US Open: Shelby Rogers expects death threats following Emma Raducanu loss

Shelby Rogers

Shelby Rogers has spoken out about the online abuse tennis players are subject to on social media, following her fourth-round defeat to Emma Raducanu in the US Open.

The US star was lauded by the public after beating world number one Ashleigh Barty on Monday but succumbed to a straight-sets defeat in just over an hour against the British teenager.

Speaking in her post-match press conference, Rogers said she appreciated the chance to play in front of such a large audience, but was not looking forward to the repercussions of losing.

“Obviously we appreciate the spotlight in those moments, but then you have today and I’m going to have nine million death threats and whatnot,” she said. “It’s very much polarising, one extreme to the other very quickly.”

The 28-year-old went on to say she wished social media didn’t exist but is required to use it for marketing and sponsorship purposes. She tries not to take negative comments too personally but admits it’s difficult at times.

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“You could probably go through my profile right now – I’m probably a ‘fat pig’ and words that I can’t say right now,” Rogers said. “But, it is what it is. You try not to take it to heart, and it’s the unfortunate side of any sport and what we do.

“Social media can’t control what I’m doing and the way my training is going to go moving forward, but I wish it didn’t exist. It’s really tough.”

These comments come after Rogers’ compatriot Sloane Stephens also voiced the hate comments she’d received, following her third-round loss to Angelique Kerber.

The former US Open champion revealed she was subject to more than 2,000 abusive messages, many of which were sexist or racist. Stephens posted an Instagram story revealing some of these hate comments, captioned: “This type of hate is so exhausting and never-ending.”

It appears that social media is becoming an ever-growing problem for tennis stars and indeed athletes in general when it comes to mental health.

Naomi Osaka publicly revealed her own struggle earlier this year and took time away from the game to recover from depression.

Having returned at the Olympics, the Japanese star attempted to defend her US Open title at this tournament but lost to teenager Leylah Fernandez.

Shelby Rogers

The 23-year-old says she’s now taking another break from the game and is unsure when she’ll next play competitive tennis.

Social media platforms are continuing to face criticism for allowing hateful behaviour to subsist on their platforms. It remains to be seen what steps they’ll take to combat this sort of abuse.

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