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Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/20/14

Sloane Stephens absolutely obliterated Serena Williams in an interview with ESPN The Magazine, saying the two do not enjoy a close relationship and that she has been shunned by Williams ever since beating the veteran at the Australian Open. In the interview, Stephens says her relationship with Williams has completely deteriorated since she defeated the decorated 31-year-old in the quarterfinals at the Aussie Open in January. She also says that Williams was not her favorite player growing up and nothing like a mentor to her, contrary to how the story has been told by the media. The interview appears in the May 13 issue of the magazine. The excerpts below come from Beyond the Baseline. “She’s not said one word to me, not spoken to me, not said hi, not looked my way, not been in the same room with me since I played her in Australia,” Stephens says. “And that should tell everyone something, how she went from saying all these nice things about me to unfollowing me on Twitter.” Stephens’ mother reportedly tried to stop her from going on, but Stephens continued. “Like, seriously! People should know. They think she’s so friendly and she’s so this and she’s so that — no, that’s not reality! You don’t unfollow someone on Twitter, delete them off of BlackBerry Messenger. I mean, what for? Why?” Stephens also says that a cryptic tweet sent by Williams shortly after their Australian Open match was about her: I made you. — Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) January 26, 2013 “I was like, ‘You really don’t think I know that that’s about me?’” Stephens tells the magazine, per Beyond the Baseline. Stephens also dismisses the notion that Williams was her favorite player. She says Kim Clijsters became her favorite player after she was denied autographs from the Williams sisters. In the interview, Stephens says she was in Delray Beach, Fla., at a Fed Cup event when she was 12 and had a poster she was hoping to have signed by Venus and Serena. “I waited all day [for an autograph],” she explains. “They walked by three times and never signed our posters.” Stephens says she hung the poster on her wall for a while but was devastated that she was unable to get it signed. That led to Clijsters becoming her favorite player. Stephens also wanted to set the record straight about the supposed mentor-protege relationship she and Serena shared. That angle was blown out of proportion by the media in the lead up to their Australian Open match. “For the first 16 years of my life, she said one word to me and was never involved in my tennis whatsoever,” says Stephens. “I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal that she’s not involved now. If you mentor someone, that means you speak to them, that means you help them, that means you know about their life, that means you care about them. Are any of those things true at this moment? No, so therefore…” The theme of the article seems to be that America wants another Serena to take the torch from the aging star, but that she’s unlike Williams. Stephens finally lashing out at Williams is not that much of a surprise. Prior to Stephens’ win over Williams at the Australian, tension brewed between them during a quarterfinal match at the Brisbane International. Stephens was shown on video saying it was “disrespectful” that Serena yelled “come on!” throughout the match, but she backed off those comments when pressed. Now we’re seeing that the tension existed all along. Williams is aging while Stephens is emerging. It’s clear that Serena will not be ceding the top American woman’s spot gently, which is no surprise given how explosive she can get when she is angry. This has the potential to become the best rivalry in American sports. Below is a photo from Stephens’ photoshoot with ESPN The Magazine: “They want another Serena,” @sloanetweets says. But she’s got other ideas. Catch her in our #Mag15 issue out Friday twitter.com/ESPNMag/status… — ESPN The Magazine (@ESPNMag) April 30, 2013

31 Comments:
  • ********. I saw them chatting away with my own eyes at FED cup and I was a few feet away from them. Something has happen since then.
  • I am really surprise over what Sloane had to say about Serena. She should have listen to her mother when she tried to stop her from speaking. Please do not do this to yourself. You seem to be a real nice person. You are doing well with your tennis. I have watched tennis since 1975 so I have seen a lot of things happen. Pls continue what you are doing and dont focus on stuff like this. Both Serena & Venus are very nice people and I know they would like stuff like this not to happen. FOCUS ON YOUR TENNIS NOT ALL THAT OTHER STUFF BECAUSE YOU TENNIS CAN GO LACKING. PLEASE STOP!!!!!!!
  • Please stop referring to Actors, actresses and sports stars or really any celebrity....AS NICE...when YOU...dont really know them? Are they nice because they won a tournament? Are they nice because in a tv interview, you saw them look so sweet and smile....TRUTH is...celebrities are no different than any of us...Some are sweet and nice, while others are the spawn of satan himself...either way...YOU or me dont TRULY know any of them for who they are...so let's get off of the tv commercial they must be nice trip....and just understand that alota of these celebrities are just more of who they were before fame and fortune...so pre-fame if they were nice...that usually will be enhanced....VICE VERSA...pre-fame if they were a trip..nuff said :-)
  • I cannot believe that you are confused as to why she deleted you and unfollowed your backstabbing ass. This is a world of competition not friends. You very unworthy of any friendship or social acceptance. If she's a bitch, then you're twice one, Sloane.

