‘Been Harassed and Threatened’ – Inspiring Sloane Stephens Takes Cyber Abuse to the White House and Delivers a Commanding Address

Published 06/17/2022, 12:33 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 7, 2021 Sloane Stephens of the U.S. during her fourth round match against Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

After grinding it out for many years, Sloane Stephens’ moment finally arrived during the US Open in 2017. It was a dream come true for the American star, winning her maiden Grand Slam title in front of her home crowd. She defeated her compatriot, Madison Keys in the summit clash to etch her name into the glory books.

Subsequently, in the following year, she made it to the finals of the French Open. Stephens is having a mixed 2022 season. After losing in the opening round of the Australian Open, she lifted the WTA 250 Guadalajara title in Mexico. Further, in the recently concluded French Open, the 29-year-old made it to the quarterfinals, before losing against Coco Gauff. Recently, she attended an event at the White House.


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Sloane Stephens at the White House

The former World Number three was at the White House to speak about online harassment. She said, “Thank you for the opportunity to speak today. I’m humbled to share the stage with the incredible survivors and I am hopeful that our collective voices can help address this issue. Many of you might first associate me with being a professional tennis player, which of course is my day job, but it’s not the sound of who I am. I’m a daughter, a sister, a wife, and I’m more than an athlete, more than a label.”

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Further, she added, “It all is disregarded when people online seek to harass me and harm me. No matter whether I win or lose, someone online is mad and they will make it known. There have been times when I am walking off the court after a loss and not even thinking about anything related to tennis, and I am just worried to see what will be on the other end of my phone because I know, what will be waiting for me when I unlock it.”

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 18, 2022 Sloane Stephens of the U.S. reacts during her first round match against Britain’s Emma Raducanu REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Talking about her personal experiences, she said, “People know where I live and everything I do. I’ve been harassed and threatened. I understand that I am a public figure so this comes with the scope of my work. But that access and exposure should never come at the expense of my safety.”

Further, she introduced the United States’ Vice President, Kamala Harris.


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Stephens to play at Bad Homburg Open

The former US Open champion will begin her grass-court season in Germany. She’ll participate in the WTA 250 Bad Homburg Open ahead of the Wimbledon Championships.


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Vatsal Shah

811 articles

Vatsal Shah is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in engineering, he is a die hard fan of tennis and sports in general. He is an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal and is inspired by his never-say-die attitude.