Sloane Stephens blasts Serena Williams

Sloane StephensSloane 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 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.

[Related: Serena smashes racquet during loss to Stephens (Video)]

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:

Around The Web

  • Dre

    Thing is Serena viewed her as a competitor as she revealed in Australia. It’s hard to mentor your competitor to beat you. Sloane, if you weren’t such a silly little girl, you’d have hopped into your car and had it out with Serena. You wouldn’t be smiling with the sisters at Fed cup keeping all these feelings inside, and then stab her in the back in the media. that’s a sign of weakness and cowardise. You won’t get far. Sorry. I still love you, though.

  • Christopher Butler

    When all said and DONE, I am sure Mr. DUNN would rather have Serena in a grand slam finals than Sloan, and when that happens I am sure he won’t be concerned about Serenas personality.

  • Xamountadat

    Sloane should keep talking. Serena should keep winning. The pressure is on Sloane now to prove that she is more than a big mouth. I hate to say it, but I don’t believe she will amoun t to much of a tennis career. Serena already had a slam when she was 20. Sloans can barely get a win here and there, but she sure can try to tear down one of her own. It’s a pity really.

  • Xamountadat

    that mouth will be her undoing.

  • Xamountadat

    Maybe she wanted Serena to pick out all the future black kids who would play tennis and sign theirs and ignore all the other kids. Now that would be horrible.

  • Xamountadat

    What torch? Hello, Serena is still playing. Until she retires, she can’t hand her the torch. How about Sloane take it from her by beating her and the other top players consistently. Serena pra.ctically owns all the top players.

  • Xamountadat

    u said it…

  • Xamountadat

    You know some people are having a good laugh at this. United we stand. Divided we fall.

  • Xamountadat

    good one. Sometimes most people call them black because of one of their parents. They are not black and they are not white, they are mixed. To claim one and deny the other is horrible

  • http://www.facebook.com/paa.panyin Paa Panyin

    This is what SW reportedly has said about the mentor issue:
    January 22, Australia: Williams was asked whether it was correct to describe her as a mentor to 19-year-old Stephens. “I don’t know,” Williams said. “I would need a better definition of the word ‘mentor’. I just feel like being the older one. Maybe some of the younger players look up to me. It’s interesting. It’s hard to be a real mentor when you’re still in competition, so I think it’s a little bit of everything.”

    Again she was asked: Did she feel any responsibility towards Stephens? “No. I feel no responsibility. I doubt she has any expectations of me to be responsible for anything. Maybe she does. I don’t know.”

    Williams said she had first noticed Stephens four years ago. “I saw her in the locker room,” Williams said. “She was another black girl. I was like: ‘Hey!’ That’s when I first noticed her. ‘What up, girl?’

    “I feel like for me it will be another good match and a good opportunity for both of us.”
    So from where do all you Serena bashers get the idea that Serena lied or even perpetuated a lie? Did you want her to call a press conference every time someone intimated that she was Ms. Stephens’ mentor? I hope not.
    To Ms. Stephen’s I will give this piece of advise:
    You did yourself a huge disservice with this interview. You may have spoken “your truth” but it stinks, and does not add up. I hope you get a chance to redeem yourself. Remember, weigh your words gal, because “words estrange, as well as sadden, when their use become abuse”.

  • Ace777

    Is this a little bitterness from her Fed Cup performance? Someone should hip Sloane to an old saying…”Don’t let your mouth write a check that your _ _ _ will have to cash (on the tennis court that is).”

  • http://www.facebook.com/khfinlay Kevin Finlay

    Since she beat Serena Sloane lost in the first round 5 times and in the third round once. Serena 3 finals with 2 titles. How Serena gonna hand over the torch when the girl cannot play?

  • http://www.facebook.com/khfinlay Kevin Finlay

    Why is Ronnie Dunn trolling? make your point and move on. The fact that you have to keep defending your position is an indication that your opinion is in the minority.

  • HappyVanCamper

    The Williams sister days of dominance are over.
    The new breed is coming.
    Hey Chris Dover.
    Nice to read you break almost every rule in Christianity.
    Judge Ye Not.
    You know nothing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/khfinlay Kevin Finlay

    It is the job of the journalist to make sure the story being published is correct. It is not the responsibility of a celebrity to respond to false articles.

  • http://www.facebook.com/quintusj Quintus Johnson

    No one knows why she did. I doubt it has anything to do with Sloane beating her. Caroline, Svetlana and Azarenka have all beaten her, but she still follows them. It could be cause of the comments Sloane made before the AO and after. Saying Serena is disrespectful, that it was easy beating her, and RT her followers saying that it’s time for a new american star, changing of the guard references etc. Why would Serena want to associate herself with someone as fake as that ?

  • Dre

    She never lied about mentoring this girl. In fact when Serena was asked about mentorship in Australia, she asked how one could be a mentor when they were competitors. Serena obviously respected this girl as a competitor, but shouldn’t have bothered. the girl is obviously a weakling.

  • rick

    Just wondering, has Serena ever had to pass a drug test? She has arms and legs bigger then most men. Just wondering!

  • Mexoplex

    you want some cheese with that WHINE? Sheesh! wgaf?

  • Ndoctatus

    Your heart is filled with hate towards the Williams sisters that you don’t even know. That hate is driven by your racism.

  • Ndoctatus

    Exactly. Sloane Stephens is a brat.

  • Mary Mote

    Sour grapes. Until you have won as much as Serena, then you can complain. Boo hoo poor you. Grow up.

  • Robb

    I personally feel that Sloane is finally speaking out about her feeling with this and defending her stance against the media. She does not want to be “the next Serena”. She wants to be herself. I applaud her for that. Injuries or not, Stephens beat Williams at the Australian Open enough said. Yes, I agree that she needs to be a little less of a drama queen with her comments, but in all fairness to Stephens Serena has been a drama queen since day one and still is. Serena just like McEnroe before her and countless other disrespectful athletes to play this prestigious game of tennis has tarnished the image of the sport and I believe there are more coming and on their way. Stephens may be one of them, but anger is not her problem it is her lack of control in her emotions. Her publicist and management will get ahold of that I’m sure. The future is bright for Stephens. The conflict between the two of them aside, we should be happy that there is an American hopeful beginning to prove herself under so much scrutiny. Oh, and by the way. Serena’s stop following her on twitter and the way she acts towards Sloane isn’t immature?!?!?!?!?! Serena has redefined immaturity in the sport. Especially with the 09 US Open and the 11 US Open. I’m not counting the countless other episodes. Don’t get me wrong here. Serena is an icon of the sport and has won everything. She will go down as one of the best women to ever play the game, but when criticizing Sloane set aside your “Serena’s my favorite player” feelings or your defense for her and remember that the door is swinging both ways within this.

  • Tessenei

    She’s young n naïve, I only hope that the ”realities” of life doesn’t break her n yhat she’ll b able 2 withstand, adjust n overcome just as the Williams sisters did. She’ll realize 1 day the ”responsibility” she carries, the hope of a people n the obstacles especially women of colour face 2day. Keep supporting her in her endeavors.

  • http://www.facebook.com/neo.smith.1253236 Neo Smith

    Do you even WATCH the international game? Do you understand that there are Chinese, Egyptians, Moroccans, Russians, Spaniards, etc… every race under the sun that plays tennis? Just because there isn’t any other “dominant” black athletes who play tennis doesn’t mean that there aren’t hundreds in the junior league or who aren’t ranked trying to play the game. Watch the game before you start trying to talk about it!

  • undunder

    She was 12. A kid. things like are important to kids.

  • nomoreextremist

    sloan already apologized and said she was wrong months ago.