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Rogers: Death Threats Coming


The beauty and brutality of a major breakthrough confronted Shelby Rogers.

The 43rd-ranked Rogers scored the biggest win of her life rallying from 2-5 down in the final set and prevailing in a razor-thin tiebreaker in shocking world No. 1 Ash Barty 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(5) to reach the US Open fourth round.

More: Sloane Stephens Details Horrific Online Abuse

Depleted by that win and a physical 7-6-in-the-third set doubles defeat on Sunday, a deflated Rogers dropped 11 straight games losing to 18-year-old Emma Raducanu 6-2, 6-1 in lopsided Labor Day loss that eliminated the final American woman standing in the singles draw.

In candid comments after her loss to the British qualifier, Rogers said she expects to receive “9 million death threats,” presumably from disgruntled gamblers and social media trolls, who have attacked several players on social media.

“Obviously we appreciate the spotlight in those moments, but then you have today and I'm going to have 9 million death threats and whatnot,” Rogers told the media after her fourth-round loss.

“It's very much polarizing, one extreme to the other very quickly. At this point in my career, I'd say I'm used to it. It's just now for me, like I said, finding a way to, okay, have those big wins but then be able to back it up a little bit. Yeah, it's not easy, to say the least.”

"At this point in my career, I'd say I'm used to it. It's just now for me, like I said, finding a way to, okay, have those big wins but then be able to back it up a little bit. Yeah, it's not easy, to say the least."




Rogers' comments come after 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens shared some of the horrific racist and sexist abuse and violent threats she received online following her three-set defeat to 2016 champion Angelique Kerber.

“I am human,” Stephens posted on her Instagram stories. “After last night’s match I got 2k+ messages of abuse/ anger from people upset by yesterday’s result. It's so hard to read messages like these, but I’ll post a few so you guys can see what it’s like after a loss.”

(Warning: the comments are not for children, and are disturbing).


Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka raised the issue of mental health when she withdrew from Roland Garros revealing she's been battling depression and anxiety. Given the threats and verbal attacks players receive online, it's understandable why some players are feeling frightened and stressed.

The WTA says it’s working with a management company called Theseus to assess threats and take action when necessary.

"Theseus and the WTA work with the social media platforms to shut down accounts when warranted, and if applicable, local authorities are notified," said the WTA in a statement.

This US Open has been the best of times and worst of times for Rogers, who strives to keep it all in perspective though she can't help wishing for just one thing.

"I kind of wish social media didn't exist," Rogers said. "Here we are. It's a big part of marketing now, we have contracts, we have to post certain things. I don't know, you could probably go through my profile right now, I'm probably a fat pig and, you know, words that I can't say right now. But, I mean, 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.

"I'm also very grateful to have had that opportunity on Ashe. Not everybody has even had a chance to play there, and I played there three times this week. It's just trying to keep it in perspective.

"Just focusing on the important things, not comments from people in their mom's basement. You know, yeah, it's really unfortunate and some of it does get to your head sometimes...But 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."

Photo credit: Darren Carroll/USTA/US Open

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