Rogers expects ‘nine million death threats’ after US Open loss to Raducanu

Shelby Rogers wished “social media didn’t exist” as she anticipated being inundated with abuse following her US Open loss to Emma Raducanu on Sunday

Shelby Rogers at the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Shelby Rogers said she was anticipating “nine million death threats” after her fourth-round loss to Emma Raducanu at the US Open on Monday. 

Two days after coming from two breaks down in the third set to defeat world No 1 and top seed Ash Barty, Rogers succumbed to a 6-2 6-1 defeat at the hands of Raducanu.

The 18-year-old consequently reached the first Grand Slam quarter-final of her career and became just the third qualifier to reach the last eight of the women’s draw at Flushing Meadows in the Open Era.

Having been overwhelmed with adulation in the wake of her win against Barty, Rogers admitted she was now concerned the scales would tip the other way. 

Fellow American Sloane Stephens revealed she received more than 2,000 abusive messages on social media after losing to Angelique Kerber in the third round and Rogers was wary of suffering a similar fate. 

“I kind of wish social media didn’t exist, but here we are. It’s a big part of marketing now. We have contracts, we have to post certain things,” said Rogers. 

“You could probably go through my profile right now, I’m probably a fat pig and words that I can’t say right now. But, I mean, it is what it is. You try not to take it to heart, and it’s the unfortunate side of any sport and what we do.” 

She continued: “I think someone asked by the other day some advice I would give, and I said try not to get too high or too low with every match.”

“It’s tough when you know you have a win like that [against Barty] and everybody is treating it like the final. Everybody coming up to me on-site. “I’m really actually happy I had doubles [on Sunday] because it kind of refocused me a little bit, but everyone’s coming up to you, ‘Oh, great win.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, but it’s just the third round. We’re not even halfway right now.’ 

“It’s just really tough sometimes to keep that in perspective, but you do the best you can and try to ignore the media and everybody blowing it up and making you the story of the tournament. “

“Obviously, we appreciate the spotlight in those moments, but then you have today and I’m going to have nine million death threats and whatnot. It’s very much polarising – one extreme to the other very quickly.”

“At this point in my career, I’d say I’m used to it. It’s just now for me, finding a way to have those big wins but then be able to back it up a little bit. It’s not easy to say the least.” 

The tank was empty: Rogers on her performance against Raducanu

Rogers won just 38 per cent of points behind her first serve and committed a total of 29 unforced errors, leaving the 28-year-old hugely dissatisfied with her display. 

“That was pretty embarrassing,” she said. “It was a tough day at the office. Unfortunately, I had to fail in front of thousands and thousands of people. I have to live with that one. 

“It’s disappointing that I couldn’t must up a little more today. But I told you guys the other night it took everything I had to beat Barty. I guess that was a little apparent today. The tank was empty.”

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