    Sometimes one does best when they listen to their mothers.
  • Sloane Stephens is absolutely right. We saw the real Serena when she threatened that poor little line judge with "I'll stuff this ball down your throat." I have never seen a women's tennis player act so poorly on the court--she is an embarrassment. I can't wait to see Ms. Stephens play and rise in the world rankings!
  • There may not be any women tennis players that have reputations for behaving badly, there certainly are some males that have gone down in history for bad behavior ... McEnroe was know for his temper tantrums and obscene outburst/name calling its called bad sportsmanship, it happens in all sports.
  • I became an immediate fan of Sloane when she whipped serena's fat butt in the Austrailian Open. Now I like her even more because she has spoken out about the Queen of Mean in ladies tennis. I agree completely with you Ohyeahmary, the way she acted towards that line judge was totally unprofessional not to mention completely unacceptable in society. Soon the game will be rid of her toxic attitude....yes she has been a great tennis player. But she has not represented the game with the same class and dignity that Navratilova and Evert did , just to name two of the best ever. I'll be glad when the two of them leave the game,(that's to say her and her big butt ;-)). Good luck in the rest of your career Sloane and thanks for not taking any crap off of this sorry excuse for a champion.
  • More angry people, fat butt, name calling. This benefits the world how? Get off your horse. Sloane needs to grow up and play her game.
  • OMG she unfollowed her on Twitter.Grow up, not everyone is going to love you, get used to it.
  • I think Sloane should have set the record straight. If the media makes it sound like Serena has mentored her,but she's really never even spoken to her, I don't blame Sloane for speaking out. I love/loved to watch Sloane, Venus, Lori, and Zina, so this has nothing to do with prejudice!
  • HOW SAD!! Again media showing how black women fighting with one another. You want to be were she and her sister are! No matter what the Williams sisters have worked very hard for what ever they have. Yeah maybe is stinks that she did not embrace you as you thought she should have, but not everyone will take the take to help everyone! I agree you should have listend to your mother. You come off as being envious of her. If you work hard and make the right choices you will have all that is meant for you. But I agree with others, you seem bitter. Let me ask you, "what is disrespectful about a competitor pumping them selves up"? She doesnt' like to lose to anyone, not even her own sister, so why do think you should be any different. Worry about your own game, and what mark you want to leave on the sport, cos at the end of the day , that's truly what matters. You can tell that you lack experience cos you let the other person get into you head, had you thinking about the wrong stuff!! Like my mama says, "Dont worry, you'll learn"
  • I can understand Sloane setting the record straight. The media makes it sound like Serena mentored her, when in fact she won't even speak to her. Serena is a poor loser and poor sport at times. I love/loved to watch Zina, Lori, Venus, and Sloane; so this is not a racist remark.
  • Maybe is the media assuming that since the Williams sisters are black they would mentor her because she is black. They (the media) think we black folk stick together even if one is a disagreeable little b***h.
  • I'm really going to need Sloane to be more of an adult about it. Okay- she doesnt like you, dont be surprised if there are others who dont like you but are smiling in your face. The reality is that only now Serena is seen as someone nice- if you look at the history commentators she was dogged for years until no one had anything else to say about her. Do you think that she's gonna care that you went off on her in a magazine? At this point its another notch of someone who feels like they are owed something and could possibly fuel competitive fire for her; which is a disadvantage to you. She doesnt have to like you, all you and she have to do is play the game. Your game is good, but maybe its best to reserve those comments after you win a slam.
  • Great serve Sloane, that was an ace. I have been a big fan of the Williams sisters since they came on the scene. I like that they came from a much less than privileged background and achieved unprecedented success in tennis. But with success, they become arrogant and entitled. I remember this match and I was cheering for Serena but she was fairly beaten by this rising young black tennis star. Serena's tweet "I made you" much like Beyoncé's latest song "Bow Down" showed her arrogance, very reminiscent of young hip-hop stars demanding respect from their peers. Not impressed. I hope that Sloane Stephens lives up to the hype and becomes the star that she seems destined to be.
  • I knew that when Serena hurt her ankle in the very start of the 'tourney' that she was never going to even make the 'semis' . with playing 'doubles' as well. Even Pam Shriver made the same observation. And, with the fact that Serena made it to a 'third' set, maybe, just maybe, she thought that Sloane had a better chance of going further than herself with a bad back and a hurting ankle, with two more 'top ten players to face ? In other words, she gave Sloane a chance ! I bet folks did not think about that !
  • Wow Ms. Sloane. I watched the last Fed Cup match a few weeks ago. After Venus won the match because MaryJo didn't feel you could get the job done (60+ errors) Serena took the US flag from Venus' hand and gave it to you to run around the court. At that time it didn't seem like there was any animosity among you guys. You may have started the drama when you called her disrespectful. "Come-on" is a common phase for all tennis players. She was nice to you up until that point. Serena has endured more hate from the tennis world because she has dominated and she doesn't look like the rest. She didn't need you to add to the list. Serena owes you nothing but a hand shake at the end of the game. Get over yourself and better your game.
  • "They want another Serena..." Who is "They"? Whether one agreed or disagreed with Serena throughout the years, she and Venus endured unprecedented sexism, racism, and jealosy in Women's Tennis. Your "stuff", while important to you, pales in comparison. You come across as someone who could never come close to either of the Williams Sisters--regardless of that win under your belt over Serena. If you were around to play her when she was your age, I believe there would have been a strong probability that the outcome would have been different.

