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Female tennis players shine spotlight on social media harassment

US Open Tennis
APTOPIX US Open Tennis
Posted at 5:51 PM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 20:53:14-04

Female tennis players are speaking out about the harassment they face online.

Shelby Rogers scored the biggest win of her career at the U.S. Open, beating world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty. However, Rogers was beaten in the next round by Great Britain's teen sensation Emma Raducanu.

After the match, Rogers said she was prepared for hatred online.

"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," Rogers said in a post-match briefing with reporters.

Rogers is not the only tennis player to put the spotlight on online bullying.

Former U.S. Open Champion Sloane Stephens posted screenshots of threatening and hurtful comments people sent her on Instagram.

"I promise to find you and destroy your leg so hard that you can't walk anymore," a person wrote.

Stephens said she received more than 2,000 negative comments after her third-round loss at the U.S. Open.

Female athletes have been outspoken about mental health this year. Fellow tennis player Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open earlier this year after refusing to take part in post-match interviews due to how they affect her mental health.

At the U.S. Open, Osaka said that she doesn't "feel happy" when she wins. She said the achievement is more "like a relief." She said losing makes her feel "very sad," which she states is "not normal."

After losing at the U.S. Open, Osaka said she plans to take a break from tennis and doesn't know when she will play her next match.