Sloane Stephens denies celebrating when Serena Williams lost at Australian Open
A new layer of drama was added to the rocky relationship between Sloane Stephens and Serena Williams when it looked like the youngster was happy to see the veteran tennis star lose at the Australian Open over the weekend.
7 Sports in Australia was filming Stephens’ reaction to watching Williams lose her fourth-round match to Ana Ivanovic on Sunday afternoon in Melbourne. Stephens was working out in a gym at the time and Channel 7 says they had a right to film the shot, which showed Stephens smiling and appearing to celebrate Serena’s defeat.
However, Channel 7 says she was mimicking the elaborate celebration from Ivanovic’s entourage rather than cheering Serena’s loss. Stephens, for her part, lost in the fourth-round of the tournament as well, and expressed displeasure with Channel 7 for showing her reaction.
“Yeah, it’s a little much,” Stephens said of 7 Sports. ”Then for them to put it on TV was a little extra.”
Stephens also explained that she was imitating Ivanovic’s crew, not celebrating Serena’s defeat.
“At the end of the match, Ivanovic’s coaches pretty much gave each other headbutts and kisses and I thought that was the funniest thing ever,” Stephens said after her defeat to Victoria Azarenka via the Sydney Morning Herald. “Andrew [hitting partner Andrew Fitzpatrick] and I were like, ‘Oh my God, we, we’re going to do the same thing.
“Then, of course, in posts and everything … I’m cheering against Serena, which had nothing to do with it. So that was it. We were just having some fun.”
So was Stephens just laughing about the reaction from Ivanovic’s crew, or was she celebrating that Serena lost? That’s up to you to decide. And if you are unfamiliar with the tension between Sloane and Serena and don’t understand why Stephens theoretically would be happy to watch Serena lose, read this.
I know that Sloane likes to smile a lot by nature, but I’m not sure if I completely buy her excuse. I think she was probably happy to see Serena lose, and for good reason.