    We do not want "another Serena"--it is obvious that no one will be able to take her or Venus' place. If your accounts are true about Serena, it is unfortunate that you took it so hard--and as the saying goes, "There's always two sides to every story." Serena is a formidable competitor--which is no secret.

    You should have been more mature about it--you should have listened to your Mom. Negative press is not helping you, but feeding and fueling the haters. Focus on perfecting your game. Grow up.
  • I couldn't have said it better(itsmybiz) those women have endured much and have bet the odds, I admire them. Serena is not the first who has behaved badly on the court look at McEnroe. I wish Sloane much success, I hope after this someone gets hold of her and teaches her what to say and how to say it, after all shes playing a professional sport shes not on the streets, and its not about finding friendship its about the game, play it !!!!
  • Sorry Ladies...But I'm not really into Tennis and I met Serena at one of our local malls. She was covering her makeup line and everyone came out to support her for coming to our area. Well, I don't want to sound like a hatter but she was nothing NICE! My nephew asked for her autograh and she told him, she don't sign autograhs, and walked away.Whenever she's on TV, I turn the channel...She's not the black woman I want any of my nieces or nephews looking up to. Ms. Sloane. I believe everything you said about her!!Keep your head up baby and always remember never treat to anyone the way she treated you. I'mma fan of your and I don't watch tennis, but I will now that your playing...Love u!
  • O.k. so you don't like Serena, what's with all the racist comments? Fat Butt? I have one just like her no fat just muscle. Dark skin just like her not make-up or a tan. Full lips, just like her. Coiled hair just like her and All of Our attributes are BEAUTIFUL. Many times they are mocked because they are unatainable naturally. Find beauty in your self and your own attributes and you won't find your self hating someone because of their ethnic attributes but because of their character. We no longer should be made to feel like looking like another race of people, no matter what the group is, is beauty defined. It is not.
  • I saw the match in Brisbane, and up to that point, I thought that Sloane had a lots going on, But when she made the comment about Serena's use of the expression, "come on", I felt dismay because I thought Sloane was being petty.

    Sloane, Serena was injured at the Australian Open!

    I also saw what happened at Fed Cup. You should have listened to your mother. No two tennis players have gone through what the Williams' have gone through and still accomplished what they have. Swallow your pride and personally apologize.
  • I am disappointed that once we have a platform to showcase we always use it in a negative. Sloane the Williams sisters always had to fight to prove. Prove they are legit, prove they could compete, prove they ARE the real thing. You have an opportunity of a lifetime with or without Serena. Go after what the Lord has blessed you with. Setting the record straight? What has it gained you? Really, your stats are your stats, your accomplishments are your accomplishments and nothing more. Going negative with your immaturity clearly shows why someone should/shouldn't be a friend to you -- because friends do not dog friends period! I see however you've taken a piece out of her playbook -- be nasty, act nasty, oh my bad and talk negative. And you are better then she because of ???? I'll wait..My point exactly. Grow up, suck it up and never go negative when you have an opportunity to showcase yourself do exactly that -- your message could have been the same, putting her to shame without causing a two year old foot stamping interview would have made you more of a queen than a queen "b". I wish you well going forward as I wish Serena well the game is big enough for everyone and Serena has definitely left her mark on the game!
  • Of the two williams sisters I have always preferred Venus.Serena
    is a bit too uncouth for my liking.A real commoner,if you know what I mean.Yes,she was (past tense) a great tennis player but as others have pointed out,she's on her way out and she doesn't have the class to accept that and bow out gracefully.Sloane is a rising star and should concentrate on her game and not allow
    people,least of all,Serena,to upset her and lose focus.This sport is about tennis and winning championships.Players should be themselves,know who they are,be respectful and polite to all ionvolved with the game.My advice to Sloane is that she should emulate Pete Sampras on and off the court.
  • Sloane - Sweetheart, get over yourself. Everyone will not 'love' everyone in the game. You are a great player. Focus on yourself and not let anyone make you feel any different. Listen to your mom!

    ellenbb2
  • As a mental health professional of many years, I assess that this young woman, whom ever she may be, presents as very ignorant, low class, jealous, insecure, petty,and quite angry. Her behavior is that of many individuals who feel they must 'nibble' another down to their size, as opposed to 'growing and expanding' their abilities to a level comparable to their nemesis. This woman is apparently unable to accomplish such growth-anyone can 'nibble.' Becoming a LIVING LEGEND and ICON-that's the hard part. Serena does the latter quite well.
  • You created this avatar name today just so you can spew that nonsense. Let me put it a different way. The one with the problem is serena because she has shown time and again that SHE HAS NO CLASS what so ever. When she threatened that line judge and the microphones picked up what she said ahe should have been ejected from the match for unsportsmanlike conduct. If you threatened someone in public and said, I'll break your fuucking neck", you would be behind bars. So take your BS analogy doc and stick it where the sun don't shine.
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