena Williams was called FRIENDLY by OTHER players. Of course that was before tragedy struck and her sister died and before so many negative occurrences like Justine cheating her, the umpire vs Capriati cheating her, her own serious illness, etc.  Serena's been through a lot. Sloane should have cut her some slack and just shut up as her own mother advised!

     

    T.W.17227
    T.W.17227

     @bucknasty Totally agree. Serena's a black female, so she has to NOT ever be confident. That guy up there must have forgotten all the low-roads somebody like Jennifer Capriati took and is STILL taking. PLEASE..

    AnthonyShortt
    AnthonyShortt

     @bucknasty .what about being gracious after it is over, its a sad commentary of Serena, Finally she was exposed, and others are having difficulty dealing with this new reality, I REALLY ADMIRE Stephens for her honesty, what a girl.

    miraclem29
    miraclem29

     @cujofprince, Serena and Venus did NOT have a sense of "entitlement!"  Kournikova and Hingis did, though. Which is why when the Williamses first started to regularly beat them Kournikova and Hingis ALWAYS had their "injury" excuses ready.  Serena's and Venus's brilliant Dad, Richard, was called "crazy" and "arrogant" by Hingis and company (and the media) just for knowing and stating the truth: "One day Venus and Serena will play one another in Major finals!"

     

    AnthonyShortt
    AnthonyShortt

     @cujofprince Get off the 'no body give them anything crap, we all at some time got something, even Serena and Venus , is profiting of the back of others, no man or woman is an island

    miraclem29
    miraclem29

     @hottoddy, how is whining and insulting your competitors/peers "nice!"  What Sloane did was the opposite of "nice."  She told Serena she was "being disrespectful" to HER just for saying "Come on!" as Serena has done in nearly EVERY match for YEARS -- even when playing her own SISTER!  I find it hard to believe that Sloane was not watching. Sloane sounded spoiled in expecting something that NO ONE else on tour got. When Serena needs to pump herself up with a shout of "Come ON!"  she is well within her rights to do so. Sloane looked ridiculous out there trying to "lecture" Serena about that and then whining to her coach about it, too!

     

    cehowardrc51
    cehowardrc51

    How come nobody mentioned that the ONLY reason Sloan beat Serena in the quarterfinal was because Serena was INJURED.  Only reason!!

    AnthonyShortt
    AnthonyShortt

     @callingdotBS Why don;t all of you address the issue that Serena started and stop going around the issue, Stephens was honest , deal with it and forget about Serena's gifts and focus character, is it possible that most of you don't have any, and you are seeing self in Serena and will not face the truth.

    AMacKrell
    AMacKrell

     @William67 Because that is what's real people do.  Lots of top women professionals have been friends with their top competitors and mentored up and coming players who eventually pushed them aside.  Some people understand that they should be thankful for their  success and give something back to the game.  And some people are widely known within the sport to be a$$holes.  Like Serena.  I think you will have a hard time finding a single player on the tour who likes her, not because she beats them, but because she is a b**ch.

    brodney199
    brodney199

    @ShawnKornblith @Betty1 The same line judge who killed her husband with a coffee mug and got away with it, now if you're that bitter go commit suicide psshh

    geegii95
    geegii95

     @ShawnKornblith  @Betty1  I am a Serena Fan... hope to see her when i travel to London in July 2013.; I can see why you would say that,  her behavior at the US Open years back was un-call for, I did not condone such an outrage, but do I understand it, Yes I do. In life we are pushed so many times, and seeing that we are not in their shoes, they come across a lot of racism in their life, example...read these blogs,  We all have a melt down moment and that was hers.... should she be kicked out of tennis, no way... hockey players knock one another teeth out, football players are told by their coaches to injure a person so bad that they cant play for the rest of the season, therefore I disagree with you on Serena being kicked out of tennis for a threat she really didnt mean.  When you are an athlete you practice daily, it becomes your life, (Olympic athletes, football players, basketball, etc) then to have someone keep making a bad call, you will lose it too. Remember a while back... Serena was playing Capriatii (apologies for any mis-spelt words/names) The WTA incorporated the Hawk Eye, because they kept calling Serena balls out...the French treated her like crap when Justine Hennin lied about not seeing Serena being ready....so I think it was an accumulation of bad calls. She was fined, which she paid...but the outcome...had those lines people been correct on their calls, Serena would have been suspended, but Serena was right, she just handled it poorly.  That was the first time I was EVER dissappointed in her.

    JayWWhite
    JayWWhite

     @ShawnKornblith  @Betty1 @ShawnKornblith-OMG competition can get a little messy, especially professionally.  Players, can get emotionally excited and say things in the heat of the moment. Hell, I even threaten some of my family members from time to time, I don't mean them literally.  So, being kicked out from tennis on an obvious empty threat?  PLEASE!!! Bad for her reputation, yes.  KICKED OUT OF TENNIS???  you sound like a HATER  and  FRAGILE.  She paid for her punishment. LITERALLY.

    tennis123
    tennis123

    @MusikaVanhu @Betty1 She needs to learn to filter what she says !   What she said just shows how unpolished and immature she is. Not helping her image at all

    miraclem29
    miraclem29

     @AnthonyShortt  @bucknasty, ?!?  Serena is normally gracious. Witness the gracious speech Serena gave to that rabidly racist booing, hissing, farting crowd at Indian Wells of all places.  If she could make nice THERE -- she could make it ANYWHERE. Sloane wasn't honest, she was whiny.  And she blamed the reporter for misquoting her to boot. Maybe she was honest about THAT.  I can't believe anybody would be so insulting to a legend with a complete stranger.  Not even doofus Sloane.

