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US Tennis Pro Shelby Rogers Anticipates "Nine Million Death Threats" After Loss

Written by:
Associated Press
Published on:
Sep/07/2021

NEW YORK (AP) — Shelby Rogers had no shortage of people singing her praises after she upset No. 1 seed Ash Barty.

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She knew how much the tone would change after the American followed that by getting routed by Emma Raducanu on Monday.

“Obviously we appreciate the spotlight in those moments. But then, you know, you have today and I’m going to have 9 million death threats and whatnot,” Rogers said. “It’s very much polarizing, one extreme to the other very quickly.”

Rogers jumped to a quick lead and had a break point to go up 3-0, then dropped 11 straight games in a 6-2, 6-1 loss to the 18-year-old from Britain. She said afterward she kind of wished social media didn’t exist, because hers was going to be filled with negativity.

“It’s a big part of marketing now. We have contracts, we have to post certain things,” Rogers said. “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.”

Sloane Stephens called attention to it by sharing abusive Instagram messages she received after the 2017 champion lost to Angelique Kerber in the third round. She posted that she had received more than 2,000 negative messages after that defeat.

Rogers said players try to ignore that, though it’s difficult.

“You know, just focusing on the important things, not comments from people in their mom’s basement,” Rogers said. “It’s really unfortunate and some of it does get to your head sometimes. I mean, they write some true things sometimes for sure — you’re up a break and you have another break point. These are facts.

“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.”

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