Up-And-Coming Tennis Star Sloan Stephens Has SERIOUS Beef With Serena Williams

  • Jake O'Donnell

You may remember this girl from sports headlines this January, when she beat #1 ranked Serena Williams in the Quaterfinals of the Australian Open. The story was about how thrilled she was to beat such a legend. How her twitter followers doubled. The similarities between her and Serena. An implied mentorship between the two.

Turns out the 20-year-old isn’t a fan.

Via SI: “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.”

Ok, sounds like Sloan is popping off a bit. She’s got a legitimate issue, but probably doesn’t need to make it public. Unless, of course, Serena did it first.

Alright, it’s on. Williams, who is one of the most beloved American sports icons ever, doesn’t have a whole lot of competition from her fellow female athletes. She just wins and collects awards and smiles and we love her to death for it. That’s why it comes as a surprise that she sent out this vindictive, childish tweet.

Perhaps she just feels (understandably) threatened because this younger, attractive (sorry, but that makes people jealous), African-American tennis player is encroaching on the territory she’s owned for more than a decade. Can’t fault her for being a bit testy after that loss, right? So, let’s call it a wash. Serena was upset, but Sloan should consider it a compliment. Unless there’s some more dirt Sloan would like to dish…

[In reference to the ESPN The Magazine Interview]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.

Gulp. That’s a pretty sad image. But it happens. I’m sure she didn’t intentionally break any aspiring tennis pro’s heart. This really seems like just a huge misunderstanding. Betcha if they got together, they’d both find each other’s company pleasant and respectful. Let’s she what happened when they played each other in January? Roll the tape…

Ahem, pretty clear this isn’t going to end well. Serena doesn’t like Sloan. Sloan doesn’t like Serena. And the media has been trying to weave this false narrative that the two are thick as thieves. The media, and undoubtedly America at large, want the whole Obiwan Kenobi/Luke Skywalker mentor storyline, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

“If you mentor someone,” Stephens told Beyond the Baseline. “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…”

So…you’re saying there’s a chance! The interview in full comes out in the May 13th ESPN The Magazine.

Photos via Getty, H/T Sports Illustrated