     

    Peggy-Sue
    Peggy-Sue

    That isn't Sloane's fault. You play the opponent that turns up on the day. It is completely irrelevant to the issues being presented.

    miraclem29
    miraclem29

     @AnthonyShortt  @callingdotBS, Stephens was NOT honest. OTHER players have called Serena FRIENDLY. She's just had tragedy and other things in her life that have muted her a bit. Serena's the youngest in her family and normally has quite the sense of humor, still, tho. Witness how hilarious she and Federer are in the "Hit for Haiti" charity event in which Roger and she play mixed doubles with Clijsters and Rafa! Serena has good character. Years ago a female tennis pro was diagnosed with cancer. A year after the diagnosis she publicly stated that Serena had been quietly sending her uplifting cards, gifts, and letters to buouy her spirits during that trying time. Serena is a spiritually devout, family-oriented, hard-working, multi-talented, humorous, kind champion -- the best in the world at her job. She just had a couple of lapses in the heat of battle on a tennis court. In STARK contrast, John McEnroe went through his ENTIRE CAREER like a two year-old avoiding naptime!

     

    miraclem29
    miraclem29

     @AMacKrell  @William67, AMacKrell, Sloane doesn't know what she's talking about and neither do you. OTHER players have called Serena FRIENDLY because she WAS.  She's dealt with tragedy and racism and stalkers and back-biting competitors since then though, so even though Serena still has a wonderful sense of humor (see Hit for Haiti mixed doubles with Federer), she is understandably more circumspect, cautious, and perhaps a little more insular. Years ago a female pro was diagnosed with cancer. A year later she stated that Serena had been quietly sending her uplifting cards, gifts, and letters to buouy her spirits. Serena's no "bitch." Far from it.  And it is Sharapova who has generally not been well-liked!  Her father used to sit behind her Russian competitors and bully them from the stands -- in RUSSIAN of course.  For YEARS she never played Fed Cup -- for Russia OR the U.S.  Serena and Azarenka have had a bit of fun dancing around. They even danced with the mascot at the Federer-Gillette tourney and are even thinking of making a record together!  So stop with your ignorance. Too many people have been following tennis for years to take Sloane's jealous nonsense seriously!

     

    T.W.17227
    T.W.17227

     @AMacKrell  @William67  Uh, name somebody NOW whose currently playing tennis AND mentoring another younger player...Is Maria Sharapova, Vika Azarenka mentoring anybody? You're an idiot if you think either one of them would mentor somebody whose currently playing on tour with them. Why doesn't Sloane ask those two to mentor her...the look she'd get...Vika and Maria see Sloane as a competitor, and somebody they should be beating on the tour. In fact, Maria beat the daylights AGAIN out of Sloane. Maria's a b***h because she won't mentor Sloane. She chose to beat her butt in Rome instead. I swear, some of you don't have the sense that could fit in a thimble.

    JasonRaphael
    JasonRaphael

     @AMacKrell  @William67 You are insane and know nothing of which you speak concerning women's tennis. Martina Hingis, Navratilova, Chris Evert, Clijsters (even when on tour), Wozniacki (Serena' REAL good friend), Li Na, Vika, Nadia Petrova (who wears Venus' clothing for God's sakes!!), Svetlana Kuznetsova (who loves black hip-hop culture and who hangs out with Serena all the time, and who Serena gave con-rows to)...all these top women tennis players and many more are good, good friends of Serena Williams. I can cartwheel all over Google and find examples, quotes and sites where these women have nothing but respect for Serena. You are a Hater and are making crap up. Stop the nonsense and the lies. Serena has class, is #1 in the world, and Serena has responded to this nonsense like a true, classy #1 player in the world. Serena is all woman and grown and uber-super-duper successful (worth HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of dollars) and she ain't got time for the drama from broke down tennis players like Sloane Stephens, or broke down Haters either. Like Tamar Braxton says, "Get ya life!". Hater.

    MusikaVanhu
    MusikaVanhu

    @tennis123 @MusikaVanhu @Betty1  

    Sloane showed that she is still young; ALL young minds are yet to be polished in one form or another.

    Please note that Sloane was a quick study; and she did sought to make amends?

    How is that for 'polishing' her 'filter'.  lol

    Give her credit for not doubling down.  It is a sign of maturity

    miraclem29
    miraclem29

     @AnthonyShortt  @JasonRaphael  @AMacKrell  @William67.AnthonyShortt, didn't you even see that the vast majority of Jason's post was a truly HONEST, direct refutation of AMacKrell who clearly didn't know what the HECK he was talking about before he posted concerning how Serena "gets along" with other players?  Serena has been called FRIENDLY by other players for YEARS -- even though tragedy and other sad events have made her a little more cautious. Jason didn't even MENTION money till the END of his post. What have you to say about the BULK of it in which he reveals that he and MILLIONS of other OBJECTIVE people can show that Serena is a well-liked person?

     

    AnthonyShortt
    AnthonyShortt

     @JasonRaphael  @AMacKrell  @William67 So its all about the money and forget character. You are showing the same classlessness like Serena, address the issue of Who started it, it was Serena, God made us all, but for his Grace we are what we are, Serena may have money but appear to lack character.