Emma Raducanu eases into US Open quarter-finals
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Shelby Rogers admitted she feared she would receive “death threats” following her loss to Emma Raducanu at the US Open. The Brit overcame the world No 43 6-2 6-1 in just 66 minutes to book a spot in the quarterfinals of her second-ever Grand Slam. Rogers had upset world No 1 Ash Barty in the third round and was the home favourite as she faced 18-year-old Raducanu.
Rogers opened up on the downsides of professional tennis as she anticipated a hoard of online abuse following her defeat to Raducanu.
The world No 43 was the last American woman standing in the US Open draw and has upset top seed and recent Wimbledon champion Barty in the third round to set up a clash with the young British sensation.
Despite a positive week in Flushing Meadows, the 28-year-old spoke of how the focus can become negative, with many players expecting to be targeted by trolls after losses
“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, speaking in her post-match press conference.
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Admitting she wished social media “didn’t exist”, she added: “It’s very much polarising, one extreme to the other very quickly.”
“You could probably go through my profile right now – I’m probably a ‘fat pig’ and words that I can’t say right now.
“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.”
Rogers, like many other athletes and public figures, is obliged to use her social media accounts and post due to her sponsorship commitments.
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Her comments come after her compatriot Sloane Stephens highlighted the issue of social media abuse players faced following losses.
The 2017 US Open champion was defeated by fellow Grand Slam champion Angie Kerber in the third round, and later took to her Instagram stories to share the torrent of vile abuse she had received since suffering defeat.
“I am human, after last night’s match I got 2k+ messages of abuse / anger from people upset by yesterday’s result,” she wrote, before sharing a selection of screenshots.
“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…”
Rogers admitted that the abuse was tough to take at times, saying it “does get to your head sometimes” despite generally being able to ignore the online trolls.
She continued: “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.”
The American was also complimentary of Raducanu during her press conference.
“I’m excited for her,” she said. “That’s the next generation of our sport, and it’s in good hands.”
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