Following up on the Sloane Stephens-Serena Williams saga, Serena took the high road in responding to the young American’s comments she made to ESPN The Magazine.
“I’m a big Sloane Stephens fans and always have been,” Serena said after a win Tuesday at the Mutua Madrid Masters. “I’ve always said that I think she can be the best in the world. I’ll always continue to think that and always be rooting for her. So I really just always wish her ‑ and anyone, really, especially from America the best. We don’t have that many American players, so it’s always exciting to see so many young players doing so well.”
In the upcoming ESPN issue, the 20-year-old Stephens lashed out at the tennis great calling her out for not being a friend and a mentor to the rising star. Their relationship seemed to be congenial until this January when Sloane stunned Serena at the Australian Open but is now on ice. The two did play on the same Fed Cup team last month without incident.
Tennis is an individual sport so players don’t have to be nice and supportive to others even if they are from the same country. And in this case it seems Sloane was just not mature enough to keep this kind of “beef” (right or wrong) private.
Under the weight of expectations, Stephens has won just two of her last 10 matches since beating Serena and now she’ll have to deal with this distraction as she tries to get her game back in form for the French Open and Wimbledon.
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